August 15, 2011 7:56 pm

E-mail from Howard Schultz, Starbucks chief

August 12, 2011

Earlier this week, I sent a communication to our employees and a few CEO peers about what we at Starbucks intend to do in the face of the recent turmoil in the financial markets and overall macroeconomy.

The reaction and ensuing conversations were similar in tone and concern that the uncertainty in the financial markets and the crisis in confidence caused by the debt/deficit debacle has further contributed to the challenges facing the country and that ,sadly, the urgency of the situation seems to be lost on the political leadership in Washington and a “business as usual” attitude.

In my conversations, a few specific areas were emphasized. First, we have an immediate crisis in relation to job and job creation where businesses need to do all they can to accelerate job creation and growth within the contour of their specific financial and shareholder obligations. In addition, given the financial condition of the states, corporations will be asked to do more to pick up the slack for community and social investments that the states will no longer be able to fund.

Secondly, I am asking that all of us forgo political contributions until the Congress and the President return to Washington and deliver a fiscally disciplined long-term debt and deficit plan to the American people. Finally, there seems to be unanimous agreement that the unemployment situation and corporate and small business acceleration of investment in new jobs requires congressional and presidential focus so that the public and private sector are rebuilding the confidence of the American people, investors and the overall global economy.

If you agree with this, I would be delighted to talk with you further and encourage you to voice your perspective publicly. Earlier today I conducted an interview with the New York Times’ Joe Nocera in which I explored these themes.

I’ve included the link from this column here and would ask you to please review it and consider joining me as we work to restore and enhance our economy and try to change business as usual in Washington DC.

With great respect and concern, I look forward to hearing from you.

Howard Schultz

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