Inside the Mind of the CEO

If you’re looking to the world’s large and profitable companies to pull the West out of the downturn by investing and creating jobs, you had better look elsewhere. Their hesitancy to invest is palpable and measured in the tremendous unspent cash reserves building up on corporate balance sheets. But none of the usual explanations—the slack capacity still in the economy, uncertainty over future regulation and taxes, or the “new normal” world of low growth—account for the pervasiveness of noninvesting.