An interview with Al Viscido
Al Viscido of Ferrisburgh is a one of Vermont's most respected CFOs-chief financial officers. His C.V. reads like a who's who of some of the nation's most successful businesses. His accomplishments have been recognized and awarded by various professional organizations and non-profits such as Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Burlington Co-Housing. In talking about the nation's current financial woes, Viscido doesn't mince words. "It's a big mess," he said.
Viscido, founder of CFO TempServices, LLC has a master's degree in finance with high honors, is a CPA, and has been a CFO for over three decades. He has worked in a number of businesses from accounting to chemicals to cosmetics-Yardley of London, Admiral Corporation, Foley Services, Silo Corporation, and Burlington Co-Op Housing, plus other international, national and regional corporations and non-profits.
The Eagle spoke with Viscido at his home about the current state of business and how the economic crisis is affecting things both locally and nationally.
Eagle: Just how bad is the economy right now?
Viscido: It's bad. Very bad. I've seen nothing like it in my lifetime. But we are the greatest country in the world, and this too shall pass. We will overcome this crisis, but I feel our recovery will be slowed by the "buck shot" approach our leaders are taking to solve the problems.
Eagle: The current attempts by government to throw vast sums of money at the problem-is it helping? Is it a good idea?
Viscido: In my judgment, our leaders have not analyzed the problem thoroughly, and have not come up with a plan that is focused on correcting the core of the crisis which is: solving our banking and housing foreclosure problems. Our government is doing the worst possible thing by simply throwing an incomprehensible amount of money (trillions) at the current crisis without knowing if it's going to work. That, simply put, is just short of gambling, and is not responsible management. We don't even know how we're going to repay this massive debt that our government is incurring. I've heard it said, and I agree, that we are mortgaging the futures of our children and grandchildren. We're seeing steps taken toward socializing banks and other institutions. It's like there's a revolution going on, and no shots are being fired. And as we're seeing with the bailouts of AIG, GM, and others, throwing money at the problem isn't the solution. The best and brightest financial minds in our country, don't seem to have confidence in the actions taken by our leadership, thus far, to solve this economic debacle.