Page last updated at 18:15 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

Live: World Economic Forum 2009

World Economic Forum at Davos

By Jude Sheerin

Live coverage of the third day of the 2009 World Economic Forum at the Swiss mountain resort of Davos. We will be bringing you news, insights from BBC correspondents, some of your e-mails and Twitter, and the best of the blogs. Please refresh the page for updates. (All times GMT, CET -1)

1813 After spending most of the day at Davos pretending the global recession is the fault of "a big boy with a stick who ran away", the masters of the universe are now off to drown their sorrows at the hottest ticket in town: the Google party in the Belvedere Hotel. The Krug champagne will no doubt flow like the Blue Nile in spate, in an orgy of excess not seen since the twilight days of the Roman Empire. That ends our coverage of the third day of the World Economic Forum. Join the BBC's Live Event tomorrow for the Davos curtain closer! Until then you can keep up to date with events on our website's in-depth page or by following Tim Weber's tweets.

1800 Tory leader David Cameron at Davos calls for a new "capitalism with a conscience" and urges businesses not to ignore the interests of society in the pursuit of profits. The Tory leader also says it's time for wealth to be distributed "more equally".

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Rekha Vinjamuri says: Davos will certainly make a difference in exchanging ideas and understanding where we stand. But we have to eliminate the showbiz characters from the venue who have at times made Davos look like some kind of film festival. Have your say

DKMatai tweets: History does not repeat it rhymes! The protectionism after WWI followed by 1929, then 30s, sowed the seeds for WWII. Read DKMatai's tweets.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Blimey, it's cold tonight in Davos. It was sunny all day today, but i was outside a full two mins (Ed's note: Quit whining Weber, did you not expect it to be cold at an Alpine resort?) Read tim_weber's tweets.

1735 Here's another dude sounding off about protectionism!:

1730 "Beggar-thy-neighbour" protectionism is the Very Bad Thing world leaders at Davos keep frothing about. The EU has been charged with fuelling it by moving last week to reintroduce export subsidies on dairy produce. America is likewise accused with its car industry bail-out. Everyone is fulminating about protectionism. But French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said earlier today that "a bit of protectionism is a necessary evil". Discuss.

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Jeff Smith, Bourne End, UK says: The only justification for this expensive talking shop is if it leads to agreement on a concerted programme of action by all major economies, pulling in the same direction for the common good of all. More of your comments.

1651 Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath is the latest Davos leader to sound the alarm about protectionism. He tells Reuters news agency: "We do fear this because one must recognise that at the heart of globalisation lies global competitiveness. If there are protectionist measures India will be compelled to also take commensurate measures against those countries which will be good for no one."

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Alan Johnson, UK, says: It is the mad dash for globalisation that contributed greatly to the mess in which we now find ourselves More of your comments.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Davos final mins of session with [co-founder of video-sharing website YouTube,] Chad Hurley, [writer of Silicon Valley blog TechCrunch,] Mike Arrington, [Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg, [Microsoft strategy officer] Craig Mundie and [Adobe Systems chief executive] Shantanu Narayan-Adobe: Mobile web is the future Read tim_weber's tweets.

Tim Weber
The BBC's Tim Weber writes: In China more people now get their news on mobile phones than newspapers and making news look good on a very small screen is an art in itself. How companies tackle the interweb thingy

1548 Government help for troubled Belgian-French financial services group Dexia - which was bailed out in September - is sufficient so far, Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy says, reports Reuters.

1525 Here's the BBC's exclusive interview with Bill and Melinda Gates, the world's philanthropic power couple. The Microsoft founder predicts a four-year downturn and reveals the Gates' charitable foundation has lost a fifth of its value in this economic crisis.

1520 Denmark's PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen at Davos calls on rich and poor countries alike to commit to big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, ahead of year-end talks on a new climate treaty he will host in Copenhagen. Might he find global warming on the backburner for many countries in the current economic climate?

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is wearing a tie. For the first time? No, he says, I did so all of 2009, and when I was at boarding school Read tim_weber's tweets.

