FAIR VALUE Definition

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FAIR VALUE, under GAAP, is the amount at which an asset could be bought or sold in a current transaction between willing parties, other than in liquidation. On the other side of the balance sheet, the fair value of a liability is the amount at which that liability could be incurred or settled in a current transaction between willing parties, other than in liquidation.

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SENSITIVE ASSETS are those assets that can be affected by uncontrollable external factors. There are interest rate sensitive assets (assets yielding cash-flows at some fixed points in the future) and theft-sensitive assets (inventory for example).

EQUITY MULTIPLIER (EM) shows the amount of assets owned by the firm for each equivalent monetary unit owner claims held by stockholders, i.e., the equity multiplier measures how many dollars of assets an institution supports with each dollar of capital. If a firm is totally financed by equity, the equity multiplier will equal 1.00, while the larger the number the more highly leveraged is the firm. EM compares assets with equity: large values indicate a large amount of debt financing relative to equity. EM, thus, measures financial leverage and represents both profit and risk measurement. EM affects a firm's profit because it has a multiplier impact on Return on Assets (ROA) to determine the firm's Return on Equity (ROE). EM is also a risk measure because it reflects how many assets can go into default before a company becomes insolvent. The EM ratio is best compared to industry averages. Formula: Total Assets / Net Worth

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