This Little Piggy Marked to Market

Our version of North Korea’s heroic national struggle appears to be keeping up with teh marketz. Worse than the wave after wave of failures and buyouts — at least for a conscientious commentator — is the pounding surf of new and opaque terminology, each carrying what feels like more and more analytical freight and econopocalyptic power.

The latest of these is ‘mark-to-market’.

Tim Carney is where I turn first to get sane quick about what the heck is going on. Only afterward can I brave the blogs. Hilzoy, posting at The Washington Monthly, thinks we’re crazy to switch to some other thing called ‘mark-to-model’. Barry Ritholtz leads with this quote:

“Suspending mark-to-market accounting, in essence, suspends reality.” -Beth Brooke, global vice chair, at Ernst & Young

And Mark Thoma has fun, via Andrew Leonard, pointing out that mark-to-market reaches across the aisle.

My role remains restricted to providing links, inventing timely portmanteau words, and coining ruefully humorous catchphrases — a sector of journalism which will never go out of business.