more-arw search

Why So Serious? Pessimism in 2012

Pessimistic CFOs may not be breaking out the bubbly yet.

As people around the world celebrated the end of 2011 and the optimism that comes with a perceived "fresh start," many CFOs were likely saying good riddance to the last 12 months. However, Harold James writes for Bloomberg, that doesn't necessarily mean that they have great

As people around the world celebrated the end of 2011 and the optimism that comes with a perceived "fresh start," many CFOs were likely saying good riddance to the last 12 months. However, Harold James writes for Bloomberg, that doesn't necessarily mean that they have great expectations for the coming year.

He points to a high level of nervousness among those in the financial markets and a skepticism that the policy tools they have at their disposals will actually effect any meaningful change.

"The modern crisis has two parts: an inability to envisage the long-term future; and a realization that, as a consequence, there is no such thing as a safe or secure asset," James says. "This combination makes for short-termism."

Several surveys conducted in December revealed CEOs' and CFOs' conflicting sentiments about what the coming year had in store for markets and internal operations.

While some respondents felt the economy may be less shaky than it was in 2011, others said there would continue to be challenges, particularly with rising healthcare coverage costs, increased risks and lingering regulatory and financial troubles.

Topics: