Friday, May 23, 2014

New fair-value cost estimates from the CBO

Though it won't say so explicitly, the CBO has been on a long quest to convince Congress to change its accounting procedures. It's out with another study showing the budgetary cost of credit programs under current-law accounting (FCRA) versus a more comprehensive method known as fair-value accounting (FVA). As usual, credit programs that show a profit under FCRA actually show a cost under FVA.

The analysis of the Export-Import Bank is particularly interesting, since the agency has come under increasing fire for being, in President Obama's words, "little more than a fund for corporate welfare." Ex-Im supporters had cited the "profit" the bank earns for the government as a justification for its existence. No longer.

To read all about FVA, please see my previous post.

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