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‘Sad and Depressed’ CEOs See No Light at End of Partisan Impasse

Business leaders, who generally didn’t support President Barack Obama’s policies in the past four years or his re-election bid, weren’t in a more-gracious mood after the results were in. Today’s decline in the U.S. stock markets, the biggest since June, didn’t help.

Andrew Puzder, chief executive officer of Hardee’s burger chain owner CKE Inc., said he was “sad and depressed” after Republican Mitt Romney’s defeat and expects the economy “to stay bad with the possibility of being horrific.” Aetna Inc. CEO Officer Mark Bertolini said the insurer may freeze hiring or cut jobs if Obama and Republicans don’t avoid next year’s so-called fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts.