NEWS RELEASE 12/24/03

FASB Publishes Revised Interpretation to Clarify and Expand on Accounting Guidance for Variable Interest Entities

Norwalk, CT, December 24, 2003—The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has published a revision to Interpretation 46 ("46R") to clarify some of the provisions of FASB Interpretation No. 46, Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities, and to exempt certain entities from its requirements. The additional guidance is being issued in response to input received from constituents regarding certain issues arising in implementing Interpretation 46.

Under the new guidance, special effective date provisions apply to enterprises that have fully or partially applied Interpretation 46 prior to issuance of this revised Interpretation. Otherwise, application of Interpretation 46R (or Interpretation 46) is required in financial statements of public entities that have interests in structures that are commonly referred to as special-purpose entities for periods ending after December 15, 2003. Application by public entities, other than small business issuers, for all other types of variable interest entities is required in financial statements for periods ending after March 15, 2004. Application by small business issuers to variable interest entities other than special-purpose entities and by nonpublic entities to all types of variable interest entities is required at various dates in 2004 and 2005. In some instances, enterprises have the option of applying or continuing to apply Interpretation 46 for a short period of time before applying this revised Interpretation.

The document, FASB Interpretation No. 46 (revised December 2003), Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities is available on the FASB’s website.

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Since 1973, the Financial Accounting Standards Board has been the designated organization in the private sector for establishing standards of financial accounting and reporting. Those standards govern the preparation of financial reports and are officially recognized as authoritative by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Such standards are essential to the efficient functioning of the economy because investors, creditors, auditors and others rely on credible, transparent and comparable financial information. For more information about the FASB, visit our website at www.fasb.org.

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