Trump asks SEC to consider changing filing rules from quarterly to biannually

Irving Hamilton
August 18, 2018

The president on Friday said he has asked federal regulators to study whether public companies should be required to report results half as often as they now do - every six months instead of every three months, or once a quarter.

It's a move that would benefit businesses and workers, the president said.

The idea came from an unnamed "top business leader", Mr. Trump wrote, although the idea has been bandied around for decades. That would allow greater flexibility & save money. "I have asked the SEC to study!"

Regulators have said that quarterly reporting acts as an essential check and balance on the market, but many companies complain that it is overly bureaucratic and gives an artificial, short-term view of their performance.

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In theory, this information helps investors make informed decisions about the future success of a company.

Earlier this year, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Jamie Dimon urged companies to stop issuing quarterly earnings guidance.

Quarterly reporting by public companies has always been a cornerstone of USA capital markets, with Wall Street analysts known for making closely monitored recommendations on buying or selling stock.

Ultimately, the SEC is an independent commission-led agency and the president can not force it to change policies.

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