The European reaction as to how a proposed standard on fair value needs to be revised in order to be suitable for International Financial Reporting Standards is starting to emerge as a more of a "back to basics" cry.Among other things, regulatory experts within the EU are requesting a more principles-based approach and shorter documents than the 12 pages on FAS 157 and the 20-plus pages of guidance. They also maintain that any debate on the subject should not begin with the assumption that fair value needs to be reflected on the balance sheet. Others have forwarded suggestions on clarifying the language of the standard.

In the U.S., the Financial Accounting Standards Board's FAS 157 has already been cleared for implementation later this year. In the EU, which has been agonizing for at least some years over fair-value considerations, any new standard from the International Accounting Standards Board would then need to go through a lengthy adoption process.

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