It's difficult to say whether the first six months of 2008 have lived up to our fears or down to our expectations, which pretty much describes the U.S. stock market just about hour-to-hour lately. What an interesting time to have landed as editor-in-chief of a magazine called Treasury & Risk. There must be a Chinese curse involved here somewhere. Actually, curses may be the operative word. Volatile oil prices added to the collapsing housing market, the continuing credit crisis and falling consumer spending have catapulted the economy uppermost in everyone's minds.


The Federal Reserve's continuing to take unprecedented steps since the Great Depression to stave off financial disaster while inflation looms in the background means we are all flying by the seat of our pants to some extent. To help navigate through these stormy, turbulent times we have prepared an Economic Perspectives package to arm senior financial executives with more information about the challenges ahead. Our Biannual Economic Survey reveals that confidence in the economy over the next six months has indeed dipped into pessimistic territory for 74% of our respondents. However, about 10% of those say they are feeling less glum about prospects over the next 12 months. Three top economists also weigh in with their views. Standard and Poor's David Wyss illuminates a difficult borrowing environment, while Mesirow Financial's Diane Swonk evaluates the inflation outlook across developing countries and The Conference Board's Ken Goldstein points out that lower productivity growth should be figured into five- to 10-year plans.


As for present dangers, protecting your company's portfolio of receivables as economic pressure pushes more firms into bankruptcy calls for using tools to hedge risk and contributor Duncan Wood explores this issue. Meanwhile, contributor Dave Lindorff documents how treasurers and C-level executives have shifted their cash and short-term investments to the safest of financial instruments in the last six months and plan to stay there for now. Fasten your seat belts.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to Treasury & Risk, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical Treasury & Risk information including in-depth analysis of treasury and finance best practices, case studies with corporate innovators, informative newsletters, educational webcasts and videos, and resources from industry leaders.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Treasury & Risk events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.