Financial crisis: ''it ain't over 'til it's over''

Financial crisis: ''it ain't over 'til it's over''
Document type
Corporate author(s)
Towers Watson
Towers Watson
Date of publication
24 December 2009
Trends: economic, social and technology trends affecting business, Management & leadership: including strategy, public sector management, operations and production
Business and management
Material type

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A year on from the 2008 survey of chief financial officers, conducted shortly after Lehman Brothers' collapse, this new survey by Towers Watson finds that the worst may be over, but finance executives continue to worry about a number of crucial financing and risk management issues, as well as their ability to carry out acquisitions and other strategic plans. Analysis of the findings suggest the following: 

  • Cash is king and that’s not going to change in the near future.
  • Despite lingering credit concerns, most executives are shifting their focus to longer-term issues, such as strategy and risk management. 
  • Some major issues, such as pension plan volatility and operational risk, seem to defy an easy solution and are not being adequately addressed. 

Most respondents also seem to have a somewhat gloomy economic outlook, with nearly half predicting the recession will not end until the second half of 2010 or even in 2011. Shortly after this survey was conducted, the US government reported third quarter 2009 GDP growth of 3.5%; the first increase in a year. But to quote the homespun philosopher, Yogi Berra, finance executives seem to be saying, ''It ain't over 'til it's over.''

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