Monday, January 25, 2010

A preview of Davos

The World Economic Forum is coming up on January 27th in Davos, Switzerland. Banking, the economic crisis, and Haiti are to be on the top of the agenda.

In the past, the Forum focused on how globalization ans economics can solve the World's problems. Now, the forum will focus on fixing globalization and economics to prevent another global recession. Former President Bill Clinton will attend as the US envoy to Haiti will try to push the rebuilding of the country.

From this Associated Press story that we found at NPR, writer Bradley S. Klapper summarized the upcoming forum.

Rising global unemployment and sluggish recovery from recession form the backdrop for the forum, which will host more than 30 presidents and prime ministers from Jan. 27-31. The event, titled "Improve the State of the World: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild," will be opened by French President Nicolas Sarkozy — a man who once hungered for freer markets for his country but now espouses a more state-supervised kind of "moral capitalism."

The forum, which has traditionally championed market-driven solutions, finds itself in a challenging pose.

This year's agenda looks at reforming banks and barriers to world trade as well as cybercrime, corruption and how businesses can respond to climate change.
Political headliners include Presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, Lee Myung-Bak of South Korea and Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Prime Ministers Stephen Harper of Canada and Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain. But the number of top leaders is sparser than in years past.

The slim U.S. presence suggests Davos is not a high priority for Obama's administration, after years of top-level participation under George W. Bush. Lawrence Summers, director of the National Economic Council, is the highest U.S. official slated to appear, leaving Obama at home amid a political battle over health care reform and unemployment over 10 percent, and set to give the U.S. State of the Union address on Wednesday.

Former President Bill Clinton's appearance will focus not on U.S. economic policy but on Haiti. As the U.N. special envoy to Haiti, he will encourage Davos participants to give some thought, and cash, to helping rebuild the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation after the earthquake that killed as many as 200,000 earlier this month, one of history's deadliest.

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