"I think we're actually talking ourselves into this slowdown . . . "

Yesterday's quarterly earnings call from Cisco Systems (CSCO) featured some insightful comments from CEO John Chambers. Most telling, perhaps, was his answer to the final question of the call, from a Bear Stearns analyst, which is contained in the clip above (total run time for that question and the answer is 2 minutes and 32 seconds).

The analyst asks, in effect, if Mr. Chambers thinks that CEOs he's spoken with are changing their budgets based on what they hear on CNBC.

Mr. Chambers says it's an excellent question and says "I think we're actually talking ourselves into this slowdown."

He gives the anecdote of his own daily run on the treadmill in front of a broadcast from "one of these media organizations in the morning" and that, although he felt pretty good about his business when he got started, by the time he's absorbed the media pessimism he's so put off that he's had to stop his run early!

Earlier in the conference call, Mr. Chambers said, "If it is gonna be a slowdown, you've never seen businesses in such a good a shape as they are."

We've said in many previous posts that the current recession drumbeat is overdone. You can see some of those posts here and here and here.


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