Published: September 14, 2012
BRT-member CEOs continue to have strong words of warning about the threat of the "fiscal cliff."
From Bloomberg, "Honeywell CEO Says U.S. Risks Recession With Fiscal Cliff, based on remarksby David M. Cote, Chairman and CEO of Honeywell International, Inc.
“If the debt ceiling was playing with fire, this is playing with nitroglycerin,” he said. “There’s the opportunity for our government to spark a global recession with how they handle this fiscal cliff.”
Cote argued that immediate action is needed to avoid a European-like recession or Japan's "lost decade" of minimal growth.
With economists forecasting a recession if Washington drives over the cliff and amid no obvious progress toward compromise, business anxiety seems to be growing. "I cannot talk to one of our customers in the U.S. that isn't scared to death—these are dirt guys, these are builders, these are coal miners—about [the economy in] 2013 coming off the tracks because we're already very fragile," says Douglas Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar.
CEOs enlisting in the fix-the-debt campaign see no alternative to both cutting benefit spending and raising taxes, despite campaign rhetoric to the contrary. "It's going to entail sacrifice by every American, every company, every entity," says Mr. Oberhelman. "I, for one, believe that revenue has to increase. I think every American would pay more if they thought spending was going to be cut and the budget brought to balance."
From Atlanta Business Chronicle, "UPS CEO Davis demands bipartisan debt reduction plan," on remarks given this week by Scott Davis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United Parcel Service, Inc., who has called on Congress and the White House to adopt a deficit-reduction plan by January.
“At this moment, our country’s board of directors -- the President and Congress -- are facing not one, but two self-inflicted crises: the impending fiscal cliff and the crushing trade imbalance,” he said. “Because Congress couldn’t agree on common sense fiscal reforms last year, we now face a double whammy of potential shocks to our economy.”
Uncertainty about the looming “fiscal cliff” is causing many businesses to delay spending decisions, he said.
“When companies don’t spend and hire, the business engine driving our country sputters along. And the economy stagnates