From the October 2008 issue of Treasury & Risk magazine

Change Agents?

A survey of American finance executives, released just before the two parties' national conventions in August, found that 71% preferred to see Republican Sen. John McCain win the presidency this November, compared to just 13% who preferred Democratic Sen. Barack Obama (6% said it would make no difference who won and 10% didn't care for either one). Of course, finance and treasury executives--a tiny demographic--won't play much of a role in choosing the nation's leader, and the broader polls to date suggest a much closer race between the two tickets, so the question those executives probably should be asking now is what the election of one of them as president will likely mean for the country, and for their companies' prospects.

The Financial Executives International (FEI) survey found that the biggest concerns finance executives had for their companies were anemic U.S. economic growth (48%), high oil prices (34.8%), lagging consumer spending and demand (29%) and inflation (25.3%). Well below these issues were health care costs (10.9%), the sagging dollar (10%) and costs of regulatory compliance (7.2%), though it's a fair bet treasurers--who weren't interviewed for the survey--as a group, rate the credit crisis and better regulation of the financial markets and rating agencies high on their list, especially after the heart-stopping crisis of mid-September.

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