Italy gets its mojo back – at least in Davos

January 23, 2015

After keeping a lower profile as its economy contracted, the actual sick man of Europe struck “la bella figura” at the WEF annual meeting. The youthful Renzi government’s disruptive style put a spring in the step of Italy’s business leaders. Real reform, however, is only beginning.

Putin, Piketty and Draghi hit Davos in spirit only

January 23, 2015

Political and financial leaders attending the World Economic Forum’s 45th annual meeting are buzzing about rampant inequality, the ECB’s quantitative easing and Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. All that’s missing from the Alpine retreat are the three provocateurs of the debates.

China’s “new normal” masks old anxieties

January 22, 2015

The latest meme, as heard in Davos, has caught on fast. As well as lower growth, it might mean an end to bad habits, a return to global greatness, or the start of a painful correction. Mostly it just disguises the fact that China’s economy is still far from normal.

Rob Cox: Davos badly needs a Henry Ford moment

January 21, 2015

The widening gap between the Capital Class and the rest threatens global prosperity. Ford was a pioneer at voluntarily paying employees more, as U.S. insurer Aetna did last week. The great American auto entrepreneur would also have applauded Obama’s plan to tax workers less.

Climate feels right for certain deals in Davos

January 20, 2015

The Swiss mountain air is crisp but the M&A market is hot. Fresh off a $3.5 trln year, bankers and CEOs have plenty to discuss at the World Economic Forum annual meeting. It’s less clear the atmosphere is conducive for the important political accords for which Davos is renowned.

The One Percent was real loser in South Carolina

January 23, 2012

Plutocrats fuelling jets for Davos take note: fellow club member Mitt Romney’s path to the presidency has been obstructed by his riches. Lopsided wealth creation bothered voters even more than his rival’s carnal sins. The Occupy agenda is resonating in some unlikely places.

Uninvited guest, Mr 99 Percent, crashes Davos

January 26, 2012

The rich and the powerful at the World Economic Forum are haunted by the shadow of the unemployed and disenfranchised. The specter is in the panels, hallway conversations and political speeches. What’s less clear is whether the gathered plutocrats can deal with income inequality.

A Van Winkle return to Davos and to real problems

January 27, 2012

When this columnist last attended the World Economic Forum in 2000, everything was wine and roses. The biggest M&A deals ever were popping, the Nasdaq had another 20 pct to climb and everything looked rosy. Jump 12 years forward and it’s a different, more difficult world.

Euro zone crisis may be close to resolution

By Hugo Dixon
January 28, 2011

There is certainly optimism among policymakers at the World Economic Forum in Davos that a comprehensive deal -- involving more discipline by peripheral nations and more help from rich nations -- could be put together in coming weeks. If so, the hot phase of the crisis could be over and even Greece would have a fighting chance of getting out of the woods.

Global economy not as healthy as it looks

By Hugo Dixon
January 25, 2011

The global economy is not as healthy as it looks. Inflation has reared its ugly head across the globe, suggesting that many economies are growing faster than can be sustained without structural changes.