Evan Davis
The BBC's Evan Davis blogs: No-one should be under any illusion: when it comes to banks, you may not be able to live with them but you can't live without them. Read Evan Davis' blog.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Merkel calls for UN Economic Council, similar to UN Security council Read tim_weber's tweets.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Merkel: We are suspicious of subsidies to US car makers, this is protectionism and has to end soon Read tim_weber's tweets.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Merkel makes dig at UK, US: We tried years ago to enforce transparency in financial markets, were rebuffed. Delighted we now agree on this Read tim_weber's tweets.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Chancellor Merkel: we must all learn not to live beyond our means Read tim_weber's tweets.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says govts have to think now about how they will repay all the debt they take up to finance stimulus packages Read tim_weber's tweets.

Stephanie Flanders
BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders blogs: "History is not destiny", Gordon Brown said in Davos this morning. His aides tell me he was talking about the need for governments to stop talking about the global crisis and start acting. But this was a day when hundreds of refinery workers have thrown his talk of "British jobs for British people" back in his face. He might just as well have been talking about the history of the 1930s - when countries turned to protectionism and the global capital market fell apart. The growing feeling in Davos is it is history we may be about to repeat... Read Stephanomics blog.

South African President Kgalema Motlanthe calls for better resourcing of the World Bank so it can help build growth in developing countries:

The Chinese economy is likely to continue slowing through 2009, says editor Lifen Zhang. He tells the BBC there are doubts about whether China's planned economic stimulus package will work.

1436 Iraq's foreign minister tells AP news agency his government is very encouraged by reassurances from the Obama administration that there will be no quick withdrawal of US forces. Hoshyar Zebari says it is "very, very critical" American troops remain in Iraq in 2009 as Iraq begins holding elections, starting with provincial voting this Saturday.

1432 The Palestinian Authority reportedly says it is "dismayed" no representative of the Palestinian people was invited to the controversial Middle East debate at Davos. "That's inappropriate and partial that an important panel was held... with the presence of one side, which is the president of Israel," it said in a statement reported by AFP news agency.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Another economist says: Some say 1930s depression ended with World War II. We hope for something much shorter, cheaper and more humane Read tim_weber's tweets.

Al Gore
Al Gore wants a global climate deal this year

1405 Former US Vice-President Al Gore tells Davos that President Obama is serious about finding a successor to the Kyoto Protocol at a Copenhagen climate summit in December: "The new administration is very serious about this. We need an agreement this year, not next year or some other time."

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Eminent US economist predicts that European Central Bank will be forced to cut interest rates to near zero "not before long" Read tim_weber's tweets.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Money market expert says: we are not about to turn the corner, we haven't even seen the corner, we don't know where the corner is Read tim_weber's tweets.

1354 The International Monetary Fund tells it's confident that members will ensure it has enough dough to lend to any country hit by the financial crisis. John Lipsky, deputy managing director of the IMF, says it aims to double its financial firepower. Read

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Norinka Ford, Sao Paulo, says: Have our leaders gone totally mad? Why are they cancelling their visits to Davos? This is a major crisis for us all and they should be meeting to discuss solutions and be working non-stop to fix this terrible predicament. Have your say.

1342 More Fear and Loathing in Dav Vegas. HSBC chairman Stephen Green pleads that banks must not be "demonized" over the financial crisis. "Banks have clearly done things wrong. Some of the practices did not contribute, by any reasonable standards, to human welfare," he says.

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Jack, Africa says: Surely talking about a problem is better than stewing over it. While I think it may be a bit extravagant, it has to be a good thing when world leaders get together to discuss problems. Well done Davos - keep it up! Have your say.

1325 Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson tells Bloomberg: "When people look back at this gilded age, I'm sure there will be images of the investment bank parties at Davos, just as people looked back at flappers after the 1920s [before the Wall Street Crash]." Read

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Victor Vyssotsky, Orleans, United States says: Talking, whether at Davos or elsewhere, won't do any good so long as there is no clear path to shortening and limiting the current economic downturn, and there isn't. Have your say.

