Trump Call For SEC To Study Reporting Rules Sparks Debate

Donald Trump

"In speaking with some of the world's top business leaders I asked what it is that would make business (jobs) even better in the U.S", Trump tweeted.

The move would improve "flexibility and save money" Trump said. "I have asked the SEC to study!" - he continued. The Commissioners' offices did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While Trump can not force Clayton to make changes, as a matter of courtesy the SEC chairman may promise to study the issue. It's rare for presidents to make public demands of such regulators.

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

Some investors on Friday said quarterly disclosures are essential for investment decisions and supported richer U.S. stock valuations, and that shares could become more volatile if companies report twice yearly.

Earlier this year, billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon, the head of JPMorgan Chase, urged companies to stop issuing quarterly earnings guidance. Proponents say easing another regulation would help spur growth. What is clear is that investors are more reluctant to invest with companies when they have less information on their performance.

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The SEC was created in 1934 in the midst of the Great Depression and requires publicly-traded companies to issue quarterly and annual earnings reports to keep the public informed on their operations and financial condition.

The SEC requires public companies to report profit, revenue and other figures publicly every three months.

Bank analysts are known for making closely monitored recommendations on buying or selling stock tied to the numbers. Using Bloomberg data that looks at 10-day volatility in single stocks since 2010, price swings during the four reporting periods are roughly 10 per cent higher than in the rest of the year.

"I'd like to see twice, but we're going to see", Trump later told reporters when asked about his tweet. Less-frequent public disclosures could hand another advantage to sophisticated investors with easy access to corporate executives, corporate governance experts said. "On the other side will be the argument that information is basically a lubricant of a great capital-markets system".

Business groups including the US Chamber of Commerce, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and exchange operator Nasdaq have been lobbying hard over the past year for lawmakers and the SEC to relax listing rules, warning that the decline in listings hurts jobs and pension funds. A statistic they often point to is the drop in initial public offerings over the past 20 years.

Druckenmiller noted that investors like to know what's going on with the companies they invest in.

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