It’s no secret, corporate America is flush with cash.And for the past year or so, they’ve been sitting on it instead of hiring, citing above all else The Election as their reason for doing so. The word used to describe this phenomena is uncertainty.
Take billionaire real estate mogul Sam Zell, for example. He told the gang on Squawk Box last month that this country needed “an all clear sign” to “get back to business” and that uncertainty was the reason he hasn’t been investing his oodles of cash.
Well, now the election is over, so it’s time to kill uncertainty in corporate America. At least, that’s the buzz we’re hearing all over the internet right now.
There are two salient arguments in every uncertainty-killing piece we’re seeing.
First, corporate America needs to get over uncertainty because we know the next government really well (it’s our current government with a slight boost).
Plus, based on the numbers, it looks like Americans like their agenda, regardless of what the opposition may say.
Obama and the Democrats have been handed a pretty strong mandate here, despite Boehner’s spin early this (yesterday) morning. The electoral college was definitive, with most of the swing states going Obama’s way, and gains were made in both the Senate and the House. Add to that, the fact that Tea Party candidates failed to gain any mandate whatsoever, the apparent split in the Republican party over strategy…
Now for the second point.
Fortune Magazine’s Dan Primack points out that corporate America needs to leave its seat on the sidelines because uncertainty is everywhere all the time and it’s not going away.
There are lots of things I’ll be glad not to hear anymore. Campaign ads. 47 per cent. You didn’t build that. But, most of all, I’ll be glad to be rid of “uncertainty.”
This single word has become the excuse emblem of corporate America during President Obama’s first term, explaining away everything from static headcounts to sluggish acquisition activity. Never mind that companies are sitting on record amounts of cash, or that stock market bulls have been slaughtering the bears for nearly three years (save for yesterday). If CEOs aren’t 100% certain about what tomorrow will bring, they apparently cannot bring themselves to even get out of bed in the morning…
Obviously it would be very handy in business if we could predict the future, but that’s never going to happen. What we do know is that America needs to get back to work.
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