1310 Gillian Tett on blogs: Another day in Davos, another bout of "commie-style" bank bashing. Or that, least, is what some frazzled financiers are now muttering as they slosh around the snowy Swiss mountains. Read

1255 Davos this year seems more like some kind of self-help group: "Chief Executives Anonymous", trying metaphorically to talk each other down off snow-dusted window ledges. Or peering confusedly over the stricken form of the world economy they've helped knocked down. A cynic might say these head honchos are like a drink-driver who joins the rubber-neckers as his injured victim is placed on a gurney, slurring: "Anybody see what happened?"

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Captain Peter Russell, Donington, UK says: Why does the economic forum have to be held in a country in Europe with one of the highest costs of living and in the depths of winter when these thousands of delegates and media representatives have to be accommodated in expensive hotels, which need heating with expensive fuel, pushing up their carbon footprints! Who pays for it all ultimately? Have your say.

1240 Hedge fund doyen Arpad Busson tells WSJ blog he thinks the conditions are ripe for a stock market "rally". "I think this year, now, we will see a bear market rally," says the founder and chairman of EIM SA, an $11.5bn (8bn) fund of hedge funds firm. Read wsj blog.

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West, Cuves, France says: I don't think Brown's telephone gaff is a laughing matter. It is offensive to his hosts, to other delegates and to all those watching/listening. It's enough to make a snowman blush - have the hills of Davos taken on a reddish hew? Have your say.

1225 Kenya's PM might not like Robert Mugabe, but the Zimbabwe president has a powerful friend on the other side of Africa. At Davos, Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade said he had offered Mugabe asylum. "If he leaves power he will not go to Europe," Wade said in a debate on Africa. "So I told him: 'Come to Senegal'."

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Hanjaya Tandy, New York says: Davos or no Davos, it doesn't mean a thing. So long as the US economy is not growing, the world economy is not going anywhere either. There is a saying that when the US economy sneezes, the world economy catches a cold. As simple as that. Have your say.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: The optimism backlash has begun. In the frontline are entrepreneurs, who say a crisis is a great time to gain market share Read tim_weber's tweets.

1204 According to the Times newspaper's Davos diary: "Delegates have been complaining about robust treatment at the hands of Vladimir Putin's formidable security detail. Unlike most leaders, who wander round with a handful of aides, the Russian Prime Minister is escorted by a fearsome army of bodyguards who tend to move at a brisk pace, shoving delegates who inconveniently clutter the precincts out of the way." Read Times Davos diary.

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Krishna V, Mumbai, India says: Maybe if the WEF conference were held in Gaza, Darfur, Zimbabwe, Kashmir or any other problem-ravaged part of the world, then perhaps we would see some positive changes in the world. Such an environment would help all the world's leaders see first hand the urgency with which world problems must be solved instead of sitting in cozy Davos. Have your say

1147 Just spotted this YouTube video of Tory leader David Cameron setting off to Davos, denying it's a "giant international gabfest", before listing the international leaders he plans to gab with. It's labelled as "2008", but I'm sure they meant "2009".

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Bob, UK says: Well it's partly down to [world leaders] that we are in this [economic] mess to start with. So they better come up with something to justify having a meeting which could easily be held over a webcam etc. Global Warming and carbon footprint anyone? Have your say

1135 The aftermath of the Erdogan-Peres spat rumbles on. President Peres at Davos tells reporters: "I called him up and said: 'Yes, I do not see the matter as personal... and the relations can remain as they are'. My respect for him didn't change. We had an exchange of views - and the views are views." Peres says the Erdogan was influenced by the constant criticism of Israel. "They try to make the Israeli policy an ugly story," Peres says. "Israel is a democracy. It is fighting one of the most dangerous, terroristic, dictatorial groups."

