Why US firms fear FASB's rule 133

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It's been going on for seven years, and has taken up more of the US Federal Accounting Standard Board's (FASB's) time than any other rule. US bankers and issuers hate it, claiming it will force an unwanted change in borrower strategies and will even hit earnings. They've lobbied Congress to get it nullified, and the board has responded with a year's postponement and by changing some of the strictures. Yet still the complaints roll in from those few who claim to understand it. Systems still aren't ready, and there is less than a year to go before it comes into effect. Who'd have thought that an accounting rule-change could cause such a furore? Antony Currie reports on the dilemmas and debates around rule FAS133