James Turley

CEO, Ernst & Young
I hope government doesn't retrench back into protectionism. I think it would be a colossal mistake for our country. Second, it would be a mistake to regulate so strongly as to stifle innovation. No question we will be in for some re-regulation. But I hope that we are very thoughtful in how we do it and that we do not squeeze innovation out of our businesses. Third, with all the capital injection and share repurchasing by government, I would not want them to get comfortable with that being permanent ownership. I would like the next President to do everything in his power to see that this is temporary and not permanent.

When I look around, I see some companies that are reacting to today's time by focusing on what they have to lose. That generates fear and paralysis. Entrepreneurial companies are looking at what they have to gain, and that spurs more action. We have to avoid the paralysis of fear and look at the opportunities that exist today. Companies, especially during tough economic times, might backpedal on their commitment to the environment, which would be a mistake. The next President should provide incentives to keep the focus on the environment.


We are not wining the education battle the way we were a generation ago. Given the capital-flow shift from west to east, it's important that education systems continue to move. I've not seen that just throwing money at education works. Maybe we need to tie this to the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Accounting Industry

It would be a big mistake to politicize accounting standards. It can't be the right answer to give investors less information about accounts they own. It can't be the right answer that an individual country or region of the world set their own accounting standards. I prefer to have a single set of accounting standards that everybody could use. There is some risk that some countries or regions might take accounting standards away from the bodies that set them and make them more political issues. That can't be the right solution.

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