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Fair Value Accounting and the Banking Crisis in 2008: Shooting the Messenger
Accounting in Europe
The paper sets out to analyse the effects of the financial crisis on the international standard-setter in 2008 and the attempts made to shoot the messenger - to blame IAS 39 for creating the crisis for reporting unrealised losses, rather than the cause being bankers making bad investment decisions. It first provides a brief analysis of IAS 39 and fair value accounting for financial instruments. It then sets out the relationship with the Basel II banking regulatory regime. The main part of the paper is a chronological presentation of the events of 2008 as they impact upon the international standard-setting institution. In particular, we analyse the impact of the G20 requirements and the blunt intervention of the European Commission that led to amendments to IAS 39. The final part of the paper looks at the consequences as they are so far discernible and the damage done to the IASB by shooting the messenger.
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