It is, no doubt, going to be the most gloomy World Economic Forum in years ever. Fewer parties, lower profiles for the masters of the universe TARP.

OK, don’t get too excited but is it just possible that Davos is meeting at the bottom point for the global economy, which means, for those of you keeping score at home, that things might actually get better from here? It’s not much to go on, but some of this morning’s German IFO numbers were encouraging, particularly the forward looking expectations bit. Further, US home sales were higher than expected yesterday, though that is likely just the beginning of a foreclosure sale boom that will wither values and bank balance sheets. Credit markets are a bit less clogged too.

Weeellll, probably not really. A bottom isn’t a recovery after all and for one thing we’ve yet to get the inevitable multiplying effects fully from crashing demand in emerging markets. Still somewhere under that snow shoots must be forming, right?

James Saft is a Reuters columnist, the opinions expressed are his own.