Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fair-value accounting and fraud

The WSJ reported that:
Wells (Fargo)'s Boston-based mutual fund Evergreen Investment Management Co. agreed along with its brokerage unit to pay $40 million to end civil state and federal securities-fraud allegations that it overvalued the holdings of its Evergreen Ultra Short Opportunities Fund and then, when it was going to lower the value of the securities, informed only select investors -- many of them customers of an Evergeen affiliate -- allowing them to cash out of the fund and lessen their losses....

The Wells case highlights the valuing of securities as a key issue during the financial crisis as banks, hedge funds and now mutual funds have failed to take losses on their holdings even though there was evidence in the market these securities were trading at lower prices.
I wonder if Wells Fargo's settlement in this case involved the same people who were lobbying Congress to get the FASB to loosen the fair-value accounting rules for banks...

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