NYSE CEO Finds 'Disturbing' Data in Small Business CEO Survey

NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) CEO Duncan Niederauer spoke exclusively to FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Gerri Willis about the 8th Annual CEO Survey that came out today in partnership with FBN and the state of business in America.

NYSE CEO Finds 'Disturbing' Data in Small Business CEO Survey

Niederauer stated what he thought was most “disturbing” in the survey was that small businesses “overwhelmingly said don’t look for a lot of job growth from us next year, we’re nervous.” He went on to say that “primarily, the access to capital” is the main issue facing business in America and that businesses are reluctant to invest “because we don’t know enough about what next year holds.” Niederauer also discussed the need to make the marketplace safer for smaller investors following trading glitches like Knight Capital Group Inc. (NYSE:KCG), saying “you can’t possibly say that if you look at the fundamentals, the markets are okay.” He goes on to say that “people should be more interested in equities than ever, and they appear to be less interested” which “tells us we have a problem that needs to be address.”


On what he found most “disturbing” in the CEO Survey findings:

“What was most, I thought, disturbing from the results this year was this was the first year we surveyed small businesses.  And they overwhelmingly said don’t look for a lot of job growth from us next year, we’re nervous.”


On access to capital being the main issue facing small businesses:

“From what we can tell from the survey I can tell you it confirms what I have been hearing in the water for the last twelve months. Primarily, the access to capital issue that an easy thing to do and a hard thing to solve. Everyone has a different view  on it. We were hearing that so consistently. That we decided to tackle that in two difference ways. One way was our involvement in the job act we thought would help companies that had a chance to get to the public market have a  smoother ride to get there the big startup was about main stream and to figure out a way to get there. The main stream business means more capital and that has a lot of them connected big companies listed here and I wasn’t surprised the survey said we couldn’t get the capital up and is not growing.”


On why companies aren’t investing:

“Because we don’t know enough about what next year holds. And the tax rate is just one of many things that I think makes people uncertain.”


On the European economy:

“So Europe, no surprise there. And I’ve been hearing this all year. Very pessimistic on the outlook for Europe this coming year, the year after. Even with a two, three, five year outlook people are pretty pessimistic. Part of that may be human beings… Every CEO I’ve talked to, almost to a person, says they are not counting on a lot of growth from Europe for the foreseeable future.”


On the need to make the market safer following the recent trading glitches:

“Yes, we’re always working towards a solution, because anyone who would look at what is being transpired and the resulting behavior from individual investors and say that we still have their confidence would be intellectually dishonest, in my opinion anyway. You can possibly say that if you look at the fundamentals, the markets are okay…People should be more interested in equities than ever, and they appear to be less interested in equities than ever. So that tells us that we have a problem that needs to be addressed.”


On how they’ll make the market safer:

“I do think you’ll see more governors.  And by that I mean not more speed bumps, not that we slow everybody down.  But I do think there’s going to be a call, particularly around risk monitoring systems, whether they’re provided by the participants or by us, where everyone says can we have an extra set of eyes on this and can we really pay more attention to what’s happening given that it’s all happening a lot faster than it used to…I think people realize it’s time to compromise, it’s time to do what we think is right overall for the market, because we have a collective responsibility to do that. We’re happy to be the convener on that.  I think we’ll have less trouble than you would think, and that I would have thought even a few weeks ago, building consensus around some of these ideas.”


On fighting to reduce the national debt:

“The survey also tells us [national debt] is one of the biggest issues facing us and I am always happy to get involved in issues that I think are not partisan. This is a bipartisan committee it is not to point fingers at republicans or democrats it is simply saying, this is a big issue we want people in Washington to hear about it from the voters…It’s one of those clouds that has to be lifted to get people to be more optimistic to invest in American in 2013. So I was happy to join that and happy to see who else is on that committee.”



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