SEC Prepares to Indulge Trump’s Whims on Corporate Quarterly Reporting

Dec. 18, 2018

SEC Prepares to Indulge Trump’s Whims on Corporate Quarterly Reporting

Statement of Bartlett Naylor, Financial Policy Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

Note: Today, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) invited public comments (PDF) on proposed revisions to basic financial disclosure rules, including the prospect of ending quarterly reporting. This move follows a tweet from President Donald Trump in August calling for an end to quarterly reporting.

It’s one thing for a six-time bankrupt grifter who won’t release his tax returns to propose reducing disclosure for American companies. It’s another thing entirely for the SEC to take this proposal seriously. President Donald Trump is a walking, talking case for bolstering, rather than limiting, corporate disclosure requirements.

Changing the reporting intervals won’t lead corporate managers to better plan for the long-term. That would require, among other things, reforming corporate compensation plans. But that reform is going nowhere, unfortunately, under current SEC leadership. Rather than indulge Trump’s whims, the SEC should focus on what investors are really demanding: more disclosures including on environmental, social, and governance issues like corporate political spending.

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