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SASB Standards for Non-Renewable Resources Industry Released

Tackling environmental, social and governance concerns, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”) has issued standards for companies in the non-renewable resources industry . In a provisional phase for a year after their issuance date, the standards cover issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, air quality and community relations. During this phase, the SASB will accept feedback on the standards. As the SASB’s fourth set of industry specific standards, the Non-Renewable Resources edition joins the Health Care, Financials, and Technology and Communications sectors. This brings the SASB’s project of creating a set of industry standards for capital markets’ use of material sustainability factors to 40 percent completion. The organization. Read More.

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SEC Approves Rules on Over-the-Counter Derivatives

Approved by unanimous vote, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) will adopt rules on how to apply “Security-Based Swap Dealer” and “Major Security-Based Swap Participant” definitions to cross-border security-based swap actions under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act. The new rules are part of a bigger framework suggested under the Dodd-Frank Act that would control over-the-counter derivatives. Through the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC can carry out a regulatory framework for security-based swaps. At this time, security-based swaps trade solely in over-the-counter markets with little oversight. To counter future financial crises, various SEC. Read More.

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IASB Vice Chair Denounces FASB’s Separate Agenda

After working with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) for 12 years on merging U.S. GAAP and International Financing Accounting Standards (IFRS), the International Accounting Standards Board’s (“IASB”) Ian Mackintosh recently criticized the FASB for its decision to stray from their original course of action. Speaking at the IFRS Foundation Conference on June 23rd, the IASB Vice Chair acknowledged the successes of IFRS adoption in over 100 nations, but condemned the FASB for diverging from the goal of creating a single set of global standards. In his speech, Mackintosh called out FASB Vice Chair James Kroeker for comments perceived as. Read More.

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SEC’s White Wants Companies’ Directors to be Gatekeepers

Speaking at the 20th Annual Stanford Directors’ College earlier this week, U.S. Securities and Commission (“SEC”) Chair Mary Jo White emphasized the significance of board of directors as the gatekeepers for shareholders of public companies. Relied upon by the SEC, White remarked that the role as gatekeepers allow directors to identify and prevent companies from violating federal securities laws, as well as respond to issues the moment they arise. In regard to directors as gatekeepers, White’s speech also noted: – The board of directors are a company’s most important gatekeepers, and it is by law their responsibility to watch over. Read More.

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Christopher Cox Responds to IFRS Comments

Showing longstanding support for International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), a change in stance seemed highly unlikely by Christopher Cox. However, after criticizing the potential U.S. adoption of IFRS during a conference speech earlier this month , the former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chair has received backlash from attendees and others who viewed the remarks as contradictory to his years as the agency’s leader. Cox recently addressed the outcry by saying his IFRS views haven’t changed, but rather the current state of financial reporting. In a phone interview last week with Accounting & Compliance Alert, Cox iterated that global standards are a good idea, but the policies in place have to adjust. Read More.

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Mary Jo White Says SEC Statement on IFRS Coming Soon

Despite uncertainty regarding the agency’s next steps, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Mary Jo White reaffirmed that International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) continue to be a top priority. After a June 20th speaking engagement with the Economic Club of New York, the SEC Chair remarked that her agency will have an updated IFRS statement in the near future, but is unsure what details it could contain. Per White, the last major issue relates to whether or not, and to what degree could IFRS be offered to domestic issuers. When issued, the SEC’s statement will be the first concerning IFRS. Read More.

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