Recovering from economic and environmental disasters takes great patience and fortitude. That's apparent two years since the global financial crisis and three months after the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill. Capping catastrophes just marks the start of the monumental efforts that will be needed to clean up such massive, toxic messes. At least the recently passed landmark federal reform shows solid progress on the financial front though regulators must now figure out how to apply the new rules. As one uncertainty leads to the next, the environment and the economy capture most of our attention in this issue of Treasury & Risk as well.
While consumers may be feeling glum, there's not much amiss with the recovery that a good lowering of our expectations can't fix, say the three economists who contributed to T&R's biannual economic report. And there's no getting around the fact that no matter how reform eventually plays out, treasurers won't be relying on rating agencies to guide their investment decisions as they did before, reports senior contributing editor Richard Gamble.
On the upside, the convergence of economic and environmental concerns is spurring more companies to make big investments in shrinking their carbon footprints and in setting lofty targets to achieve sustainability, with finance often leading the way, writes contributing editor Anne Field. Companies are also finding creative ways to do more using less water in response to the growing challenge of future water scarcity, Fields says. Survival, after all, is a mighty incentive.