It’s a bit unclear at Davos when a session is on the record and when it’s off the record. In years gone by (I am told) part of the magic of Davos was the opportunity to hear the thoughts of global leaders off the record. But in the digital age of bloggers, Twitter and YouTube, the dividing line is less clear. And I think that is a good thing. Davos is much more transparent now.

The place is awash with bloggers and “tweeters”. Folk like the legendary Michael Arrington and Robert Scoble, Loic Le Meur of France and Richard Muirhead of Tideway in the UK broadcast continuous updates to their Twitter followers running in to the tens of thousands around the world.

One of the central themes in discussions about the global economic crisis is that we need more checks and balances, both at the national and the world levels, in order for capitalism to work effectively to enhance human well-being.

Reflecting the widespread political sentiment in the United States, it would appear that just about everyone at the World Economic Forum embraces the need for greater, more far-reaching government regulation of economic activity.  Making that consensus concrete will, of course, be enormously complicated, and contentious, perhaps mirroring the revolutionary changes in public regulation of private activity that defined the New Deal era.  Right now there is a kind of soothing collective agreement that “something must be done”.

Davos blog 2009

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