WASHINGTON (AP) -- "The board that sets U.S. accounting standards on Thursday gave companies more leeway when valuing assets and reporting losses, providing a potential boost to battered banks' balance sheets."
Pain is good. It lets you know when something is wrong. What the easing of mark to market does is apply a little morphine to numb the pain. Something could be wrong, but you wouldn't know it because you're numb to the pain.
The original reason for mark to market was to maintain an accurate measure of an asset's true value.
They still seem convinced that this is about PERCEPTION. They still seem convinced that there was no good reason for the devaluation and that if they just get the assets back to their original value, that everything would be just fine.