It’s been more than three years since the Wall Street meltdown of 2008, and more than four years since shock waves in the commercial-paper market gave the first clear signals that we were approaching a recession of historic proportions. Since then, life has been a dream — the one in which you’re running but your legs can barely move and something too horrible to contemplate is gaining on you.
True, companies are flush with cash and the market posts the occasional 200-point gain. Only to be followed by a 250-point loss. What’s a CFO to do? That’s exactly what we asked a dozen finance chiefs in three industries that will provide a collective bellwether to any sustained recovery.
In “Post-Occupied,” senior editor Vincent Ryan talks to banks of all sizes to see how they are coping not only with a throbbing PR hangover, but a host of structural issues as well. In “Rebuilding, Slowly,” deputy editor Kate O’Sullivan describes what CFOs in a range of housing-related businesses are doing to prepare for growth. And in “Gearing Up,” contributing editor Randy Myers reports on how CFOs at companies that manufacture everything from heavy equipment to office furniture are looking toward a somewhat to substantially better 2012.
It’s not all blue sky, to be sure, but the wind may be turning in our favor at last.