Former SEC chairman dismisses drive for global standards

Former Securities & Exchange Commission chairman Arthur Levitt has said
he does not believe it is important to have one worldwide accounting system,
during a panel discussion on international convergence of accounting standards
in New York.

Levitt, now a senior advisor at The Carlyle Group, told CFO.com:
‘You can’t
[converge], but we can look for better standards. [International
convergence] is politically and culturally impossible.’

William Donaldson, also a former SEC chairman – who was present on the panel
– disagreed with Levitt, and expressed confidence that the Financial Accounting
Standards Board was on course to adopt International Financial Reporting
Standards.

‘The long-term goal of a common standard is a good thing throughout the

world, particularly for US investors,’ he said. ‘The bringing together of
two systems is proper and reflects globalisation,’ said Donaldson.

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