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New Fair Value Guidance On Measuring Derivatives; More

Tammy Whitehouse | November 1, 2005

In another step along the pathway to fair value accounting, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued a proposed staff position that seeks to clarify how companies should account for unrealized gains or losses on derivatives measured at fair value.

The guidance addresses a quandary regarding how companies should recognize a gain or a loss for earnings purposes when the value of a particular derivative instrument is difficult to measure based on its liquidity, its age, or both. FASB says different practices have emerged, so it issued the proposed staff position, Accounting for Unrealized Gains (Losses) Relating to Derivative Instruments Measured at Fair Value under Statement 133, to try to streamline methods (see box at right).

The staff position specifies how companies should recognize and measure changes in derivative value when the transaction price...

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