The Dallas Morning News | Fear feeds risk of recession, Dallas-area business leaders say

By August 13, 2011In The News

Dallas-Fort Worth business leaders believe the national economy has a 50-50 chance of sliding back into recession. And if it does, fear will be the tipping point more than hard-core fundamentals.

They place the blame clearly at the feet of Congress and the president for creating an environment of uncertainty, fear and distrust.

Whether they lean to the political left or right, D-FW businesspeople are disgusted with Washington. Most of them seem to want to kick out the incumbents.

More than 50 executives and business owners responded last week to an email survey sent in the midst of the stock market turmoil ignited by Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. Treasury debt.

I asked whether the downgrade was justified and what long-term impact they expect. I also asked about their biggest fears and any silver linings.

Nearly half said the S&P was correct in yanking its highest AAA credit rating from the United States. A third disagreed with it, often citing a political agenda and pointing out S&P’s disreputable role in the subprime lending debacle.

While most believe the national economy is in a precarious condition, the consensus was that the local economy will escape a downturn, but that its growth rate might be stymied. Some question whether we will see a double-dip recession or just a continuation.

Here are some of their responses. You can also read the complete versions online….

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