When a large group of CEOs are dour about the future, it is worth paying attention.  That is the subject of this survey.  Top leaders don’t see a way forward this year.  Call it influential pessimism and negative PR.  It is hard for an optimist to overcome the negatives from those who make spending and buying decisions.  In truth, the sour feelings on the part of CEOs might be self-fulfilling.  They will cut back in the face of headwinds and thereby insure the storm will be all the stronger.  There isn’t much else they can do if their companies’ sales are sluggish and earnings flat.  They have to manage to make it through and not push forward to growth that isn’t there.  So, the globe starts the year under a cloud.  That doesn’t mean the CEOs are right.  Something could change in the next 11 months to shift their opinion, and if it does, it will prove that CEOs don’t have any better vision than anyone else.  

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