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Release Regarding CU Opposition to Legislation to Undermine Actions by the independent Federal Accounting Standards Board

May 4, 2004

Consumers Union and Other Consumer Groups submit Letter to Senators Urging Support of Regulation Requiring Companies to Report to their Shareholders Employee Stock Option Compensation
Organization supports mandatory reporting to shareholders of stock option compensation to shareholders

WHY: A bill being considered in Congress would undermine a FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) proposal that would require companies to report stock option compensation to their shareholders.
WHAT: Consumer Union and other consumer groups oppose legislation attempting to undermine FASB’s independence and their ability to make sound and impartial rules for the accounting industry.
• The Senate would allow many companies to leave out most of the cost of the options from the financial statements.
• The legislation would also grossly understate the value of the stock options, according to numerous independent accounting experts.
• FASB, after a thorough process, came to the same conclusion as many experts in the field including Alan Greenspan (Federal Reserve Chairman), Arthur Levitt (former SEC Chairman), Warren Buffett (CEO Berkshire Hathaway and Renowned Investment Expert), the Big Four Accounting Firms, and the Association for Investment Management Research.
WHO: Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Action and U.S. Public Interest Research Group
• Sally Greenberg, Consumers Union
• Barbara Roper, Consumer Federation of America
• Kenneth McEldowney, Consumer Action
• Ed Mierzwinski, US PIRG
HOW: Contact your member of Congress and tell them not to undermine FASB’s Independence.