In what looks like a "Who's Who Among America's Corporate Leaders," some of the biggest and best U.S. CEOs are meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama today (Wednesday) in Washington to discuss the fiscal cliff.
With just 35 days left for congressional lawmakers to hammer out a deal before Americans face the largest tax increase in history, the pace has quickened in the race to avert falling off the cliff.
Those present at White House meeting included business leaders in healthcare, finance, commodities, entertainment, construction and consumer products.
Among the attendees: Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS); Muhtar Kent, The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO); Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO); Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT); Ian Read, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE); and Patricia Woertz, Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM).
U.S. companies want Washington to act now as many are already feeling the pre-effects of the fiscal cliff. None want to experience the full impact, which the Congressional Budget Office warns will thrust the U.S. economy back into recession next year.
In anticipation, scores of businesses have laid off workers and shelved expansion projects. The uncertainty, Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) CEO Brain Moynihan recently explained, is holding back the nation's recovery from the Great Recession.
Putnam Investment CEO Robert Reynolds recently told The Wall Street Journal, "The greatest stimulus is certainty. You don't know what your tax rate is next year, you don't necessarily know what you're going to be paying in health care, capital gains, dividends. They all have a tremendous impact on the way people act."