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Trump Just Proposed a Huge Change for Corporate America

He asks the SEC to do away with quarterly earnings reports, move to twice a year
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2018 11:30 AM CDT
President Trump gestures during a rally Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa, Fla.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(Newser) – Amid another busy morning on Twitter, President Trump proposed what would be a historic shift for corporate America. He asked the SEC to do away with the requirement that publicly traded businesses file quarterly earnings reports, per the Wall Street Journal. Instead, Trump floated the idea of twice-yearly reports. "That would allow greater flexibility & save money," he tweeted. "I have asked the SEC to study!" As the Journal and the Washington Post explain, the tradition of quarterly reports dates back to the Great Depression. But Trump has now chosen sides in a long-simmering debate on whether reporting every three months in the name of transparency does more harm than good. He and other critics say it makes companies focus on short-term gains rather than investing in long-term stability.

In June, none other than Warren Buffett and JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon co-authored an op-ed in the Journal complaining about this very thing. "The pressure to meet short-term earnings estimates has contributed to the decline in the number of public companies in America over the past two decades," they wrote. The SEC has yet to respond to Trump's public suggestion, reports CNBC. Speaking later to reporters, Trump said outgoing PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi brought up the idea in a recent meeting. "It made sense to me, because you know we are not thinking far enough out," Trump said. "So we're looking at that very, very seriously. We're looking at twice a year instead of four times a year." (Read more President Trump stories.)

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