NACD was honored to have Duncan Niederauer join us for a discussion about the role of confidence in the current business environment. Niederauer, CEO of NYSE Euronext, opened his talk with a pledge to continue a beneficial relationship with NACD.
In assessing the current environment, Niederauer said that right now it “feels like the guns are pointed to all of us who do business,” when actually most of the “bad actors” of the financial crisis actually came from “a small percentage” of listed firms.
Niederauer’s talk focused on the financial crisis, and how companies can get themselves on the “right track.” Despite healthier balance sheets, an attractive interest rate environment, and “no near-term risk of inflation,” it’s been a fragile recovery, and the markets have not responded as anticipated. According to Niederauer, this is due to a “high and sticky” unemployment rate, and policy uncertainty. He hopes the upcoming midterm elections will bring about a remedy.
Niederauer stressed job creation as the key to an economic recovery. To promote this, he encouraged businesses to focus on three areas:
- Well-functioning capital markets
- Access to affordable capital
- “Remembering what made this country great”
The discussion was concluded with a review of NYSE’s commitment to corporate governance.