Organizing Transnational Standard Setting in Financial Reporting
Chapter 7: The Politics of Transnational Accounting Regulation
Recent financial, economic, and political crises have put the crossborder regulation of economic affairs into the limelight. Vibrant discussions are taking place about how rules and regulation might be shaped to address the flaws of global financialized capitalism. However, three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, when everyone briefly paused for breath because the very survival of the global financial system seemed at stake, the picture is rather mixed: Serious change in financial regulation appears to be slow, cumbersome, and incremental at best. This is equally true for accounting where, for a short while, the content of International Financial Reporting Standards and the organizational configuration of the IASB made it into business press headlines and the G20 summit documents. Transnational accounting standardization was discussed far beyond the small circles of experts that usually debate business combinations, operating segments, or fair value measurement. Most important, public deliberations revealed the political nature not only of accounting standards but also of the procedures of standard setting. After a brief period of public discourse, outrage appears to have calmed down. However, empirical scrutiny of transnational accounting standardization shows that paying close attention is merited now more than ever. Organizational aspects of accounting regulation are particularly instructive and help us to understand the emergence of the IASB and the dominant position it enjoys today. In this book, I have analyzed the interrelated changes in norms, organizational procedures, and actor constellations to explain developments in accounting standardization over the past four decades. The reconstruction of...
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