The stock market is up. So are foreclosures. Jobs are still disappearing. Short-term interest rates are effectively zero unless you are renegotiating a bank revolver. Goldman and Morgan Stanley are operating under bank charters and bank regulation. Over-the-counter derivatives are on death watch. Washington is at war with itself. What in the world will the future bring for sensible treasury executives who are trying to plot a safe course in a topsy-turvy environment?

It may be okay. 2010 will be the year we leave behind all the dislocations caused by the financial crisis, predicts Anthony Carfang, founding partner of consultancy Treasury Strategies in Chicago. "Treasury staffs will go from trying to keep the company on liquidity life support to helping the company rebuild its business." Unfortunately, they won't be able to hire the staff they need to tackle their expanded duties and opportunities, he adds.

But expect some dislocations to continue and even get worse. The financial crisis has set the stage for a return to a level of currency volatility not seen since the 1980s, predicts Wolfgang Koester, CEO of Phoenix-based FiREapps. "A lot of treasury pros don't remember how wild it was in the mid-80s, when a currency might swing quickly by 40% in value." He suggests currency markets are in for some erratic times. "Look what Chavez did in Venezuela, cutting the country's debt in half by devaluing the currency 50%.

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