Overall, corporate America will be careful before hiring again, but Isdell said he sees signs that may be beginning.
"I think there is some job growth you’re going to see over the next few months," Isdell said, but added, "I don’t think you’ll see a rapid rebound."
For investors, the former Coke CEO recommends taking a look at one of the most overlooked emerging markets: Africa.
In Africa, "risk is compensated in terms of getting a high rate of return," Isdell said.
Citing a Boston Consulting analysis, Isdell said $100 million invested in the top 40 countries in Africa in January 2000 would have returned $900 million by November 2009. (For more of Isdell's views on Africa see: CEO Blog: Take a Fresh Look at Africa).
Isdell is on the board of GM, and will be attending a board meeting Monday night. He said the mood is "absolutely different" from a year ago. "You see a real new GM," Isdell said.
For more on emerging markets:
Emerging Markets Hit Bump in the Road: HSBC
Emerging Market Opportunities