Apparently if credit default risk widens on a bank, the bank can count that as income. Gosh you have to love U.S. accounting standards.
From Business Insider:
The one item everyone is raising red flags about is the $1.9 billion pretax DVA gain. DVA is short for debt valuation adjustment.
In other words, when investors and traders bet against a banks' bonds, causing credit default swap spreads to soar, the bank is allowed to book a mark-to-market gain.
Last year, Bloomberg spoke to Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski who called the DVA an abomination. He explains, Just because Morgan’s credit spreads widened out this quarter doesn’t mean that their ultimate interest and principal payments changed one iota.
Apparently this rule was passed by FASB in 2007. I wonder who lobbyied for it? More importantly what sort of accounting standard do you have when lobbying is part of it. What a joke.
....a U.S. accounting rule known as Statement 159, adopted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board in 2007, which allows banks to book profits when the value of their bonds falls from par.