ARGUMENT IN ACCOUNTING usually revolves around the premise that characterizes fair values of assets as being more relevant but less reliable than their historical costs, with fair value being ultimately more informative only if its increased relevance outweighs its reduced reliability.

DERIVATIVE is a transaction or contract whose value depends on or, as the name implies, derives from the value of underlying assets such as stock, bonds, mortgages, market indices, or foreign currencies. One party with exposure to unwanted risk can pass some or all of the risk to a second party. The first party can assume a different risk from a second party, pay the second party to assume the risk, or, as is often the case, create a combination. Derivatives are normally used to control exposure or risk. See DERIVATIVE CONTRACT.

LEAST-SQUARED METHOD of approximating cost is a statistical approach that is both objective and considers all the data points. By using mathematical formulas to arrive at the best possible cost line (i.e., the regression line), it is more accurate than the methods mentioned previously. The regression line is in the form Y=a + bX, where X is the independent variable and Y is the dependent variable. The coefficient of determination (R2) can be used to judge the line's goodness of fit.

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