Trump Directs SEC to Study Six-Month Reporting for Public Companies

Donald Trump

The Trump administration has said it would like to reduce red tape that it believes is responsible for a 50 percent decline in listings over the past two decades, including relaxing some of the disclosure and compliance requirements for listed companies and firms looking to go public.

"I asked [the leaders] what it is that would make business (jobs) even better in the U.S.", Trump tweeted. One provision of the bill includes a requirement that the SEC review the quarterly reporting requirement. But moving away from reporting earnings every three months would be a much more dramatic change that would nearly certainly trigger resistance from shareholders who want transparency from the companies they invest in. The SEC requires public companies to report profit, revenue and other figures publicly every three months. "I have asked the SEC to study!"

Experts have long asserted that the practice of companies publicly forecasting every quarter how they expect earnings to shake out puts too much stress on short-term performance and stock price gains.

Trump said he called on the SEC to consider the change after talking with various business leaders.

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Quarterly reports are "early warning signs of other bigger problems", Elson said. As an independent agency, the SEC enjoys some level of independence from the White House.

Friday's Twitter missive featured what has become a hallmark of Trump's speeches - unnamed leaders at unspecified companies supportive of his agenda.

He suggested that a switch to only half-yearly reporting would save companies money, echoing the wishes of several top chief executives.

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

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