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Sunday, 16 June 2013

IASB completely unaware of its social responsibility

Countries like Belarus and Venezuela - both in hyperinflation - are not the best examples of modern democracies. The president of Belarus describes himself as the last dictator in Europe.


The president of Belarus is also the only person with the power to authorise sweeping accounting changes that would stabilise Belarus´s economy. Sweeping changes like the adoption of a Daily Index with IAS 29 Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies which is not actually being implemented in the country although Belarus signed up to implement IFRS.


The only reason Venezuela´s non-monetary economy is not stable today, is because IAS 29 is being implemented in terms of a monthly CPI. Brazil had a relatively stable non-monetary economy during the 30 years of very high and hyperinflation from 1964 to 1994 because of the use of government-supplied daily indices with Capital Maintenance in Units of Constant Purchasing Power in the form of indexation or monetary correction which was also widely used in other Latin American countries during that period in the form of price-level restatement in terms of a daily index. IAS 29 requires Capital Maintenance in Units of Constant Purchasing Power. Unfortunately IAS 29 has been implemented since its inception in 1990 in terms of the monthly published CPI.


IAS 29 does not prescribe the use of the monthly published CPI. It is generally accepted to implement IAS 29 in terms of the monthly CPI, but it is not prescribed in IAS 29.  IAS 29 simply requires restatement in terms of the general price level. The Daily CPI is based on the general price level since it is simply a lagged, daily interpolation of the monthly published general price level CPI. IAS 29 can thus currently be implemented in terms of a Daily CPI or another Daily Index, for example, a Brazilian-style Unidade-Real-de-Valor-based Daily Index that was almost entirely made up of the US Dollar daily exchange rate - by any country with the political will to use a Daily Index with IAS 29 to stabilise its hyperinflationary economy.


In short: if the IASB were to add the two words “Daily Index” to IAS 29, it would immediately stabilise the Venezuelan non-monetary economy over a short period of time. It would also stabilise the Belarus non-monetary economy whenever Belarus would actually implement such a revised version of IAS 29. An IAS 29 requiring a Daily Index would thus currently stabilise Venezuela´s non-monetary economy, but not in the case of Belarus because Belarus is not actually implementing IAS 29 as per my American accredited source in Belarus.

According to my source: "the government has not recognized the existence of hyperinflation in the country."


If the IASB were to add the two words “Daily Index” to the future IFRS regarding Financial Reporting in High Inflationary Economies, it would stabilise the non-monetary economies of all countries with inflation in excess of 10 percent per annum or 26 percent cumulative inflation over three years.


Stable non-monetary economies would be a great benefit to the people of Venezuela and Belarus and of countries with high inflationary economies.


The IASB can thus with two words do what now would be required to be done by the last dictator in Europe and by the newly elected president in Venezuela.


Unfortunately the IASB is currently completely unaware of this social responsibility it has to the people of high inflationary and hyperinflationary economies to - where it could it should - authorise standards that would automatically stabilise a non-monetary economy because the IASB itself does not understand the stabilising effect in the non-monetary economy of  Capital Maintenance in Units of Constant Purchasing Power as required in IAS 29, but with requiring a Daily Index instead of the monthly published CPI . The power to automatically stabilise high inflationary and hyperinflationary economies thus lies in the hands of the IASB because most of these countries implement IFRS. All that is required is the addition of two words. All the rest of the requirements and authorisations are already in place in IFRS.


This is not something new. It was widely implemented in Latin America from the early 1960´s to the mid 1990´s.

The IASB are hoping to publish the Conceptual Framework discussion paper” regarding capital maintenance next month.

Nicolaas Smith

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