The billionaire investor Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase's CEO, Jamie Dimon, have voiced concerns that the financial markets' focus on short-term goals is hurting the economy and urged companies to move away from providing quarterly earnings guidance.
Neither Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.in Omaha, or Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, predict their profits every three months.
"We have an outstanding individual - character, culture, capability, heart, mind, the whole thing", Dimon said Thursday on CNBC. "Such short-termism is unhealthy for America's public companies and financial markets - which are critical to economic growth and financial prosperity", Business Roundtable said in a statement.
Buffett and Dimon announced they are partnering with Business Roundtable, a group of roughly 200 CEOs of major US companies, to call on companies to consider eliminating quarterly guidance.
In a CNBC "Squawk Box" program interview and an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal, Buffett and Dimon said quarterly forecasts, known on Wall Street as "guidance", take up management's time and lead to decisions that don't benefit companies or their shareholders.
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In the latest appeal, they said companies often hesitate to spend on technology, hiring, and research and development to meet quarterly earnings forecasts that can be affected by seasonal factors beyond their control.
In response, Dimon simply said: "I don't want to be the bitcoin spokesman, just beware". In the past, Buffett has said that he could record some of Berkshire's unrealized investment gains at nearly any time if he wanted to make a quarter or year look good, but that wouldn't help the company succeed in the long run.
Buffett and Dimon said they are not opposed to the current practice of quarterly and annual reporting that ensures transparency. "We're hoping a bunch of companies drop it right away". They plan to name the venture's first CEO publicly within two weeks.
There has been great interest in these companies' health initiative since it was announced early this year, but few details have been released so far.