Saturday, December 5, 2009
"Accounting has become political. Fair-value rules, which require assets to be marked to market prices, are blamed by some for exaggerating banks' losses. ... The public has a big interest in banks' books now, too. 'There are competing paradigms about what financial statements are for,' says John Hepp of Grant Thornton, an accountancy firm. ... The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), which sets rules for most countries apart from America, had made tactical concessions to avoid the nightmare scenario of banks and politicians writing the rules themselves", my emphasis, Economist, 14 November 2009, link: http://www.economist.com/businessfinance/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=14853172.
Where has the Economist been since 1964? Accounting has always been a political tool. Did it miss 1964's investment credit flap, my 6 February 2008 post: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/02/treasury-and-banks.html. Or Uncle Sam's 1970 creation of the "Unified Budget"? Banks and politicians will set accounting rules no matter what the FASB or IASB thinks. Unless guys like Robert Hertz have the cojones to do something, see my 28 September 2009 post: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2009/09/cpas-again.html.