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Some of the sharpest minds in the world of international credit management recently gathered at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, IL for FCIB's International Credit Executives (I.C.E.) conference.

Some of the sharpest minds in the world of international credit management recently gathered at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, IL for FCIB's International Credit Executives (I.C.E.) conference. Attendees were treated to a wealth of rich networking opportunities in the Drake's elegant facilities as well as the top-grade educational opportunities FCIB is known for.

This year's keynote speaker was John Caslione, president, founder and CEO of GCS Business Capital LLC and co-author of Chaotics: The Business of Managing in the Age of Turbulence, which is set for release next month. In his presentation, which was named after his highly anticipated book, Caslione discussed why the effects of the current recession will be felt for years after it officially ends. "These trends are converging and the rules are changing dramatically in ways that a lot of us may not realize yet," he said. "The world economy has entered a new economic stage: from normality to turbulence. This turbulence is going to beget something called chaos." Caslione noted that the new normality for the global economy will be less predictable and that, in future turbulent times, management and company mistakes won't be so easy to live down and their effects will be magnified.

As far as the causes for this noted shift away from normal economic cycles, Caslione pointed to global economic interconnectivity, a noted rise in protectionist sentiment and short-sighted management policies. "One of the problems we've had is that we've pursued short-term profitability too fast and for too long," he said. "We are negligent to make the short-term investments now to build a strong company for the long-term. We were trying to push too aggressive a growth too fast and the system buckled."

Other presentations reiterated, and questioned, some of Caslione's suggestions, giving the conference's program an exciting sense of back-and-forth and illustrating how complex a task it is to define the current crisis and how best to move forward. Chris Kuehl, NACM's economist and managing director of Armada Corporate Intelligence, moderated "The Big FCIB World Economic Debate—How Deep and How Long?" with panelists, Darin Narayana, chairman and co-founder of ANSRSource, Byron Shoulton, vice president, international economist at FCIA Management Co., Inc., and John Walsh, vice president at International Banking Group-U.S. Bank. The discussion between the four speakers was lively and collegial, eliciting much in the form of audience participation. Other sessions were just as interactive, offering attendees thorough discussions on bankruptcy systems around the globe, best practices for risk management during a global credit crisis from best-in-class credit and collection practitioners, region-by-region analyses of market conditions and an annual roundtable forum that provided answers to the attendees' pre-submitted questions.

Through the generosity of the event's sponsors, several networking events were also offered, including a cocktail hour, networking lunch and dinner at the world famous Drake Bros. restaurant.

Jacob Barron, NACM Staff Writer