Davos Notebook

For some, the show must go on

Just as interesting as the absence of many of the bankers who would normally be expected to be at the WEF meeting in Davos is those who are here.

Leaving aside the home team of Credit Suisse (which has maintained a relatively high-profile) and UBS (which hasn’t), the most senior bankers in town – at least the ones still putting on a show – are Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, and Stephen Green, chairman of HSBC Group.

Both are among the very few bankers who have appeared on panels at the event.

It should be no surprise that the Jamie and Steve show has gone on. Their institutions are perhaps the two best placed survivors of the mess that is the global financial system and their high-profile attendance in Davos sends out a particular message: “for us, it’s business as usual”.

More than that, their presence tells the world not to lump them together with the debt beats and Davos deserters who didn’t dare show their faces for fear of how it would look on the front page of the New York Post or the Daily Mail.

You’ve heard of the G20 – now get ready for the B20

Speaking today at the WEF meeting in Davos, HSBC Group chairman Stephen Green called for the setting up of a “Business 20″ – or B20 – forum comprised of the world’s largest companies, including those in the developing world, with a focus on those with international operations.

 

The body, which would mirror the G20 group of the world’s largest economies, would not be a lobby group but would provide a forum to “help inform policy and create more a stable global economy,” Green said. “It will be non-partisan. It will promote open markets. It will be the voice of sustainable business.”

 

Green added that the proposal has the support of the current chair of the G20, the UK government.