On the economic crisis

Your view

In times of financial turmoil, business success can seem elusive. Balancing short-term profitability with long-term growth while waiting out the unpredictability of the markets has most CEOs strategizing about their survival. In our 12th Annual Global CEO Survey, we asked senior executives to share their thoughts on the current economic crisis. Do their insights track with your views? Let us know at www.pwc.com/view.

“In some ways one could say that the economic downturn might be an extra stimulus to innovate. If we keep thinking short term, we will not be able to deal with some of the structural challenges that need to be dealt with. In other words, tough times can make one innovate harder and faster.” United States

“Capabilities are changing, needs are changing, our customers are changing. If you’re able to adapt quickly to these changes—if you have insight and really understand what the switching points are—I believe that you can come out of this crisis in a much stronger position.” Germany

“I think the government action we’ve seen around the world is very encouraging. We’ve never seen such a concerted approach to solving what is clearly a very deep and wide set of economic and financial issues.” United Kingdom

“You can make your customers happier even if they’re buying less, and in that way you’re getting a greater share of what they are spending. So, I think metrics and incentives—along with the strategies that follow with them—are the two most powerful reinforcers of a long-term orientation.” United States

“When it comes time to think about market confidence, the principal area has to be rebuilding trust between the financial sector and its clients. When trust comes back, I believe there is enough money in the system to fund all worthwhile investments out there in the marketplace. But it’s trust in the system that has to return first. With sufficient trust, we’ll start seeing the front end of the recovery.” Switzerland

“In uncertain times, the only certainty is cash in your pocket.” Finland