|FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION FANNIE MAE filed this Form 10-Q on 05/07/2015|
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS - (Continued)
The majority of debt of Fannie Mae is recorded in our condensed consolidated balance sheets at the principal amount outstanding, net of cost basis adjustments. We elected the fair value option for certain structured Fannie Mae debt instruments and debt of consolidated trusts with embedded derivatives, which are recorded in our condensed consolidated balance sheets at fair value on a recurring basis.
We classify debt instruments that have quoted market prices in active markets for similar liabilities when traded as assets as Level 2 of the valuation hierarchy. For all valuation techniques used for debts instruments where there is limited activity or less transparency around these inputs to the valuation, these debt instruments are classified as Level 3 of the valuation hierarchy.
A description of our debt valuation techniques is as follows:
Consensus: We estimate the fair value of debt of Fannie Mae and our debt of consolidated trusts using an average of two or more vendor prices or dealer marks that represents estimated fair value for similar liabilities when traded as assets.
Single Vendor: We estimate the fair value of debt of Fannie Mae and our debt of consolidated trusts using a single vendor price that represents estimated fair value for these liabilities when traded as assets.
Discounted Cash Flow: In the absence of prices provided by third-party pricing services supported by observable market data, we estimate the fair value of a portion of the debt of Fannie Mae and our debt of consolidated trusts using a discounted cash flow technique that uses spreads based on market assumptions where available.
The valuation methodology and inputs used in estimating the fair value of MBS assets are described under “Trading Securities and Available-for-Sale Securities.”
Valuation Control Processes
We have control processes that are designed to ensure that our fair value measurements are appropriate and reliable, that they are based on observable inputs wherever possible and that our valuation approaches are consistently applied and the assumptions used are reasonable. Our control processes consist of a framework that provides for a segregation of duties and oversight of our fair value methodologies and valuations, as well as validation procedures.
The Pricing and Verification Group is responsible for the estimation and verification of the fair value for the majority of our financial assets and financial liabilities, including review of material assumptions used when market-based inputs do not exist. The Pricing and Verification Group also provides a quarterly update to the Valuation Oversight Committee (“VOC”) on relevant market information, pricing trends, significant valuation challenges and the resolution of those challenges. The Pricing and Verification Group resides within our Finance Division and is independent of any trading or market related activities. Fair value measurements for acquired property and collateral dependent loans are determined by other valuation groups in the Finance Division.
Our VOC includes senior representation from our Capital Markets segment, our Enterprise Risk Office and our Finance division, and is responsible for providing overall governance for our valuation processes, models and results. The composition of the VOC is determined by the VOC chair, our Chief Financial Officer, with the objective of obtaining appropriate representation from Finance, Enterprise Risk Management and select business units within Fannie Mae. Based on its review of valuation methodologies and fair value results for various financial instruments used for financial reporting, the VOC is responsible for advising the VOC chair, who has the ultimate responsibility over all valuation processes and results. The VOC also reviews trend analysis for various financial assets and liabilities on a quarterly basis.
We use third-party vendor prices and dealer quotes to estimate fair value of some of our financial assets and liabilities. Third-party vendor prices are primarily used to estimate fair value for trading securities, available-for-sale securities, debt of Fannie Mae and consolidated MBS debt. Our Pricing and Verification Group performs various review and validation procedures prior to utilizing these prices in our fair value estimation process. We verify selected prices, using a variety of methods, including corroborating the prices by reference to other independent market data, such as non-binding broker or dealer quotations, relevant benchmark indices and prices of similar instruments. We also review prices for reasonableness based on variations from prices provided in previous periods, comparing prices to internally estimated prices, using primarily a discounted cash flow approach, and conducting relative value comparisons based on specific characteristics of securities.