At FCIB New York International Roundtable Wednesday statistics and anecdotal evidence seemed to question America’s ability to compete with other nations as key indicators clearly appear to be trending in the wrong direction.
Speaking on short-term growth prospects, Federal Reserve Bank of New York Vice President Matthew Higgins survey featuring a collective of top economists predicts upcoming gross domestic product growth for the United States at 2.2% as it continues to struggle with high unemployment and debt. It's well below other emergeing economies.
Long-term, the United States is not faring as well as many would have expected in the world rankings of key areas, especially those related to infrastructure and education. “The U.S. already is falling out of the ranks of leading nations in areas key to growth,” he said.
Another area where the United States is lagging, as illustrated in a subsequent FCIB Roundtable session, is within accounting standards. As the United States, more specifically the Security & Exchange Commission, goes back and forth regarding the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), domestic businesses could find themselves in a tough spot no matter which side on which federal regulators fall, speaker Charles Blank suggested. Blank, senior manager at Grant Thorton LLP, noted that a number of nations have already moved toward the standard, developed by the International Accounting Standards Board to try to assure more uniformity and transparency among businesses throughout the globe.
And, in paraphrasing a comment from now former SEC Commissioner Kathleen Casey, the U.S. could very well affect its global competitiveness if it continues to “kick the can down the road.”
For more on the topic, view the lead story in this week's NACM eNews, available on the NACM website (www.nacm.org). More coverage of the FCIB Roundtable will be feature on the NACM blog as well as in subsequent editions of NACM eNews and Business Credit Magazine.
Brian Shappell, NACM staff writer