Kicking off the World Economic Forum from the snow-white Swiss Alps
The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is underway, as the world's political and financial leaders gather in this snowy valley of the Swiss Alps to attend lavish parties and debate the global economy.
Every morning this week, we'll bring you the interesting tidbits from the
world's coverage of the Forum, to tell you exactly what does matter (the debates) and doesn't matter (the parties, mostly) at Davos.
Occupy Davos Sets Up Camp
Participants in the global Occupy movement have set up igloos in sub-zero temperatures at Davos. At an economic forum designed for the 1 percent, they hope to make a stir on behalf of the 99 percent, igloo camp organizer David Roth told Reuters. The protestors are cordoned off at a car park beside a Davos train station, not far from the World Economic Forum. Few of the 2,000 visitors to the Forum are expected to see the demonstrators beside the railway, according to the Reuters article, since "many prefer to travel by private jet or helicopter from Zurich."
Food Prices High on the Agenda at Davos
Food prices are expected to be a hot topic at Davos,
according to CNBC. Last year, a drought in central China's wheat-producing province fueled
social upheaval in the nation's largest cities. Analysts also cited
wheat shortages and the rising cost of bread in the Egyptian revolution.
Eurozone Keeps High-Profile Bank Chiefs
Beleaguered by the euro zone crisis, some of Europe's new bank chiefs are slated to skip the economic forum, according to The Financial Times. Recently appointed chief executive of BNP Paribas, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé will send chairman Baudouin Prot in his stead, and Frederico Ghizzoni, the chief executive of UniCredit, is busy raising money to patch up a "regulatory capital hole" with assets. Both UniCredit and Lloyds will be without representation at Davos.
The Lap of Luxury
The Davos set doesn't get down to business until Wednesday, according to Reuters, which offers a glimpse into how the little people hobnob at the Swiss ski resort. At 18:30, WEF WEF.L founder Klaus Schwab will host a welcome reception. At 23:00 the next day, a few hours after a special screening of Luc Besson's new film about Aung San Suu Kyi, the Indian delegation will offer a special presentation of Bollywood music. Many of the 2,000 visitors to Davos end the day at a piano bar in Hotel Europe.
Davos Struggles for Relevance in a World Gripped by Democracy Movements
Davos is something of an anachronism at a time when populism is sweeping the world, writes CNN. "This is not one of the easiest environments for Davos, there is so much economic uncertainty, so much resentment towards bankers and business leaders generally," Mark Malloch-Brown, a former U.N. deputy secretary and Forum adviser to financial talks told CNN. The theme of this year's WEF is "The great transformation: shaping new models," and on the agenda are the economic implications of the Arab Spring.