FASB 133

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Launched prior to the millennium, (and subsequently amended) FAS 133 Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities provided an "integrated accounting framework for derivative instruments and hedging activities." [1]

Derivative (finance) financial instrument whose value is based on one or more underlying assets

In finance, a derivative is a contract that derives its value from the performance of an underlying entity. This underlying entity can be an asset, index, or interest rate, and is often simply called the "underlying." Derivatives can be used for a number of purposes, including insuring against price movements (hedging), increasing exposure to price movements for speculation or getting access to otherwise hard-to-trade assets or markets. Some of the more common derivatives include forwards, futures, options, swaps, and variations of these such as synthetic collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps. Most derivatives are traded over-the-counter (off-exchange) or on an exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange, while most insurance contracts have developed into a separate industry. In the United States, after the financial crisis of 2007–2009, there has been increased pressure to move derivatives to trade on exchanges. Derivatives are one of the three main categories of financial instruments, the other two being stocks and debt. The oldest example of a derivative in history, attested to by Aristotle, is thought to be a contract transaction of olives, entered into by ancient Greek philosopher Thales, who made a profit in the exchange. Bucket shops, outlawed a century ago, are a more recent historical example.

Hedge (finance)

A hedge is an investment position intended to offset potential losses or gains that may be incurred by a companion investment. A hedge can be constructed from many types of financial instruments, including stocks, exchange-traded funds, insurance, forward contracts, swaps, options, gambles, many types of over-the-counter and derivative products, and futures contracts.


FAS 133 Overview

Statements of Financial Accounting Standards No. 133, Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities, commonly known as FAS 133, is an accounting standard issued in June 1998 by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) that requires companies to measure all assets and liabilities on their balance sheet at “fair value”. This standard was created in response to significant hedging losses involving derivatives years ago and the attempt to control and manage corporate hedging as risk management not earnings management.

Accounting measurement, processing and communication of financial information about economic entities

Accounting or accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial information about economic entities such as businesses and corporations. The modern field was established by the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli in 1494. Accounting, which has been called the "language of business", measures the results of an organization's economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of users, including investors, creditors, management, and regulators. Practitioners of accounting are known as accountants. The terms "accounting" and "financial reporting" are often used as synonyms.

Financial Accounting Standards Board

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is a private, non-profit organization standard-setting body whose primary purpose is to establish and improve Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) within the United States in the public's interest. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) designated the FASB as the organization responsible for setting accounting standards for public companies in the US. The FASB replaced the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' (AICPA) Accounting Principles Board (APB) on July 1, 1973.

Balance sheet summary of the financial balances of a sole proprietorship, a business partnership, a corporation or other business organization

In financial accounting, a balance sheet or statement of financial position is a summary of the financial balances of an individual or organization, whether it be a sole proprietorship, a business partnership, a corporation, private limited company or other organization such as Government or not-for-profit entity. Assets, liabilities and ownership equity are listed as of a specific date, such as the end of its financial year. A balance sheet is often described as a "snapshot of a company's financial condition". Of the four basic financial statements, the balance sheet is the only statement which applies to a single point in time of a business' calendar year.

All derivatives within the scope of FAS133 must be recorded at fair value as an asset or liability. Hedge accounting may be applied if there is hedge documentation and gains and losses in the value of the derivative with gains and losses in the value of the underlying transaction.

To be designated and qualify for FAS 133 hedge accounting, a commodity (hedged item) and its hedging instrument must have a correlation ratio between 80% and 125%, and the reporting enterprise must have hedge documentation in place at the inception of the hedge. If these criteria are not met, hedge accounting cannot be applied. The non-applicability of hedge accounting can lead to significant volatility in corporate earnings. Now, the financial community has had enough experience with FAS 133 that companies and constituents better understand this process and are less critical of the volatile impact on earnings.

Creating forward commodity values to determine correlation, required by FAS 133, is not perfect due to the nature of different OTC derivative commodities and the fact that they are not quoted in exchanges like NYMEX and ICE. Many companies outsource this data collection to ensure that industry methods and standards are achieved. As important as FASB 133 is in risk management and hedging, this reporting system has limited some creative hedges solely based on the potential negative impact on the companies’ earnings.

Amendments & Interpretations

FAS 161 Disclosures about Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities—an amendment of FASB Statement No. 133

FASB Staff Position FAS 133-1 Disclosures about Credit Derivatives and Certain Guarantees: An Amendment of FASB Statement No. 133

FASB Interpretation FIN 45, Guarantor’s Accounting and Disclosure Requirements for Guarantees, Including Indirect Guarantees of Indebtedness to Others

Some provisions of the amendment to FAS 133 became effective sooner than the requirements of FAS 161. The quirkiness of the effective date and its 'earlier' implementation requirements caught some practitioners and impacted financial statement preparers a bit off-guard. In light of recent financial market turmoil linked to the mortgage and banking crisis that reached new degrees of severity in 2008, FASB was concerned new required disclosures for sellers of credit protection (such as institutional investors opening sell protection credit default swaps ("CDS") contracts) needed to be quickly implemented as financial statement readers needed to know more about the risks associated with those types of arrangements, which were associated with and/or contributed toward the recent failure of Lehman Brothers and AIG.

