Will He Stay or Will He Go: Finance Leaders Focused on Bernanke's Future at Fed

In boardrooms across the country, finance executives share a common question: Will he stay or will he go? All eyes are on Ben Bernanke amid speculation that he will cede the top spot at the Federal Reserve, a post that business leaders say in a new survey still holds substantial sway over the nation's economic well-being  and the fortunes of their own operations.
 
A strong majority, 88 percent, of CFOs, controllers, and other US financial leaders with the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation said that they think the individual serving as Fed chief has at least moderate influence on the economy, according to the nationwide survey conducted late last month by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). More than a third, 34 percent, ranked the chairman's influence as high.
 
Decisions by the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the world's largest economy, have global implications and affect everything from the rates homeowners pay for mortgages to the strength of the US dollar against other currencies. The chairman has significant clout to shape the bank's actions.
 
"The Fed chief is like a quarterback, guiding strategy and initiating action," said James R. Blake, CPA, CGMA, CFO of Morey's Piers & Beachfront Waterparks. "It's a key role that can affect the moves of all the other players on the field. CGMA designation holders across the country are watching closely for any changes in the position so they and their companies can anticipate their next moves."
 
Right now, employment is a bigger concern for the finance leaders surveyed than inflation. Asked to choose the issue that they would want the next Fed chairman to focus on as the central bank considers policy actions, 35 percent said "increase employment" while 16 percent said "keep inflation low." More than half, 58 percent, don't expect the Fed to raise rates for at least a year.
 
And while the Securities and Exchange Commission has blessed social media disclosure for companies, most finance executives are not looking for more tweets from the Fed. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed, 62 percent, said they do not think the Fed needs to make more effective use of social media to increase transparency and awareness of its actions.
 
The survey, conducted by e-mail between May 16 and May 30, had 550 respondents from senior financial leaders with the CGMA designation.
 
Source: June 18, 2013, AICPA Press Release
 

You may like these other stories...

Inversions: Loophole Is the ProblemJacob J. Lew, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal that "the system has become full of inefficiencies and special-interest loopholes. That...
School tax breaks get House support as Democrats objectRichard Rubin of Bloomberg reported that the House of Representatives on Thursday voted to expand and simplify tax breaks for education as Republicans continue to pass...
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has relaunched its technical agenda web page, which Chairman Russell Golden said will inform visitors at a glance on where any given FASB project stands, the steps it took to...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.
Aug 20
In this session we'll review best practices for how to generate interest in your firm’s services.
Aug 21
Meet budgets and client expectations using project management skills geared toward the unique challenges faced by CPAs. Kristen Rampe will share how knowing the keys to structuring and executing a successful project can make the difference between success and repeated failures.