Business news from Charlotte and the Carolinas.

Survey: CFOs pessimistic on economic recovery

Mar 6, 2009

The survey shows that executives who hold the purse strings of U.S. companies expect the recession to last well into 2010. They also expect to pull back on hiring and capital spending. And they predict company earnings will continue to drop for the next year. Lead researcher John Graham is a professor of finance at Duke University. He says CFOs have a good track record at predicting the future economic climate. "And when we've compared the CFO outlook for the next 12 months to what actually happens over the next 12 months. CFO's are surprisingly accurate in terms of anticipating employment, capital spending and overall domestic product- GDP," he says. Graham says CFOs were overall neutral on what they thought of President Obama's stimulus package. A third said it was working, another third said it wasn't and the rest had no opinion. Every quarter Duke University and CFO Magazine survey more than a thousand chief financial officers around the world.

Blue Cross profits anger advocates

Mar 6, 2009

Blue Cross Blue Shield is under fire from advocacy groups over its contract to administer the state health plan for employees. A week ago, the state revealed it paid Blue Cross more than $97 million last year to administer the health plan for state employees and process 9.4 million claims. That breaks down to $10 per claim, compared to an average of 41 cents the state paid another firm to process Medicaid claims in 2007.