Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Expectations matter

From Fareed Zakaria's "Obama's CEO problem -- and ours" in the Washington Post:

So why are they reluctant, despite having mounds of cash? I put this question to a series of business leaders, all of whom were expansive on the topic yet did not want to be quoted by name, for fear of offending people in Washington.

Economic uncertainty was the primary cause of their caution. ... But in addition to economics, they kept talking about politics, about the uncertainty surrounding regulations and taxes. ,,,

One CEO told me, "Almost every agency we deal with has announced some expansion of its authority, which naturally makes me concerned about what's in store for us for the future." Another pointed out that between the health-care bill, financial reform and possibly cap-and-trade, his company had lawyers working day and night to figure out the implications of all these new regulations. ...

Most of the business leaders I spoke to had voted for Barack Obama. They still admire him. Those who had met him thought he was unusually smart. But all think he is, at his core, anti-business. 

How much did people worry about offending people in Washington when Bush was president?

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