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The two things the worldҳ greatest teachers will be doing in January to turn the whole year around (that most CEOҳ wonҴ)

Leaders in 2020 had to address something many of them hadn’t before: momentum. In particular, they had to confront that it had never been more simultaneously scarce and necessary. Zoom has even given us a window into the challenge: those few seconds your employee’s face has appeared on your screen before she realizes she’s visible, […]

License and Republishing: The views expressed in this article The two things the world’s greatest teachers will be doing in January to turn the whole year around (that most CEO’s won’t) are those of the author Benjamin Marcovitz alone and not the CEOWORLD magazine.

CEO Spotlight: Serial Entrepreneur Jesse Willms Discusses Future Marketing Trends

The pandemic forced many business owners to operate outside of their comfort zone, resorting to business practices they wouldn’t ordinarily consider given normal circumstances. Most succumbed to the mounting economic and social pressure to digitize their products and services. As such, we now have more people turning to digital marketing solutions than ever before. While […]

License and Republishing: The views expressed in this article CEO Spotlight: Serial Entrepreneur Jesse Willms Discusses Future Marketing Trends are those of the author Sophie Ireland alone and not the CEOWORLD magazine.

M&A in a Post-Pandemic Society: What Executives Need to Know to Excel

Dr. Kambiz Sadraei Shares How The Medical Industry Can Thrive in Changing Times

Numerous conventional industries had to re-invent during the current pandemic: Dentistry is no different Dr. Kambiz Sadraei serves as a class example of how this industry can adapt to change to better serve local communities 4 Key steps are outlined for thriving during changing times – with the main focus being on community centricity  Dr. […]

License and Republishing: The views expressed in this article Dr. Kambiz Sadraei Shares How The Medical Industry Can Thrive in Changing Times are those of the author Anna Papadopoulos alone and not the CEOWORLD magazine.

The Best Japanese Fashion And Beauty Brands to Check Out

The culture of Japan has never been to only focus on the result. For them, the process of reaching the end goal is just as important as the product itself. And this is something that they have carried forward in their clothing too. The world is taking note of the excellent quality and craftsmanship of […]

License and Republishing: The views expressed in this article The Best Japanese Fashion And Beauty Brands to Check Out are those of the author Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj alone and not the CEOWORLD magazine.

A уatalystҠfor Growth? Chief Scientist and CEO, June Lai Represents Future for Women in Science & Tech

Meet June Lai, the CEO, and scientist behind the high-performance and award-winning manufacturer of protective and stylish smartphone and smart tablet cases, Catalyst. Consumer technology is no doubt changing, as the race towards mass adoption of artificial intelligence (A.I.), augmented reality (AR), and blockchain technologies continues. But the stories that still go unnoticed are those […]

License and Republishing: The views expressed in this article A ‘Catalyst’ for Growth? Chief Scientist and CEO, June Lai Represents Future for Women in Science & Tech are those of the author Andrew L. Rossow, Esq. alone and not the CEOWORLD magazine.

CEO Optimism Drops In November Amid Election Results And Covid Spike

In the wake of Joe Biden’s election as the next president of the United States and the sharpest increase in Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic, CEO confidence in the future of the economy fell sharply in November, even as a majority of CEOs still predict their firms will see improvements in their finances in the months to come.

Chief Executive’s most recent polling of 211 U.S. CEOs—fielded from November 10-12—shows confidence in the current business environment little changed since last month, up only 1 percent from our October reading—at 5.9 out of 10 compared to 5.8 the month prior. CEOs say business is continuing to recover, with renewed orders and sustained consumer spending.

Their outlook for the business environment 12 months from now, however, fell 6.4 percent this month, to 6.4 on our 1-10 scale. This is among the largest single-month declines of the past 5 years for the CEO Confidence Index, and the largest in 2020. The last time the Index declined by a similar margin in a single month was in December 2018, when CEOs feared the consequences of an intensifying trade war with China and the subsequent cooling of the economy. It had then dropped by 7.3 percent.

The results of the election seem to have had the most influence on CEOs’ outlook. Many CEOs gave the 2021 economy a negative rating, saying they fear increased taxes, regulations and renewed Covid lockdowns under President Joe Biden.

“Increased govt spending, new regulations, possibly higher taxes,” Bill Osborne, owner of Osborne Properties, a real estate company in the Southeast, said were the main reasons behind his downgrade of the business environment a year from now.

“With Biden as president, I expect a much more difficult economy to navigate due to increases in business regulation,” said Steven Leafgreen, CEO of federal credit union Western Vista, whose outlook for business conditions at this time next year is “weak,” at 3 out of 10.

