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Editor’s Note

Having an Out-of-Money Experience

The fact that, at this writing late in the third quarter, stocks have risen sharply—by some estimates up 50 percent from their March 2009 lows—does not obscure the fact that we’ve witnessed an extraordinary level of wealth destruction. Reuters’ Joe Rauch reports that the recession—now in its 22nd month—triggered the first worldwide contraction in assets under management in nearly a ...

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Looking for the ‘New Normal’


Of the $787 billion marked for stimulus spending, the $1 billion “Cash for Clunkers” program is the only success the administration can point to for lifting consumer spending. The program, which is dramatically more efficient than other schemes, nearly ran out of funds, but it had the salutary effect of coming at the right time—just as auto dealers’ inventories were ...

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Why Succession is a Continuity Issue


Why is CEO continuity so difficult? According to Challenger, Gray’s league table of CEO departures of the past 12 months the recession has not been kind to CEOs, even though the pace has slowed down since last year. In addition to performance pressure, most leaders must confront impatient investors and boards that are less reluctant to pull the trigger. In ...

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So Sorry for this Apology


Everyone is in full apology mode. GM and Chrysler executives seem to be stuck in constant apology gear starting with their appearance before Congress with a tin cup in one hand and the keys to the executive jet in the other. Now that Rick Wagoner has been given the boot, it falls to him to apologize to countless shareholders for ...

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Leadership Imperatives


As you read this, Barack Obama will have been inaugurated as the U.S.’s 44th chief executive. Fittingly, as the U.S. turns a corner with new leadership at the helm of the federal government, we explore in this issue two facets of leadership governing private enterprise: the prospects for growth and opportunity in international markets and what companies are doing at ...

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What, No Transparency?

Transparency. It’s la mode juste; the new black. Everyone believes in it or is obliged to say they do. In the September Senate Banking Committee hearings, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson called for transparency in the purchase of troubled assets under the TARP program. “We need protection. We need transparency. I want it. We all want it,” he told lawmakers. The ...

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Fairness to Whom?


In a new and clever appraisal of the evolving sociopolitical world, David M. Smick’s book The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy offers an insight that is commonplace yet startling. “At the heart of today’s globalized new economy rests the notion that every individual is a potential entrepreneur,” he writes. “Notice that this is not simply capital ...

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Framing the U.S. Debate

This could be the year that the issue of U.S. competitiveness finally arrives as a mainstay of conversations across the land. So we’re pleased that this issue of Chief Executive will help frame the debate.Our cover story, written by Herbert Shuldiner, one of the deans of the automotive press corps, suggests that General Motors and Ford will have to undertake ...

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