Google (NSDQ: GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer apparently don’t share the same view about the near-term prospects for the economy. Here’s what each said at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival earlier this week:
— Schmidt (via Reuters, AdWeek): “Reasonable to be optimistic for 2010″; U.S. jobless claims indicate “the beginning of the bottom”; “If people are concerned Americans will stop spending, you do not understand the American psyche”; “It’s shocked me that Americans started to save. My guess is that’s a temporary phenomenon.”
— Ballmer (via Guardian, ClickZ): “I don’t think we are in a recession, I think we have reset”; “We have reset and won’t rebound and re-grow”; “I’m sort of prepared for us to trundle along for a while before we begin (to re-grow)”
The optimism is a shift for Schmidt, who said during the company’s most earnings call said the economy was still “basically in uncharted territory.” Ballmer, meanwhile, has used the word “reset” for months to describe the state of the economy.