“We are doing better right now as we have emerged from Covid and booked a lot of orders,” said David Cox, CEO of global industrial manufacturer The Bradbury Group. “This will increase our profits short term before we then experience a downturn due to new admin policies.” For that reason, he rates future conditions a 6 out of 10, downgraded from a perfect 10/10 in the current environment.

For other CEOs, however, the focus isn’t so much on who’s occupying the White House but how soon we will be on the other side of the pandemic.

“Overall business seems to be ‘OK’ if you are not in the travel or restaurant or entertainment space,” said Bruce Levitt, president of safety-solution provider Levitt-Safety Limited. “I expect things to gradually improve if/when Covid eases.” He is, nevertheless, cautious in his forecast, rating the fall 2021 climate a 6 out of 10.

Slightly more optimistic is Tom Andrulis, CEO of IT service provider Intelligent Technical Solutions. He expects future conditions to be “very good,” at 7 out of 10 on our 1-10 scale: “15% of our clients had major issues caused by the pandemic. With the announcement of the vaccine, I believe things will improve over the next year,” he said.

“Consumers in foodservice such as restaurants and coffee shops or the like are at their lowest demand now,” said Andrew Ly, CEO of California-based Sugar Bowl Bakery. “But a year later, after the political dust is settled and the vaccine comes out, business will get better.” He rates his outlook for business a 9 out of 10.

Despite the dip in our forward-looking data, several CEOs polled showed enthusiasm for the year to come.

“A new administration, better trade and diplomatic agreements, the availability of a vaccine, reskilling of workers,” said Peter Altschuler, president of global marketing firm Wordsworth & Company, when asked to explain his optimism for the business climate in the year ahead. He, however, cautions: “Things are likely to get worse before they get better, given the obstacles being put in the way of a smooth transition.”

“As we recover from the pandemic, businesses and the market will expand demand,” said Gregory Gragg, CEO of business consultancy firm Blue Chair LLC, who forecasts business conditions to improve to a 9 out of 10 by this time next year.

“Jobs will increase, and consumers will start spending lot more,” said Prasad Reddy, CEO of footwear brand Twisted X. He forecasts an “Excellent” business landscape at this time next year, rating it a 9 out of 10, up from a 6 in the current environment.

In the end, Bo Andersson, president of NY-based valve manufacturer Flomatic, echoes what many other CEOs have been noting for several months now: “We need stability in the marketplace,” he said.

Election Impact

Our November polling looked into the impact the election results are having, if any, on various areas of corporate strategy. Unsurprisingly, a greater number of CEOs said their tax strategy is most impacted by the outcome (29 percent), followed by lobbying/regulation (21 percent) and health benefits strategies (19 percent).

Polled CEOs said that besides dealing with Covid-19 as a priority (58%), the new administration should focus its efforts on the economy and jobs (24%)—far ahead of any other issues. At the bottom of the list: everything else, from the deficit to taxes to healthcare to immigration, wages and education. None of those topics garnered more than 6 percent from those polled.

The Year Ahead

When looking at the impact of the business environment on their respective companies, fewer CEOs now forecast increases in profits and revenues for the year ahead: 54 and 64 percent, respectively, compared to 62 and 67 percent in October.

Similarly, the proportion of CEOs anticipating they would increase capital expenditures over the next 12 months dipped to 41 percent this month, compared to 44 percent last month.

The proportion of CEOs who say they plan to add to their headcount in the year ahead remained steady, at 47 percent vs. 48 percent in October.

With the exception of forecasted profitability, all measures are in line with pre-Covid levels, perhaps indicating that this month’s decreases are simply a correction from recent months’ increased optimism.

Sector & Size View

November data once again shows a very divided view of the business landscape among CEOs and a clear representation of how the current series of events has affected sectors differently. Healthcare and Real Estate CEO confidence plummeted in November, with those polled listing low occupancies, worker shortages, the increased cost of employee testing and PPE as some of the reasons for their outlook.

At the other end of the spectrum, Travel & Leisure CEO confidence experienced a substantial jump in November, with hopes for an effective vaccine and the subsequent reopening of locations leading the list of reasons.

On a year-over-year basis, Real Estate, Healthcare, Construction and Financial Services CEOs are showing the largest declines in confidence, while Travel & Leisure, Pharma and Transportation CEOs report increased optimism in business conditions a year from now.

