Neimeier to be SEC Chief Accountant?

Lora Bentley

Rumor has it that Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Schapiro is considering Charles Niemeier for the commission's chief accountant position.


Currrently a member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Niemeier is a vocal opponent of the current roadmap for the IFRS transition. According to Bloomberg, Neimeier has said that IFRS will not likely benefit investors or the economy in this country. He is also a proponent of "fair value" accounting, which some observers have said worsened the current economic downturn. But Neimeier says, "Blaming fair-value for our current problems is like blaming your doctor when he tells you that you are sick."


Several audit and accounting organizations agree with Neimeier's position and recently published open letters to legislators and regulators urging them not to make changes to accounting standards in their haste to "fix" the economy. The Center for Audit Quality, the Council of Institutional Investors, the CFA Institute and the Consumer Federation of America said, in part:

[C]hanging financial accounting standards because of valuation challenges is not the way to solve regulatory capital problems. Retreating from fair value in response to political pressure would raise suspicions that the rules were changed in order to falsely inflate asset values. We must avoid a further crisis of investor confidence in our government and the regulatory bodies overseeing those institutions.

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