1) How GAAP might change to reflect the increasing gap over time (i.e., before the market collapse) between current book measures of equity and market values.
In the current measuring of equities and market values, GAAP needs to implement specific measures with regard to the issuance of compensation for disclosures and the reconciliation of some rules to match those of IFRS (Carmichael & Graham, 2010). Alternatively, the U.S GAAP rules needs to provide companies with sufficient liberty to choose between GAAP and IFRS especially for public related equity markets. This will assist in reflecting the constantly increasing gaps in a competitive market where market values are constantly changing. These aspects will take into account issues regarding debt securities and equity securities involved using fair values allocated per share.
2) Do the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which are common elsewhere in the world, do any better with treating intangibles?
The International Financial Reporting Standards have contributed immensely towards the handling of intangible assets. The arrangement serves to subject intangibles acquired through individual or group process by measuring and recognizing them according to their fair values. This matches the ASC 820, which elementally bases the fair values derived on the assumptions used by market participants in pricing the assets (Epstein, Nach, & Bragg, 2009). This takes into account the competitive factors involved in business in which the owners of intangible assets are all required to set fair values according to the highest and best use.
3) This issue is very current, since FASB and IFSB, its international counterpart, have a joint project to look into harmonizing the standards. Is the SEC likely to improve matters?
In as much as the SEC delegated significant authority to the FAS, it is most likely going to impact positively upon the process of harmonizing the standards. Carmichael and Graham (2010) observe that the SEC maintains an active role in developing the trends through its oversight on registering public companies; hence SEC significantly increases usage of fair value accounting (p.342). The implication is that through the SEC, the convergence of IASB and FASB requires no reconciliation of IFRS based statements with regard to United States GAAP in order for non U.S national companies to provide issuance of securities in the U.S (Carmichael & Graham, 2010).