“We’ve come a long way in righting the wrongs that have gotten us into this mess,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody’s Economy.com.

As one of the keynote speakers of ACG Philadelphia's 2012 M&A East Conference: Celebrating a Decade of Deals, Zandi covers a range of topics including economic sustainability, education, real estate prices (private and commercial), the treasury debt limit and the European Union’s economic troubles.

With each daunting hurdle on the way to economic recovery, however, Zandi exudes optimism.

In breaking down his own research for the crowd of roughly 1,300, Zandi — author of the forthcoming book “Paying the Price” — details the effects of government spending policies, as well as key market drivers that could benefit deal professionals.

For example, Zandi considers the amount of cash businesses have on hand one of the main factors spurring growth across all industries.

In the future, the problem will be a labor shortage, predicts Zandi. He urges investors to focus on education, which will be in demand as companies seek to hire trained workers.

“Businesses are doing well and profits are as wide as they’ve been,” he says, referring to private-sector balance sheets. Whether it remains that way depends on the financial market at large, and how the next presidential administration – either with President Barack Obama or former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) — addresses the challenges at hand.

“Goodness knows there’s a lot that can go wrong,” Zandi adds. Congress has "a lot to change here.” If certain issues remain unresolved, the “pall that’s laying over the economy will remain there.”

Check out editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn’s exclusive one-on-one video interview with Zandi.

Also, be sure to visit themiddlemarket.com throughout the conference for videos and articles, and follow us on Twitter for daily updates: @themiddlemarket @mkflynn @_A_collins @noto1031 @ACGGlobal.

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