Those Davos nights
Piano bars. Drinking. Bobsledding. Karaoke... The World Economic Forum may be ‘committed to improving the state of the world’, but for many, next week’s meeting in Switzerland will mark a priceless networking opportunity, reports Trends.
January 23, 2010 12:04 by Liz Peek
Recent events say it all. On Thanksgiving Day, few Americans were focused on events unfolding in the Gulf states. However, as Dubai World’s possible debt default began to roil world markets, even those addled by too much turkey and college football caught a whiff of smoldering financial bonfires.
Within hours, the Dubai crisis had investors worldwide scurrying to safety, throwing overboard yet again nearly every emerging market currency.
Watching this most recent financial disruption, we are reminded anew that the supposed “decoupling” of the world’s economies – a theory much in vogue just a few years ago – is a myth. The collapse of the relatively tiny American sub-prime mortgage market damaged nearly every commercial enterprise on the planet. Some countries, like China, saw their meteoric growth slow, while others, like Iceland, suffered a complete meltdown.
As business and political leaders contemplate “next steps” in putting their businesses and institutions on sounder footing, the need to be globally aware and connected has never been more acute. Nor has the constructive engagement of world leaders been more crucial. As countries vie for a share of the world’s markets, disputes over currencies, climate change, and nuclear proliferation become enmeshed in a dialogue that strives above all to protect world commerce. No one wants a replay of the 1930s.
For all these reasons, the World Economic Forum in Davos will likely host record crowds this year, as it attempts to “improve the state of the world.” For sure, the world could use some improvement.
Those streaming to this bustling snow-covered resort once famous for hosting tuberculosis patients such as Robert Louis Stevenson will hope to find, instead, a cure for the economic woes impoverishing developed as well as emerging countries. They will also be looking to rub shoulders with the globe’s movers and shakers.