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SEC's Donaldson damns anti-FASB bill.

SEC Chairman William Donaldson lent his weight to the pro-FASB forces in the Senate. In doing so, he strengthens the position of Sen. Richard Shelby (R.-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, who is refusing to bring up the Stock Option Accounting Reform Act of 2003 (S. 1890) for a vote. That's the bill that passed the House on July 20 by a vote of 312 to 111. Seen as an anti-FASB bill, the legislation stops way short of where the FASB has said it intends to go on mandating stock option expensing. For example, S. 1890 requires expensing for only the top five executives of a company, but only after economic impact studies are done by the Departments of Commerce and Labor. Shelby wants to protect the FASB's independence from congressional micro-managing. So the anti-FASB forces must look for an unrelated bill that is about to pass the Senate to which they could attach S. 1890 as an amendment. Donaldson's letter in August to a number of senators, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.), makes such an "end run" much less likely, given Donaldson's stature. Donaldson said that S. 1890 "would remove certain decision-making responsibility from the FASB and thereby disrupt the independent, private-sector accounting standard setting process." The American Electronics Association (AEA) is one of the chief proponents of S. 1890. It organized a "fly in" of members to the Senate on September 21.
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Title Annotation:Government; Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William Donaldson; Financial Accounting Standards Board
Publication:Strategic Finance
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2004
Words:239
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