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Graham Garner, Oslo says: Without the attendance of Obama's economic advisers and Mr Darling from the UK, Davos, apart from mulling over economic gloom, and of course Gaza, will have limited impact. At best it will just be a talking shop, while the World waits for the G20 summit and American economic plans. Have your say.

Gordon Brown
There's always one - Gordon Brown laughs off his phone interruption

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YS Lew, Kuala Lumpur says: Understand that Davos has been going on for the last 10 years. Well the last 10 years of discussion and high profile meetings didn't prepare us one bit for this current crisis. In fact culprits and participants were essentially the same suspects. Good luck to the next 10! Have you say.

Loic on Twitter says: Just bumped into Bill Gates (nicely) in front of the Davos bathrooms :) Read loic's tweets.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Gordon Brown write-up: his plan for G20 summit Brown urges global 'confidence' Read tim_weber's tweets.

Bridget Kendall
1101The BBC's Bridget Kendall says: Just done an interview with Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, in which he predicted that it could be up to 4 years before we were back to positive growth again. He also predicted that it would be innovation in science and technology in businesses and universities that would be the 'engine of progress' to get the world back on track in a 5 to 10 year time frame. In the meantime the poor can't wait and philanthropists needed to carry on being generous.

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Tony Carton, Dublin says: Basic wrong thinking here before they start. What is the cost/benefit of holding this in Davos v an EU city? If they think this way, no hope! More of your comments.

European Central Bank President Jean Claude Trichet at Davos 30 January 2009
European Central Bank President Jean Claude Trichet's expression sums up the feeling of bankers everywhere

1048The BBC's Robert Peston says: Surely in the new world economic order which will be built - though Davos has been disappointingly short of coherent visions of what will be constructed from the rubble - we need bankers to know their customers and to properly evaluate the risks of lending. But the more that they're insured against losses on lending, the less incentive they will have to lend responsibly. Read Peston's Picks.

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Andy, East Grinstead, UK says: The IMF has just issued a report stating the UK will fall deeper into recession, and it will last longer, than any other developed country. Who is Gordon Brown to stand up at Davos and tell everyone else how they should act. Perhaps he should check his arrogance at the door and listen to others. More of your comments.

1033 Iranian TV quotes Tehran's foreign minister as praising the Turkish PM for his Davos walkout. "Considering the irrelevant remarks made by [Shimon] Peres, such a reaction was very natural," the foreign minister reportedly said.

1027 Bullish Virgin boss Richard Branson tells the BBC's Robert Peston that in times of recession there are massive opportunities and fortunes to be made, so for new up and coming entrepreneurs this is the time to go and start a business.

The BBC's Tanya Beckett at Davos tweets: The British PM Gordon Brown has already made a splash at Davos Read tanya's tweets.

1017 Tom Glocer, chief executive of Thomson Reuters, tells the BBC he is confident the company will be able to continue investing throughout 2009.

1014 South Korea hopes North Korea will hold discussions with the South instead of making threats, after the North said it was scrapping all accords with Seoul, its prime minister tells Reuters news agency at Davos. See our story below:


The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: ITN journo challenges & heckles Brown... WEF spokesman intervenes: this is a press conference not an argument Read tim_weber's tweets.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Gordon Brown proposes global early warning system for the economy, & system of global economic regulation - or at least co-ordination Read tim_weber's tweets.

1008 Here's that interview by Kenya's PM with the BBC about the state of Africa today:

1005 Reassuring statement of the obvious at Davos from Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius: "The companies are better managed by the management."


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Lynn, Reading, UK says: I have a strong doubt that the stimulus package proposed by the Western leaders to battle the downturn, could ever work. More of your comments.

0956 Despite a broader appeal for computer games such as Guitar Hero, Robert Kotick from video game company Activision Blizzard tells the BBC why he is still worried about the next few years.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Brown presser interrupted by ringing phone... Brown startled: "I'm afraid that's my phone... I'm not telling you who called..." Read tim_weber's tweets.

