Daily Archives: February 2, 2010

So what did I make of this year’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos? It felt like sitting at the bedside of somebody who had survived a heart attack but was unsure how long it would take to recover full vigour, if, indeed, he would at all. The mood of “Davos men” (yes, they mostly still are) was, as my colleague, Gideon Rachman, has pointed out, one of anxiety. Meanwhile, the participants in a still predominantly western meeting looked at the youthful vigour of emerging economies with admiration, envy and even fear.

For me, the highlight of the programme was the economic outlook session on Saturday.* This is not only because I was moderator. The starting point for the discussion was an obvious one: the policy interventions of late 2008 and 2009 have been a resounding success. The outcome has been a far briefer and shallower recession than most participants imagined a year ago. That is obvious from the successive consensus of forecasts for 2010. For almost every significant economy, the forecast for growth this year is higher than it was a year or even six months ago (see charts). The world economy survived the heart attack in the financial system. Read more

From the FT:
The shared hypocrisy about tax and spend – Philip Stephens
How the bottom fell out of  ‘old’ Davos – Gideon Rachman
The best course for Greece is to bring in the Fund – Jean Pisani-Ferry and André Sapir
Bank greekery – Tracy Alloway, FT Alphaville

From elsewhere:
Fed policy and mortgage choice – Economist’s view
Achieving long-term fiscal discipline: a lesson from Chile – Jeffrey Frankel, Roubini Global Economics
Volker rule: dead on arrival? And is Obama a lame duck – Naked Capitalism