Davos Notebook

Davos Today – 31st January

Watch interviews with top business and world leaders including the following:

    Abdullah Al-badri Jose Gabrielli Donald Kaberuka Eric Anderson Carl Bildt Sue Gardner Kevin Kelly Rick Goings
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Davos Today – 30th January

Watch interviews with top business and world leaders including the following:

    Stephen Green Jeroen Van Der Veer Simon Crean Kris Gopalakrishnan John Chidsey Steve Pagliuca
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For whom the bell tolls

Attendees are pictured during a pause at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 28, 2009.

Government in the driver’s seat, putting the brakes on unbridled capitalism, might be the theme at Davos this year. But the New York Stock Exchange is undeterred. It will ring the opening bell of the storied stock exchange on Friday from this snowy mountaintop.

This will “emphasize the spirit of the gathering and highlight the global markets of NYSE Euronext” it said in a press release. If the NYSE truly wants this to reflect the business atmosphere here, then the bell will have to be rung very slowly and in somber tones.

For full coverage of Davos 2009, click here.

Reality bites in Davos dramatization

“Oh! Can I cover this story?!”

I ran over to my assignment editor and thrust the press release under her nose.

“A refugee camp simulation? Full of CEOs? Great idea for pictures. Go for it,” she said.

“Great, I’m going to cover a war zone,” I thought. “They’ll dress me up in combat gear and I can make my name as one of those cool reporters that covers the World Economic Forum in Davos each year.”

According to António Guterres, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, the financial crisis is really making it hard for humanitarian causes.

A climate deal: easier than trade?

Conventional wisdom has it that if the leaders of the world can’t agree on a round of negotiations to liberalise world trade then there’s no chance they will agree on measures to tackle climate change.

After all, a pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions will involve re-tooling vast swathes of industry and impact the way companies do business from Boston to Beijing.

But is that view right? British economist Nicholas Stern – author of a seminal report in 2006 on the economic fallout of global warming – thinks not.

Davos participants mull economic crisis

Two years ago businessmen and leaders coming to the World Economic Forum in snowy Davos were still betting on economic expansion.

They got it wrong, but this has not put off about 2,500 CEOs and policy-makers from coming here in the hope of catching a glimpse of how the world will evolve.

“I am here to get an idea of where this crisis is going,” said Mario Moretti Polegato, Chairman and founder of Italian “no-sweat” shoe-maker Geox.

Davos Today – 29th January

Watch interviews with top business and world leaders including the following:

    Andrei Kostin Gerard Lyons Jean-Claude Trichet George Soros Tom Glocer
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Day one of the Reuters live breakfast show at Davos

There’s no better way to start Davos than to see a string of top delegates breeze into your studios. On time. Happy to brave the cold in the early hours. Full of interesting comments and insight.

For the second year running, Reuters News is producing a live breakfast show for the World Economic Forum – Davos Today.

It has been months in the making. From designing a set that fits into the town library, to booking satellite paths, to contacting dozens of delegates to invite them on the programme. At 4 o’clock this morning, the adrenaline was pumping. It was time to pull the whole thing off.

UAE Oil Minister forced to stay off Davos pistes

Deep, crisp and even – some would say the best thing about this year’s World Economic Forum is the quality of the snow on the well-groomed pistes above all the fevered debate.

But one prospective delegate who will not be enjoying them is the United Arab Emirates Oil Minister Mohammed al-Hamli, who has had to cancel his trip to Davos because of a lingering ski injury.

Sources said the minister injured both shoulders in a ski accident during a family holiday in November last year and had to have surgery, which can have only added to the pain of a steep fall in world oil prices.

Davos delegates take baby steps to new world order

The world’s business elite has been told to take a hike.

This year, the gift in the World Economic Forum’s conference bag is a plastic pedometer. Delegates gathering to discuss the dismal state of the world economy have been told to reduce traffic congestion and contribute to a “Green Davos” by walking around the Alpine ski resort, instead of jumping in a limousine.

Those who take more than 20,000 steps during this week’s meeting are promised a prize. Your correspondent, having clocked up 12,500 already, is hopeful…