What if accounting data was presented in a uniform, standardized way in an open XML format that everyone understood. Why, that would be “radical transparency,” and that’s precisely what we need now, an eXtensible Markup Reporting Language (XBRL)
Wired says let’s use XBRL on all financial data, public company or not. This could help us avoid the next bubble and crash and would:
Set the data free
Empower all investors
Create an army of citizen-regulators
They say, let’s do it now, before the established forces have time to regroup and block the needed regulation.
A year ago, the global financial system suffered a cardiac arrest.
That scared a lot of people. The patient now walks around the hospital grounds and occasionally forces a healthy smile. But most close observers recognize that the patient is far from healthy and is still indulging in cigarettes and double cheeseburgers. This heart attack affects us all. Radical transparency, to shine a light on those toxic assets and murky financial pools, is the best long-term cure. And XBRL, along with political will, is key to that radical transparency.
Radical financial transparency is a good idea for any system, whether it be capitalist or socialist, but is crucial for the damaged, compromised, murky system we have now. It needs to be implemented in the US now.