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'Fiscal cliff': Becoming very immediate to people

Jul 24, 2012
Carter Wood

Sandy Cutler, chairman and chief executive officer of Eaton Corporation, covered a wide range of topics Monday in a CNBC interview, including the ever-hearing fiscal cliff.

Appearing on Jim Cramer's "Mad Money," Cutler discussed Eaton's latest earnings report and the demand for the company's products in markets like Brazil and China. The talk (video) then turned to the fiscal cliff: 

Jim Cramer: We have spoken on Mad Money, also the rest of our network, about the "fiscal cliff. You brought it up directly when talking about the buying of new trucks. You say there are people who literally are pausing because of worries a about the fiscal cliff.

Sandy Cutler: We think whether it's a consumer or whether it's a capital goods purchaser, the closer we get to year end this reality of potential real problem from the fiscal cliff is becoming very immediate to people.

We are concerned about it. We have spoken about it publically. We think this is a time when we need real leadership to deal with the expense side and the revenue side. This is more of a political problem than an economic problem. This needs to be solved to set the framework for more certainty to get on to growth and really growing jobs here in this country.

 Eaton is a $15.4 billion global diversified power management company.

Many other top CEOs sound similar observations about the need for Washington to act with alacrity on America's expiring tax provisions, which would could throw the economy back into recession, sequestration and entitlements. Indeed, Business Roundtable Chairman Jim McNerney, W. James McNerney, Jr. Chairman, President and CEO of The Boeing Company, sent a letter to Congress and the White House this month urging action. Excerpt:

“BRT CEOs… are unified in believing that just the threat of America toppling over the "fiscal cliff" is having a harmful economic impact.Further delays in addressing the relevant issues will only increase the economy-chilling uncertainty. And relying on a post-election session of Congress to cope with a condensed schedule and the results of the election is far from a safe bet.”

Cutler, by the way, had positive things to say about the economy.  Housing is picking up, the aerospace sector looks good on the commercial side, and autos are doing well in North America: "Really it's a story of strength in America's markets, particularly North America , weakness in Europe and Asia."

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Senior Communications Advisor
Business Roundtable

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