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18 / 22

lAse

standards.

It

would

be

most

unfortunate

if

the

IASC

were

to

complete its work and publish its standards within the next year and

one-half, and yet have its work fail to provide any benefits to the United

States because those standards were not recognized in the United

States.

For the SEC, a primary objective is to ensure that full and fair

disclosure concerning issuers is available to U.S. investors. Obviously,

the Commission could not recognize international standards if U.S.

investors

would

be

harmed

as

a

result.

Many

in

the

U.S.,

however,

seem to view the issue of harmonization with great trepidation because

in their minds it will inevitably involve a process of diluting U.S.

standards.

In

fact,

however,

many

international

standards

are

at

least

as

conservative

as

U.S.

standards.

As

I

noted

earlier,

for

example,

the

lASe goodwill standard is more conservative from an income statement

viewpoint

than

the

U.S.

standard.

28/

In

addition,

many

accounting

standards are based on difficult judgment calls, and do not involve

issues for which there is only one "righf' answer that, if adopted, will

render financial statements perfect.

It is important to remember that accounting principles are human

conventions, not laws brought down from the Mount. Just because the

28/

See supra notes 11-13 and accompanying text. 17

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