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.

America’s dumb elites risk fomenting a revolution

February 14, 2014

The plutocrats at Davos seemed to agree that widespread social unrest is a big tail risk from the West’s rising financial inequality. So One Percenters like VC Tom Perkins, AOL boss Tim Armstrong and realty mogul Sam Zell should be wary of picking fights with the little guy.

The “R” word becomes taboo for global elite

January 24, 2014

Business leaders gathered in Davos are palpably more optimistic than a year ago. But they are embarrassed about declaring “recovery” with any confidence. That’s because they know it’s a revival that excludes many citizens. And it’s still fragile.

Pope’s “authentic” economics make sense

By Edward Hadas
January 22, 2014

Rome’s apostle of the poor has strong words for the rich and mighty assembled at Davos. Their skills, he says, which have led many to fuller lives, should be used to help society’s least fortunate. The view is hard to square with power politics and profit goals, but he is right.

Davos desperately seeking the next Internet

January 24, 2013

Delegates at this year’s World Economic Forum want solid reasons to be bullish. And so the U.S. shale gas revolution has taken on an undeserved status as a web-like catalyst for global change. In the echo chamber of Davos, semi-logical conclusions quickly become common wisdom.

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.