In January, the Financial Accounting Standards Board published an exposure draft called "The Fair Value Option for Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities." Despite its low-key launch, this draft has revolutionary implications.The proposed standard would permit managers to adopt fair value accounting for some financial assets and liabilities, but only if they want to. That's why the title refers to the fair value "option" - the choice is up to them.

Phase I makes this option available only for select assets and liabilities; Phase II will later expand it to others, but again as an option, not as a mandatory practice.

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