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Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett Once Called for the End of Earnings Guidance. Will Coronavirus Make It Happen?

Illustration by Elias Stein

Two years ago, JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon and Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett stirred the pot when they embraced a decades-old corporate critique. In a Wall Street Journal column, they urged public companies to stop providing quarterly earnings guidance, arguing that the practice promotes short-term profits over long-term sustainability, with companies managing to a number, not investing for the future.

Now, as the Covid-19 pandemic collides with earnings season, we’re seeing what an end to guidance...