US financial institutions reported an increase in Level 3 assets in Q3 to $610 billion (see Financial Times article). This amounted to an increase of 15.5 percent from Q2 as low liquidity has made it difficult to sell MBS and CDO assets. Classifying assets to Level 3 also gives the banks more control over how valuations are modeled and set. As banks begin reporting Q4 results, many analysts expect the number of writedowns of these assets to increase, especially given the recent announcement that the Treasury plans to use TARP money for capital injections directly into financial companies, as opposed to the original purchase of illiquid assets.