Davos Notebook

World Bank’s Zoellick on market turmoil

The World Bank’s president reflects on how the current market turmoil is affecting developing countries.

Get Video here

Invest in France head on SocGen impact

Favre gives his view on whether the SocGen scandal has damaged the climate for investing in France.

Get Video here

Accenture’s Foster: Businesses remain upbeat

Mark Foster, group CEO of Accenture’s business consulting unit, believes there is still a pretty upbeat mood among executives. There may be troubled times ahead, but there’s also an underlying sense of confidence, he says.

Get Video here

Google CEO Schmidt: mobile web a “huge revolution”

Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, likes to stay connected.

When panellists at a session on mobile technology in Davos were asked to reveal just how many mobile devices they had about their person, Schmidt emerged the clear winner, pulling out a record haul of four – BlackBerry, mobile phone, iPhone and wireless camera.

So much for convergence!

In the future, however, it is all going to get a lot smarter, Schmidt believes. He reckons the arrival of a fully mobile Web will be a “huge revolution”, offering a new generation of location-based applications and lucrative advertising business.

Can the Fed get traction? Mortgage plan may help

Since you asked, I am convinced that the Fed’s rate cuts, bold as they are, will help but are far from a solution.

The two big issues are credit markets and a falling housing market. Housing in the U.S. has further to fall on a valuation basis, and is taking on a downward momentum just as it did on the way up.

And credit markets won’t be fixed by interest rate cuts; it will require clarity about losses, rebuilding of balance sheets and the passage of time.

Bankers vs. real world, part deux

Beyond the mudslinging against bankers (fraud+subprime=grief), there seems to be a real difference in opinion in Davos about the health of the economy. People from finance are a lot gloomier than many of their peers from industry.

Dow Chemical Co. boss Andrew Liveris, whose customers represent a broad range of industries, sees a soft landing and a possible pick-up for the U.S. economy in the second half of 2008.

“I’d still use the word ‘growth’ — I might put the word ‘slow’ in front of it,” he said. “What’s going on now should not have a ‘Chicken Little’ atmosphere. The sky is not falling.”

Debt revulsion at Davos

One of the better themes emerging at Davos is how everybody is mad at bankers. Here’s the thinking – First they lose billions and billions of dollars making subprime loans, quite possibly bringing down the economy in the process, then they go and allow some kid trader to lose $7 billion dollars playing with matches, or, er derivatives, or futures or something.

And their bonuses just go up and up.

Heres one comment:

“I’ve got 200,000 employees working every day, many of them in factories, doing an honest job. What I do is about bricks and mortar,” said a senior executive at one of the world’s largest companies, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“But when I look at these bankers, I have to say that I’m a bit ashamed for them. There needs to be a little bit more common sense.”

Digitas’ David Kenny on the future of advertising

John Rossant of Publicis interviews his colleague, Digitas CEO David Kenny, about how advertising will shape up in the future. Publicis acquired Digitas in 2007.

Get Video here

The U.S. a Third World country?

Business Week journalist Bruce Nussbaum gives us his take on the state of the U.S. economy. Posted by Publicis’ John Rossant, who is contributing to the Reuters/Nokia mobile journalism project in Davos.

Get Video here

Swiss Re’s Aigrain on companies and the environment

Aigrain talks about Swiss Re efforts to help save the environment.

Get Video here