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Haswell, Stephen

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  • Paper Title: Accounting standards during the global financial crisis of 2008-9: the political dimension.
  • Department Affiliation: Accounting and Corporate Governance
  • Supervisor: Associate Professor Elaine Evans

Purpose:

To study political aspects of accounting standard setting.

Originality: 

This aspect of the global financial crisis has not been addressed by the literature before.

Key literature/theoretical perspective:

Critical perspectives on accounting

Design/methodology/approach:

Historical narrative  

Findings:

The thesis papers focus on the history of mark-to-market accounting during the global financial crisis from 2008 to 2010. Banks claimed that mark-to-market had caused or exacerbated the crisis. Those opposed to the banks (accounting professionals, standard setters, advocacy groups) claimed that mark-to-market gave appropriate valuations of financial businesses that had mismanaged their own investment risks. Despite these defenses, in October 2008 and April 2009 mark-to-market was severely downgraded by standard setters in the US and the International Accounting Standards Board. This expo presentation focuses on a content analysis of comment letters concerning mark-to-market that were sent to the US Securities and Exchange Commission during the crisis.

Research limitations/implications: 

Implications for accounting standard policy   

Practical and social implications: 

Understanding of political activity

Keywords:

Standards, Accounting, Politics, Global, Crisis.