With the global financial crisis ongoing, the concept of “short-termism” has emerged as one underlying explanation for our current woes. As the argument goes, the increasing emphasis on quarterly reports and returns can drive CEOs and investors to make decisions that are not necessarily in the best, long-term interests of companies or the economy as a whole.
The question of short-termism was the subject of a lively panel at The Nantucket Project, a festival of ideas held on Nantucket, Massachusetts this month. The panel was stacked with financial heavyweights Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, Larry Summers, Former Treasury Secretary and President of Harvard University, Hedge Fund Manager Eddie Lampert, venture capitalist Stephen DeBerry and Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments. The panel was moderated by Tom Stewart, Chief Knowledge Officer at Booz and Company.