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When that last global recession occurred, in the mid-'70s, it lasted a year and a half. How bad of a mess are we in now, and how do you think it compares to that last one?
Do you think the events of Sept. 11 will curtail globalization?
Judge: I think that generally America has become much more globally conscious in these last couple of months. And many businesses, when they see what the issues are at home--that may again help them to look overseas...Many of the businesses...have been very U.S. focused, and (the) tremendous technology in the U.S. does have great application overseas. It's often hard to imagine that half the people in the world have never made a phone call...Think of the amount of telecommunication technology there is in America; there's huge potential out there...I think there will be continuing globalization.
Heller: I would also hope that the political alliances that have been created as a result of this tragedy may later lead to additional business alliances.
McCartney: Global economic development--and that's what globalization is really about--is the No. 1 force that will help mitigate some of the activities that are going on in the world today and the best chance for the Third World to become the Second World and the Second World to become the First World. I think businesspeople, companies and nation-states will recognize this more in the aftermath of Sept. 11 and as things play out over the next six or nine months.
But sometimes business plays second fiddle to politics. Because of the situations in those particular countries, there might be political factors that take precedence.
McCartney: Well, businesspeople, like anyone else, operate in a political world, governed by nations and alliances. Certainly there will be countries in which investment and development is simply not going to take place for a period of months or potentially a period of years. But if you look at the world market as a whole, the populations of underdeveloped countries--those that may be slowed by political or military actions over the next several months--are only a small fraction. And I think that global opportunities to help develop the world economy and advance the stature and economic well-being of people are out there, and companies will take advantage of those opportunities.
If you all had a chance to advise both President Bush and Alan Greenspan, what would you say?
Kaplan: I think it's very important that they put into place...incentives for businesses to make...investments in their businesses: in technologies, in organizational development. That is one of the most important things to do. And in terms of the Fed, I think (it's) doing all the right things in terms of reducing the cost of money.
Heller: I'm extremely supportive of Bush and Greenspan. I think they just need to continue the course, and the economy will turn around as they're directing it.
McCartney: I think the Fed is on the right (track). I think economic stimulus is coming. But no government--neither the United States government nor any other government--is going to pull any country or the developed world out of a recession. It is businesspeople on the ground making business decisions and leading their companies--whether it's a small operation on a street corner in San Francisco or whether it's Chevron or DaimlerChrysler. It's going to take the focus on continuing to identify opportunities, invest in markets that are reasonable, treat your people correctly, and build good-quality products and sell them. That's what leads to economic recovery. Politicians in the governments can create a more receptive or more difficult environment by policy decisions, but they alone are not responsible for leading us out of this.