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In an interview, Tom Jones, vice chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board, discussed how current economic problems had to do with accounting problems. Jones said the usual complaint is that mark-to-market, or fair value, exacerbates credit problems. It's okay to say that fair value is a bad system, or that mark-to-market is a bad system, but they're not as bad as most others. He thinks they're going through a very good test of mark-to-market right now. When talking about choosing accounting standard, he said there are about 100 countries that have already made the transition. The idea of offering a choice is that, if they don't give big multinationals in the US a choice between using US GAAP and IFRS, Americans benefit foreign companies that file in the US and can use US GAAP for everything, and they discriminate against US companies. The fact that so many different countries use international standards means they're actually insulated even from geographical pressures.
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"Global Integration of Accounting Standards: An Interview with Tom Jones"Please download to view full document