The ups and downs of fair value

Accounting

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When the use of derivatives, particularly interest rate swaps, started to explode in the 1980s, it was inevitable that the accounting community would have to face up to how best to represent these instruments in official reporting. Since then, a number of initiatives and standards have emerged, most notably US Financial Accounting Standard (FAS) 133 in 1998 and International Accounting Standard (IAS) 39 a year later, both of which cover accounting for financial derivatives and hedging activi