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


SEC chairman Jay Clayton issued a statement saying the agency "continues to study public company reporting requirements, including the frequency of reporting".

The proposal would mean rethinking a cornerstone of the country's accounting system since the Great Depression: Every three months, publicly traded companies must offer a detailed financial picture - including their revenue and profits - to shareholders.

"Many market participants, as well as the Business Roundtable which we are a part of, have been discussing how to better orient corporations to have a more long-term view", Nooyi said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

While Trump can not force Clayton to make changes, as a matter of courtesy the SEC chairman may promise to study the issue. Putting together quarterly reports is also a huge cost for public companies, requiring resources to be directed at reporting rather than producing goods and services for the market. "'Stop quarterly reporting & go to a six month system, ' said one".

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President Donald Trump had asked the Securities Exchange Commission to study how allowing companies to file reports with the agency biannually instead of quarterly would affect the US economy. As an independent agency, the SEC enjoys some level of independence from the White House.

"We are looking at that very, very seriously".

But critics contend that new reporting requirements may not spur meaningful change given the deluge of company information available on social media.

Under Clayton, a Trump appointee, the SEC has taken steps to relax rules for issuers, including allowing firms going public to file information confidentially, and is now discussing easing other compliance rules. We start preparing three weeks in advance every quarter, essentially taking nearly a third of executives´ time each quarter, ' said Bryan Sheffield, chief executive of shale oil producer Parsley Energy Inc.

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The Trump administration has said it would like to reduce red tape it blames for a decline in public listings.

Trump has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to study the impact of such a change. In 1998, there were around 7,500 listed companies in the United States, compared with around 4,300 in 2017, according to the World Bank. Being a public company subjects Tesla "to wild swings in our stock price" and makes it a target of investors betting the company's stock price will fall, he wrote in an email to employees last week. But quarterly reports on results are distinct from the so-called earnings guidance that company executives provide as a forecast. That was the argument made by Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, and investor Warren E. Buffett in a widely shared op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal in June.

"Investors need timely, accurate financial information to make informed investment decisions", Amy Borrus, deputy director of the Council of Institutional Investors, said in a statement.

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