Agenda for G20 summit will include accounting

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13 Nov 2008

A press briefing on the upcoming G20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy, to be hosted by US President George W Bush, was conducted by Daniel Price, Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs, and David McCormick, US Under Secretary of the Treasury.

  • Mr Price provided an overview of the structure of the summit and 'what some of our objectives are and how we think it will go'.
  • Secretary McCormick then reviewed 'a number of those areas where we believe there is sufficient common ground that leaders may be in a position to take some near-term decisions and some near-term actions'.

Among the areas Secretary McCormick touched on were global accounting standards and financial reporting by financial institutions. Click to download the full text of the press briefing (PDF 63k). Here is an excerpt about global accounting standards and financial reporting:

Global accounting standards
Within those four areas that Dan laid out – transparency and accountability, sound regulation, integrity in our financial markets, and international cooperation – there are a number of topics that leaders might touch on. One under the area of transparency and accountability would be global accounting standards. This has been an area that's gotten a lot of attention, and by creating a more aligned and ultimately convergence of global accounting standards, that reduces a huge burden on businesses and ensures a level playing field in terms of how we measure the performance of different businesses.

Financial reporting by financial institutions
There's been a lot of discussion up until this point about the complexity and the opaqueness of some of the products, the financial services products that have been developed. So the role of regulators in enhancing the transparency of those complex products will certainly be an area that I suspect will be touched on, and then the importance of financial reporting, and financial reporting in a way that captures all the activity under a financial institution, both on balance sheet and off balance sheet activity. These are the kinds of themes that we would expect to be touched on under the broader heading of transparency and accountability.

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