Looking at confidence levels by company size, all size groups are reporting decreasing confidence in the future, with the largest swings occurring among the smallest and largest companies. Concerns over new regulations and higher taxes from the new administration are driving down confidence among the larger companies, while Covid-related uncertainty is impeding small business confidence.

Year over year, however, all cohorts except for small companies are now more optimistic than they were at this time last year.

About the CEO Confidence Index

The CEO Confidence Index is America’s largest monthly survey of chief executives. Each month,Chief Executivesurveys CEOs across America, at organizations of all types and sizes, to compile our CEO Confidence Index data. The Index tracks confidence in current and future business environments, based on CEOs’ observations of various economic and business components.

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The Best Luxury Birthday Party Inspiration And Ideas

Even though Christmas Day, New Year, and other celebrations are super fun, a birthday is a unique day to celebrate mostly because all the attention is centered on one person. Everybody is getting gifts for you and make you feel special. In return, the person who has its birthday should focus on how to please […]

License and Republishing: The views expressed in this article The Best Luxury Birthday Party Inspiration And Ideas are those of the author Anna Siampani alone and not the CEOWORLD magazine.

A Class-Action Win

In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court approved changes to the federal rules of civil procedure that created what has become a multibillion-dollar business for lawyers and a major irritant for corporate defendants: the class-action lawsuit.

In September of this year, a federal appeals court in Atlanta dealt a potentially serious blow to the entire class-action industry by ruling plaintiff lawyers can no longer pay “incentive awards” for people to serve as representatives in those class actions. And to justify the ruling, the appeals court cited Supreme Court decisions dating back to the 1880s, long before the modern class action even sprang into existence.

To understand how Supreme Court precedent from the 19th century could substantially alter how lawsuits are conducted in the 21st century, we must start with the inherent conflict embedded in every class action. Mass litigation that emerged after the Industrial Revolution made it possible for a single company to defraud or injure thousands or millions of people at a time. It gave courts a way to resolve all those claims at once, by abandoning the idea of requiring every individual plaintiff to hire his own lawyer. One lawyer representing a single named plaintiff could claim to represent everybody with a similar claim.

In practice, the class action quickly became a money-making racket, since plaintiff lawyers could threaten companies with astronomical damages simply by claiming to represent a group of “clients” who typically had no idea they were suing anybody. William Lerach and Melvyn Weiss of Milberg Weiss, a leading securities class-action firm in the 1990s, went to jail on charges they paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to plaintiffs in exchange for serving as representatives for their cases. The conflict between the lawyers and the people they claimed to represent became glaring.

Enter Trustees v. Greenough and Central Railroad v. Pettus. These two cases from the 1880s involve what is known as a “common fund,” where lawyers pull their fees from a single pot of money they win for multiple clients. In both cases, the Supreme Court ruled that while it was OK to cover a representative plaintiff’s legal costs lawyers couldn’t pay incidental expenses or anything like a salary.

The question came before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals after a class member objected to an utterly commonplace settlement of a Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuit against a medical-debt collector. As usually happens in these cases, the defendant agreed to settle all claims for $1.4 million, including $429,000 in legal fees and $6,000 for the class representative.

The objector—represented by Eric Alan Isaacson, a former Milberg Weiss lawyer— dredged up the old Supreme Court cases, and a three-judge panel led by Judge Kevin Newsome took the bait. In a ruling that undoubtedly will be appealed to the Supreme Court, Newsome said he didn’t fault the lower court for rubber-stamping this settlement, with its incentive fee. Courts around the country have done the same thing for decades, ever since the rules of civil procedure changed in 1966.

“But, so far as we can tell, that state of affairs is a product of inertia and inattention, not adherence to law,” Newsome wrote.

The decision hardly dooms the class action, but it will make it harder for lawyers to pay one or two of their clients to approve a settlement that offers little to the rest of the class, Isaacson says, especially in consumer cases where settlements often recover next to nothing for individual class members.

“It’s clear these payments are made to induce class representatives to agree to a settlement they would never approve if they were treated like other members of the class,” he says. “It was wrong for my former colleagues at Milberg Weiss and it’s wrong today.”

Have old cases doomed the new?

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How Your Business Can Survive the Next Economic Disaster

All of our plans for 2020 vanished in a matter of days. Many large retailers, hotels,] and restaurateurs that were at the top of their game only a year ago are now closing their doors and filing for bankruptcy. COVID-19 has taught us that popularity in the marketplace, revenue and market share can quickly become […]

License and Republishing: The views expressed in this article How Your Business Can Survive the Next Economic Disaster are those of the author Peter Demos alone and not the CEOWORLD magazine.

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