Daily Archives: January 30, 2010

No one has perfected the veiled threat as well as Larry Summers, President Obama’s chief economic adviser. It was on fine display at the World Economic Forum on Saturday.

He was speaking on the main economy panel with Zhu Min, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, so it was a great cast list. Mr Zhu’s contribution was to say how he recognised China couldn’t rely on the US consumer for growth in the future, understood there was excess capacity in certain Chinese heavy industries and vowed policy was to make structural changes so that demand would re-balance away from exports and towards consumption.

That is all very well and such cooperative noised certainly please the Davos crowd, but four years ago, his boss made almost the identical contribution to the same panel debate, pledging to slow China’s reserve accumulation and shift demand towards domestic consumption. When asked why anyone should trust Mr Zhu’s words today when there is no evidence of a serious shift from four years ago, he made a half-promise: “It’s a long process … you will see progress day-by-day, year-by-year”. My bet is that the first half of his sentence turns out to be true. Read more

Jasmine Whitbread

Davos women are gathered to listen to the likes of Arianna Huffington and the impressive Indonesian trade minister, Mari Pangestu, and to network amongst other women. Seemingly stuck at just 15 per cent of participants, the ‘tribe’ (as its referred to by Harvard prof Rosabeth Kanter)looks quite different all gathered together vs as a light sprinkling.  As I’m sitting down and slightly wondering what I need to be doing here for children, most of the women at the table tell me they happen to be Save the Children supporters – it’s great to be able to say thank you.

The Google party is even cooler this year with wetsuit, snorkel-clad waiters serving sushi, and coloured pure oxygen tanks for those in need of a blast. Media moguls, politicos, all the young global leaders and even some royalty hit the dance floor. Read more