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Depriving Investors of Important Timely Information Is a Bad Idea

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Contact: Brandon Richards at 202-618-6433 or at brichards@bettermarkets.com

 

Depriving Investors of Important Timely Information Is a Bad Idea and No Solution To Short-termism Which Is Caused by Bad Compensation Schemes

 

Washington, DC — Better Markets’ President and CEO, Dennis Kelleher, issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s suggestion that the SEC look into the elimination of quarterly public reporting:

“Investors are owners of public companies and quarterly reports provide those investor-owners with invaluable and unique information about their investments.  Ending quarterly reports and the information they provide to investors is not a solution for the short-termism infecting corporate America.  The problem is the compensation and other performance incentives created by, or allowed by, boards of directors that result in executives focusing on short term results rather than long term performance.  This problem is exacerbated by the compensation incentives at the mutual fund companies focusing on short term stock performance.

“Limiting required quarterly public disclosure of corporate information will also advantage some investors while hurting others.  The big Wall Street banks, the big mutual fund companies and other financial institutions with substantial research departments will continue to have ready access to corporate officers and corporate information.  They will still get all the information they need or want on a regular basis.  That information just won’t be public and available to all investors.  As a result, retail investors will be left in the dark, awaiting semi-annual or other disclosures, while they get picked off in the market as those with better information trading against them.

“Claiming to address short termism by reducing publicly disclosed information is treating a symptom rather than the disease itself.  If President Trump, the SEC or anyone else wants to genuinely know how and why short-termism is distorting and undermining long term performance and growth, they need to focus on the incentives that drive the short term focus.  That will inevitably lead to addressing the compensation schemes that reward a short term focus, which not coincidentally enables the enrichment of the few at the expense of the many.”

 

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Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.

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