NEWS RELEASE 03/19/08

FASB Issues Statement No. 161, Disclosures about Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities

Norwalk, CT, March 19, 2008—The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) today issued FASB Statement No. 161, Disclosures about Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities. The new standard is intended to improve financial reporting about derivative instruments and hedging activities by requiring enhanced disclosures to enable investors to better understand their effects on an entity’s financial position, financial performance, and cash flows. It is effective for financial statements issued for fiscal years and interim periods beginning after November 15, 2008, with early application encouraged.

"Use and complexity of derivative instruments and hedging activities have increased significantly over the past several years. This has led to concerns among investors that the existing disclosure requirements in FASB Statement No. 133, Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities, do not provide enough information about how these instruments and activities affect the entity’s financial position and performance," explained Kevin Stoklosa, project manager. "By requiring additional information about how and why derivative instruments are being used, the new standard gives investors better information upon which to base their decisions."

The new standard also improves transparency about the location and amounts of derivative instruments in an entity’s financial statements; how derivative instruments and related hedged items are accounted for under Statement 133; and how derivative instruments and related hedged items affect its financial position, financial performance, and cash flows.

FASB Statement No. 161 achieves these improvements by requiring disclosure of the fair values of derivative instruments and their gains and losses in a tabular format. It also provides more information about an entity’s liquidity by requiring disclosure of derivative features that are credit risk–related. Finally, it requires cross-referencing within footnotes to enable financial statement users to locate important information about derivative instruments.

FASB Statement No. 161 is available at www.fasb.org.


About the Financial Accounting Standards Board

Since 1973, the Financial Accounting Standards Board has been the designated organization in the private sector for establishing standards of financial accounting and reporting. Those standards govern the preparation of financial reports and are officially recognized as authoritative by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Such standards are essential to the efficient functioning of the economy because investors, creditors, auditors, and others rely on credible, transparent, and comparable financial information. For more information about the FASB, visit our website at www.fasb.org.