We reported last week on the Perlmutter amendment.  In the typically understated fashion of accounting professors, the AAA-FASC wrote a letter opposing it.

Such an amendment would shift the power to promulgate accounting standards from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to a Systemic Risk Oversight Council, and it would shift the objectives of financial reporting away from providing useful information to investors toward giving bank regulators greater control over accounting standards to achieve stability in financial institutions…..The members of FASC are united in strong opposition to this amendment.  We believe in having generally accepted accounting standards that serve all users including investors and bank regulators.  However, when there is a conflict between these two or more groups, we believe strongly that the needs of investors should be paramount.  This amendment would surely lead to intensely politicized lobbying for accounting standards that would hinder the usefulness of financial reporting for investors.   If regulators are concerned that regulatory capital for banks is poorly measured by accounting standards intended to provide useful information to investors, a far more appropriate approach would be to decouple regulatory standards from financial reporting standards.

Yesterday, the Huffington Post used its typically stronger language to provide its own take:

Instead of treating a fever, suspending accounting standards when the economy is in turmoil is like telling a patient that 104 degrees isn’t so bad and that they’ll be just fine.

The basic facts of the story focus on who is lining up for and against the amendment.

In the midst of what was supposed to be a Congressional push for increased financial regulation and accountability, a powerful coalition of moneyed interests is increasing pressure on Congress to undermine the independence of accounting standards. Banks and major real-estate players are pushing for a system that would actually relax accounting rules in times of economic distress.


The group behind the move sent a letter to members of the House Financial Services Committee on Monday, pushing them to back an amendment that will be introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and could be voted on as early as Wednesday.

The letter was obtained by HuffPost and is signed by representatives of eight major players that would benefit from looser accounting standards: the American Bankers Association, Commercial Mortgage Securities Association, Council of Federal Home Loan Banks, the Financial Services Roundtable, the National Multi Housing Council, the National Apartment Association, National Association of Home Builders and the Real Estate Roundtable.

I find it interesting that the Huffington Post finds this interesting.  My impression is that HuffPo (as many bloggers call it) is a largely left/progressive outlet that mixes populist outrage with celebrity bikini photos.  Perhaps they are enjoying seeing the ‘monied interests’ battle one another.

UPDATE:  I realize I forgot to quote the “opposition” part promised in the title of this post.  Here it is, from the HuffPo article:

An unusually potent opposition has formed, including Ernst & Young, the American Council for Capital Formation, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, CalPERS, Center for Audit Quality, Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, CFA Institute Centre for Financial Market Integrity, Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, Council of Institutional Investors, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council, Financial Executives International, Grant Thornton LLP, Institute of Management Accountants, Investment Company Institute, KPMG LLP and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.