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From Securities Regulation Daily, August 17, 2018

SEC responds to Trump’s call for revisiting disclosure frequency

By Anne Sherry, J.D.

In an apparent response to President Trump’s August 17 tweet about reducing public company reporting requirements to semiannually instead of quarterly, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton issued a brief statement "on investing in America for the long term." Clayton said that the Division of Corporation Finance "continues to study public company reporting requirements, including the frequency of reporting." Later in the day, the agency announced that it had adopted amendments to address duplicative, overlapping, or outdated disclosure requirements.

The president tweeted that he had asked top business leaders how to "make businesses (jobs) even better in the U.S." One suggested replacing quarterly reporting requirements with six-month filings. "I have asked the SEC to study!" Trump said. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) praised the president’s call, saying, "we must modernize our capital markets regulations in a way that maximizes economic growth while maintaining the transparency and accountability needed to protect investors."

Clayton’s statement does not reference the president’s tweet directly, but does say that the president had "highlighted a key consideration for American companies and, importantly, American investors and their families—encouraging long-term investment in our country." The SEC recently implemented, and continues to consider, regulatory enhancements that balance long-term capital formation with investor protection, he said. Clayton added that "the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance continues to study public company reporting requirements, including the frequency of reporting."

On the heels of Clayton’s statement, the SEC released amendments that it had adopted to simplify and update certain outdated or duplicative disclosure requirements. The amendments are part of CorpFin’s disclosure review initiative as well as the SEC’s implementation of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which directed the Commission to eliminate provisions of Regulation S-K that are duplicative, overlapping, outdated, or unnecessary. They primarily apply to public reporting companies, including foreign private issuers, but Reg A issuers, investment advisers, investment companies, broker-dealers, and NRSROs are also affected.

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