In July, the Financial Accounting Standards Board announced that its agenda now includes a major project on lease accounting. As justification, the board cited encouragement from its own advisory councils and the Securities and Exchange Commission staff, all of which apparently concurred that "current lease standards fail to provide complete and transparent information."The announcement also stated that "lease arrangements have evolved considerably over the past 30 years and the standards are outdated." We're tempted to say, "Well, duh!" but we won't because of our great satisfaction that the board is preparing to throw out this example of WYWAP (Whatever You Want Accounting Principles) and POOP (Pitifully Old and Obsolete Principles).

This move did not come out of the blue. Indeed, the board (and its international counterparts) has been sending signals for a decade or more to the effect that the old principles are bad and need to be replaced by new ones that call for capitalizing all material leases.

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