‘Editor’s note – February 2013’

One of the most extraordinary facts thrown up in our cover story on water scarcity is that up to a quarter of the profits generated by corporations the world over could be wiped out if the commodity was priced to reflect its availability.

With that in mind, companies are starting to produce reports revealing to investors their water usage and future strategies.

The resulting demand for data places management accountants on the front line in a new area of uncertainty that will play out in the next few years.

Efforts to reduce trade protectionism could move a step closer if an agreement between the US and EU is thrashed out.

These efforts to remove another area of global uncertainty have been ramped up after failure to achieve agreements through the World Trade Organisation.

But cultural uncertainties could scupper any deal, argues Joshua Chaffin, Brussels correspondent of the Financial Times.

Even individual projects are subject to uncontrollable forces, it would seem.

Top of the list of cost overruns prepared for FM by the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School is the Canadian Firearms Registry, which saw an initial cost forecast of CAN $2m overrun by nearly 37,000 per cent.



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