The business environment, infused with uncertainty, has muted the growth of business confidence, according to the results of the Duke University/CFO Magazine GlobalBusiness Outlook survey for the fourth quarter of 2015.
“Economic uncertainty” was the top business concern cited by executives around the world, across virtually all regions. (See Figure 1, below.) The survey, which concluded early in December, generated responses from more than 1,000 finance and corporate executives from companies of all sizes, including 500 executives from the United States and Canada, 118 from Asia (including Japan), 101 from Europe, 250 from Latin America (including Mexico), and 61 from Africa.
Read: “In Search of Certainty”
After nearly going extinct, corporate inversions have come back strongly in the last few years. In response to the practice, which generally reduces a company’s tax bill, the U.S. Treasury Department issued several pronouncements in 2014 designed to limit the government’s loss of revenue. The measures, however, do not appear to have stemmed the tide.
A corporate inversion is a transaction in which ownership of a company is transferred to a new holding company based in a lower-tax or no-tax jurisdiction. An inversion can be structured as a share-for-share exchange, an asset transfer, or a combination of the two. Economic gains from such transactions are generally taxable.
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