(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama is repeating George W. Bush's worst market mistakes, Forbes Inc Chief Executive Steve Forbes wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
"The most disastrous Bush policy that Mr. Obama is perpetuating ismark-to-market or 'fair value' accounting for banks, insurancecompanies and other financial institutions," Forbes wrote in an opinioncolumn.
Under mark-to-market -- the revaluation of assets to their currentmarket value -- even non-suspect assets are being artificially knockeddown in value, Forbes wrote.
"Banks and life insurance companies that have positive cash flows now find themselves in a death spiral," Forbes wrote.
Forbes said that of the more than $700 billion that financialinstitutions had written off, almost all of it had been bookwritedowns, not actual cash losses.
"Another horrific Bush policy that Mr. Obama has left untouched concerns short selling," Forbes wrote.
Forbes said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's removal in2007 of the so-called uptick rule, which held that investors could notshort a stock unless it went up in price, was responsible for anexplosion in market volatility.
Obama should suspend mark-to-market accounting rules, restore theuptick rule, and enforce the prohibition against naked short-selling,Forbes wrote.
(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore, editing by Will Waterman)
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