I reported last week the lifting of “mark-to-market” rules that I have been asking to do since last August. Now I see a rearguard action by the doomsayers based on the difference between “liquidity” and “involvency.” The naysayers also warn that, while lifting “mark-to-market” rules have corrected the values for mortgage based assets, we still have problems with securitized non-mortgage debt.

During the “Financial Meltdown of 2008″ and the “Great Recession of 2009″ I have seen a constant debate between those involved about the exact nature of the financial crisis. Some say it is a lack of “liquidity” and others say it is a matter of “insolvency.” Both arguments have merit.

The exact problem is that those valuing the securitized mortgages and the credit default swaps used to insure these investments, variously known as “securitized debt, derivatives, or toxic assets,” were obstensibly marking their value to the “market.” However, since there was no established market for these assets they marked them to “models” based on the property market.

As the property market went flat and then south, those doing the values devalued the mortgage based assets as much as 90%. This in turn savaged the balance sheets of those holding the assets. With their balance sheets out of kilter the holders, banks and other financial groups, had to borrow to compensate for the lost value of their mortgage based assets. But their balance sheets did not allow this borrowing. So for the “liquidity” crowd the problem was the inability to borrow and for the “solvency” crowd the holders were bankrupt since assets were clearly worth less than debt.

On April 2 the Feds lifted the “mark-to-market” rules that allowed valuations of the mortgage based assets to their maturity or long term value instead of the “market” that did not exist. It has worked immediately. I heard one expert say yesterday that the mortgage based assets had been corrected. However, he warned that there are still problems with non-mortgage securitized debt, essentially student loans, auto loans, credit card debt, and commercial debt that has been bundled and sold as “securitized debt.”

I do not see any real problems caused by securitized non-mortgage debt. There is no market to mark against since, as with the securitized mortgages, there is no established market for trading these. But more importantaly, no one is valuing securitized non-mortgage debt to “models” based on the values of the underlying item, i.e. no one is valuing auto loans to the current prices or sales of autos. I suppose one could devalue student loans by saying that graduating students face a more difficult job market and will be less likely to find work. But this has not yet been done. So, unlike the securitized mortgages, there will be no panic devaluing of securitized non-mortgage debt.

No we have passed the first major hurdle. Now to implementing the Obama Stimulus Plan. More on that later.