28 June 2010

So the fizzy white wine stays in the bottle for now...

Well, it looks like we were all enthusiastic just a moment too soon. No sooner does it look like a XBRL in the United States was making a huge leap forward - at least in terms of mandating - then the rug gets pulled out from under. It seems the "Data Standard" amendment has been dropped from the financial reform legislation.

And through the weekend I actually thought that the biggest danger was a stalling of the whole vote due to the illness of Senator Byrd (the longest serving member of the US Senate - the "Upper House" of the American congress). Senator Byrd (now deceased as of 3am US time this morning) was a **Republican** (No he wasn't - thank you Bob for pointing that out so quickly, and my apologies to all who read this and believed my error. Here is from CNN "Byrd, a nine-term Democrat, was known as a master of the chamber's often-arcane rules and as the self-proclaimed "champion of the Constitution," a jealous guardian of congressional power.")  and one of only 4 who were voting with the Democrat on the overall law that was being propose. With him being taken ill, the worry was that the law would stall if there were not enough Republicans voting in favour.

With his death, the Governor of West Virginia (his state) will select his replacement to serve out the remainder of his term in office. As the Governor is a Democrat, we can expect a Democrat to be appointed, yet there will still be a delay.

Well, that was my worry, until the e-mail from the CEO of XBRL US Inc. Pity.

Then again, as pointed out in his earlier e-mail, there was still some way to go through the process of "reconciling" the two versions of the law that were before Congress. The American system requires a single version of a law to be passed by both the House of Representatives (the "lower house") and the Senate (the "upper house"). This makes for an arcane world of deals and counter-deals. Swapping favours and influence, and in the process buying votes - both in Congress and from the electorate. It also allows various constituencies see how hard congressional representatives are working for their various constituencies.

It seems in this case that the XBRL constituency was trumped by something bigger.

So the fizzy white wine stays in the bottle for now, and Moet stays in the cellar. Hopefully we'll see both bottles come out again soon.

"Bugga" is about all I can say


  1. The Senator was a Democrat

  2. Yes, Bob pointed that out to me very quickly, and I am mortified that I made that error, as I thought he was also. I mis-read an article, and, well, made a terrible error.

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