A financial crisis is any of a broad variety of situations in which some financial assets suddenly lose a large part of their nominal value. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many financial crises were associated with banking panics, and many recessions coincided with these panics. Other situations that are often called financial crises include stock market crashes and the bursting of other financial bubbles, currency crises, and sovereign defaults. Financial crises directly result in a loss of paper wealth but do not necessarily result in significant changes in the real economy.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was a global financial services firm. Before filing for bankruptcy in 2008, Lehman was the fourth-largest investment bank in the United States, doing business in investment banking, equity and fixed-income sales and trading, research, investment management, private equity, and private banking. Lehman was operational for 158 years from its founding in 1850 until 2008.

SEC asks FASB to review

SEC asked FASB to review accounting for hedging derivatives when counterparties change [2]

See also

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Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (United States) accounting principles and rules used in the United States

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles is the accounting standard adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). While the SEC previously stated that it intends to move from U.S. GAAP to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the latter differ considerably from GAAP and progress has been slow and uncertain. More recently, the SEC has acknowledged that there is no longer a push to move more U.S companies to IFRS so the two sets of standards will "continue to coexist" for the foreseeable future.

In finance, the underlying of a derivative is an asset, basket of assets, index, or even another derivative, such that the cash flows of the (former) derivative depend on the value of this underlying. There must be an independent way to observe this value to avoid conflicts of interest.

Mark-to-market accounting

Mark-to-market or fair value accounting refers to accounting for the "fair value" of an asset or liability based on the current market price, or the price for similar assets and liabilities, or based on another objectively assessed "fair" value. Fair value accounting has been a part of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in the United States since the early 1990s, and is now regarded as the "gold standard" in some circles. Failure to use it is viewed as the cause of the Orange County Bankruptcy, even though its use is considered to be one of the reasons for the Enron scandal and the eventual bankruptcy of the company, as well as the closure of the accounting firm Arthur Andersen.

Fair value

In accounting and in most Schools of economic thought, fair value is a rational and unbiased estimate of the potential market price of a good, service, or asset. It takes into account such objectivity factors as:

Weather derivatives are financial instruments that can be used by organizations or individuals as part of a risk management strategy to reduce risk associated with adverse or unexpected weather conditions. Weather derivatives are index-based instruments that usually use observed weather data at a weather station to create an index on which a payout can be based. This index could be total rainfall over a relevant period—which may be of relevance for a hydro-generation business—or the number where the minimum temperature falls below zero which might be relevant for a farmer protecting against frost damage.

Financial risk Any of various types of risk associated with financing

Financial risk is any of various types of risk associated with financing, including financial transactions that include company loans in risk of default. Often it is understood to include only downside risk, meaning the potential for financial loss and uncertainty about its extent.

Accumulated other comprehensive income

Note: Reference cited below, FAS130, remains the most current accounting literature in the United States on this topic.

Accounting for leases in the United States

Accounting for leases in the United States is regulated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) by the Financial Accounting Standards Number 13, now known as Accounting Standards Codification Topic 840. These standards were effective as of January 1, 1977. The FASB completed in February 2016 a revision of the lease accounting standard, referred to as ASC 842.

The expression " operating lease" is somewhat confusing as it has a different meaning based on the context that is under consideration. From a product characteristic stand point, this type of a lease, as distinguished from a finance lease, is one where the lessor takes residual risk. As such, the lease is non full payout. From an accounting stand point, this type of lease results in off balance sheet financing.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to finance:

Hedge accounting

Hedge accounting is an accountancy practice, the aim of which is to provide an offset to the mark-to-market movement of the derivative in the profit and loss account. There are two types of hedge recognized. For a fair value hedge the offset is achieved either by marking-to-market an asset or a liability which offsets the P&L movement of the derivative. For a cash flow hedge some of the derivative volatility into a separate component of the entity's equity called the cash flow hedge reserve. Where a hedge relationship is effective, most of the mark-to-market derivative volatility will be offset in the profit and loss account. Hedge accounting entails much compliance - involving documenting the hedge relationship and both prospectively and retrospectively proving that the hedge relationship is effective.

A foreign exchange hedge is a method used by companies to eliminate or "hedge" their foreign exchange risk resulting from transactions in foreign currencies. This is done using either the cash flow hedge or the fair value method. The accounting rules for this are addressed by both the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and by the US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles as well as other national accounting standards.

Weather risk management is a type of risk management done by organizations to address potential financial losses caused by unusual weather.

IAS 39

IAS 39: Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement is an international accounting standard for financial instruments released by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). It was replaced in 2014 by IFRS 9, which becomes effective in 2018.

In September 2006, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) of the United States issued Statement of Financial Accounting Standards 157: Fair Value Measurements), which “defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value in generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), and expands disclosures about fair value measurements.” This statement is effective for financial reporting fiscal periods commencing after November 15, 2007 and the interim periods applicable.

Fair value accounting and the subprime mortgage crisis

The role of fair value accounting in the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008 is controversial. Fair value accounting was issued as US accounting standard SFAS 157 in 2006 by the privately run Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)—delegated by the SEC with the task of establishing financial reporting standards. This required that tradable assets such as mortgage securities be valued according to their current market value rather than their historic cost or some future expected value. When the market for such securities became volatile and collapsed, the resulting loss of value had a major financial effect upon the institutions holding them even if they had no immediate plans to sell them.


IFRS 9 is an International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) promulgated by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). It addresses the accounting for financial instruments. It contains three main topics: classification and measurement of financial instruments, impairment of financial assets and hedge accounting. It will replace the earlier IFRS for financial instruments, IAS 39, when it becomes effective in 2018. However, early adoption is allowed.


  1. Green, James F. (2007). Cch Accounting for Derivatives and Hedging. CCH. pp. 13–. ISBN   9780808091004 . Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  2. Journal of Accountancy http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/News/20125722.htm.Missing or empty |title= (help)