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Titan Tuesday: Executives Sound Off on Economy

CNBC asked the smartest people in the room for their thoughts on the markets and the economy. Here's what they had to say:

Health of the Global Economy

“The global growth continues, the infrastructure growth continues, the U.S. consumer is still in a tough place, and I think you see that as earnings come in…housing prices are still declining. So I still think there’s going to be some tough times ahead vis-à-vis the U.S. consumer. I think most of that has been factored in to the market today and to the planning of financial services companies…but the global economy, we just don’t see a slowdown in infrastructure, and we don’t see a slowdown in the global economy.”

- Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric CEO

Oil & the U.S. Economy

“We’re importing now almost 70 percent of our oil, and we’re paying $700 billion a year for the purchase of that. It’s crazy…and we’re killing our economy.”

- Boone Pickens, BP Capital CEO

Future of American Corporations

“CEOs of companies today are so frightened by all the regulations, the fact they can’t open their mouths, they can’t say anything, they’re afraid to do anything, and the truth of the matter is, this is what’s going to kill us. Sarbox is going to kill them, and they have to step forward. If they’re going to allow…this labor bill to happen in the United States, they’re going to watch everything disintegrate in front of them.”

- Bernie Marcus, Home Depot Co-Founder

Consumer Under Stress

“We ran the numbers and we think that trading down by consumers probably costs us about one percent of our sales, which in our business is quite a bit. So, you know, the everyday consumer is under great, great pressure; there’s no doubt about it.”

- Hunter Harrison, Supervalu CEO

Retail, Housing & the Economy

“It’s still a very tough market, but we’re seeing some signs…we may be getting closer to the bottom. We have housing starts that are low since 1991, most of the subprime and Alt-A has been worked through the market, we’re at levels like we were at back in 2000. We don’t see it yet, but you can start to look forward to where we’ll hit the bottom.”

- Frank Blake, Home Depot Chairman & CEO

Banks 'Safe and Sound'

"Overwhelmingly banks are safe and sound in this country...It's a remove chance that your bank would fail, but even if it does if you're insured you're perfectly fine, you're perfectly safe."

- Sheila Bair, FDIC Chairman

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