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Wednesday, Jul 6, 2022

LABJ FORUM: Fork in the Road

LABJ FORUM: Fork in the Road

With only sputtering resistance to coalition forces remaining, the war in Iraq seemed to be coming to a close last week. But even as the world watched jubilant crowds of Iraqis pull down a giant statute of Saddam Hussein, the stock market fell by more than 100 points. So the Business Journal asks:

Now that the war in Iraq seems to be winding down, are you more optimistic about the economy?

Adam Bartkowski

President and Chief Executive

Apriso Corp.

Absolutely. The significant businesses we deal with are deeply affected by the price of energy. If they don’t have to spend $40 per barrel (of oil), if that price comes down by $5 to $10 when the war ends, then there’s a lot more available for other projects at these companies. That would be a great positive.

Also, most of the companies we deal with are multinational and they don’t like to spend money when there is political instability in the world. An end to the war will provide the political stability those companies need to invest in themselves again.

Tama Holve

President and Chief Executive

Willett Travel

Absolutely. We’re already getting more calls. People are feeling like they want to travel again. They are calling and booking nice trips in July and summer cruises to the Mediterranean. We’re certainly not out of the woods yet but the market is energizing.

Steve Owen

President

Todd Pipe & Supply

I don’t think the war affected us, though that could have changed in the long run if it had dragged on and the construction of new homes had dipped. But fortunately there’s a lot of new construction in the Southern California housing market, so we should continue doing fine.

Susan Kendall

President

Kendall Frozen Foods

I’m still unsure. I don’t think a war can be over so quickly, and I think there will still be repercussions to come. Someone still has to rebuild Iraq, so I have a feeling this is far from over.

In our business there have been definite hits. You would think people have to continue eating and we would be immune, but more than a few companies have filed Chapter 11. I think it will take a while to turn the economy around.

Robert J. Skibinski

President

Taycor Financial

Many of our clients have been saying “We’re going to do things when this war is over.” Well, the war’s almost over, so we’re expecting people to jump back in real soon. Everyone here is very optimistic.

Tim Irwin

President and Chief Executive

Pleasant Holidays

We’re very optimistic about the economy. The winding down of the war in Iraq can only help. We already have seen an increase in our call volume. Generally speaking, things are looking a little better.

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