Magazine article Financial Management (UK)

CIMA Is Working Hard to Ensure That Its Members Can Guide Their Organisations through the Crisis

Magazine article Financial Management (UK)

CIMA Is Working Hard to Ensure That Its Members Can Guide Their Organisations through the Crisis

Article excerpt

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These are exceptional times. As the global financial crisis unfolds, each day reveals ever more complex challenges while we wait to see the impact of the unprecedented government intervention in markets and businesses around the world.

There is something historic about the scale of what we are witnessing and there's an uncertainty among the world's leaders about what is really happening and how bad it's going to get. Now is the time for those of us who believe in markets to speak out in favour of them. Capitalism has flaws, but it is robust--the eminent economist Joseph Schumpeter was writing about the "creative destruction" inherent in capitalism nearly 70 years ago. But excesses need to be curbed. CIMA doesn't believe in a completely free run for markets and certainly not an "anything goes" approach. Regulators must have a powerful role.

And we have long asserted that bonuses must support the strategic objectives of an organisation and reflect any increased risks imposed on the enterprise. Indeed, our recent Report Leadership project with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Radley Yeldar is an example of our work on this crucial issue (see article, page 18).

What is unfolding is a cautionary tale about the importance of transparency and honesty. In the end, maintaining professional standards is what underpins business.

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has written extensively about the Great Depression and he and the financial authorities around the world are not repeating the errors made 80 years ago. The situation has changed a lot since then and today there are new markets that are growing rapidly. These include Islamic finance, which is attracting many of our members and students worldwide. We will learn as we go along and, as with other downturns, many organisations will come out the other side leaner and fitter. …

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