0947 Gordon Brown looked angry when it turned out some dope had forgotten to turn off his mobile phone during his G20 talk - until the red-faced British PM found out it was his handset ringing. And it went off twice.

0945 Gordon Brown calls on all countries to act together to prevent a retreat from globalisation. "Not to make a decision - the policy of doing nothing - will allow this crisis to start a retreat from globalisation with huge implications for prosperity in every part of the world in the years to come."

0942 What else is happening at Davos today? The founders of YouTube and Facebook are going to talk about the future of digital communications. Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda discuss plans to fight disease in the Third World during a financial crisis. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe will hold a news conference. British PM Gordon Brown will also later join leaders from Mexico, South Korea and South Africa in discussing the economy.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Press conference with UK PM Gordon Brown and UN Sec Gen Ban Ki-moon about to start - looking ahead to G20 in April in London Read tim_weber's tweets.

Tim Weber
0934 The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos says World Economic Forum President Klaus Schwab has told reporters emotions were running high at last night's Middle East debate and its intensity shows we are sitting on a time bomb that the world cannot afford not to address.

0922 President Peres tells reporters at Davos he hopes relations with Turkey will not be affected by his exchange with Prime Minister Erdogan. "We don't want conflict with Turkey. We are in a conflict with the Palestinians," Peres said, according to Reuters news agency.

0916 Kenya's PM, at Davos, has - not for the first time - urged Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to quit. Raila Odinga upbraided fellow African leaders for not echoing his call. "When over 3,000 people have already died of cholera, I think it is a tragedy that Africa cannot speak with one voice against this one regime," he told the BBC's World Today programme.

The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Everybody agrees: mobile phones are becoming part of society's central nervous system. Read tim_weber's tweets.

0906 The plot thickens, as Israel's presidency reportedly denies that Peres apologised. "This claim is untrue," presidency spokeswoman Ayelet Frish tells AFP news agency. But she did reportedly confirm that Peres had called Erdogan by telephone and that the two had had "a friendly conversation".

0903 Israeli newspaper Haaretz is reporting that Peres and Erdogan spoke by telephone on Friday morning and agreed not to let the incident affect relations. Peres reportedly said: "I am very sorry for what happened and friends could sometimes have an argument between themselves. I have always had a great respect for the Republic of Turkey and you as the prime minister. I consider myself as a friend of Turkey and Premier Erdogan."

0856 Hamas on Friday reportedly praised Erdogan for his Davos dust-up with Israel over Gaza. "Hamas pays tribute to the courageous stand of Turkey's prime minister... who in Davos directly defended the victims of the criminal Zionist war against our children and women in Gaza," spokesman Fawzi Barhum told AFP news agency.

0843 Lots of talk overnight about this story: Turkish PM given hero's welcome An unnamed senior Israeli official has told The Jerusalem Post the Turkish PM is encouraging anti-Semitism in his country by "wholeheartedly accepting the Hamas narrative of the recent Gaza fighting".

0835 It may sound like a sick joke, but apparently Davos corporate honchos are being offered the chance to find out what life is like for a real refugee as they brave a simulated minefield, war zone and rebel attack. This Refugee Run "theme park" (Miseryland?) is apparently inspired by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Twisted grief voyeurism? Have your say.

Raila Odinga
Kenya's PM Raila Odinga says corruption is a problem in Africa

0805 There's a debate on "the state of Africa" here later - Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga at Davos has just told the BBC that corruption in Africa must be reined in, but he adds the West, particularly the Western companies exploiting Africa's resources, must be reined in too.

0802 Speakers today will include ex-UN head Kofi Annan and his successor, Ban Ki-moon. There'll also be talks from UK PM Gordon Brown, his German counterpart Angela Merkel, World Bank President Robert Zoellick and lots more!

0801 Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the third day of the 2009 World Economic Forum at the Swiss mountain village of Davos. We will be updating this page throughout the day, bringing you insights from BBC correspondents, some of your emails, Twitter, and the best of the blogs. As ever, we would love to hear what you make of the summit's developments.

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