Page last updated at 08:32 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Davos 2010: Day one as it happened

World economic forum

By Matthew Davis

TEXT COMMENTARY (All times GMT, CET -1)

Update 1815 We had to end our live service early due to essential technical work. But you can read our coverage of Sarkozy's speech here.

1655 Our live coverage of the first day of the World Economic Forum ends today at 1700GMT. The big headline so far? Bankers and regulators clashing on plans for more regulation. Join us again for the latest on Thursday from 0830 when speakers will include South African President Jacob Zuma and World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab. European leaders will debate how to "rethink" the Eurozone, and repair the bloc's damaged public finances, and - off the agenda - there is sure to be reaction to Barack Obama's first State of the Union address at 0200GMT Thursday, which you can follow on the BBC News website. For more live Davos updates today, check out our correspondents on Twitter:
Read BBC Davos twitter feed
Read Tim Weber's tweets.
Read Evan Davis' tweets.
Read Tanya Beckett's tweets.
Read Nick Gowing's tweets.

Robert Peston
The BBC's Robert Peston writes: Adair Turner, the chairman of the Financial Services Authority, says that banks should be forced to rein in lending when there are signs that a market is overheating. In an interview with me at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he threw his weight behind the creation of a new official body, which would have a mandate to assess whether financial bubbles are being created and would have powers to deter lending in those circumstances.

Tanya Beckett
The BBC's Tanya Beckett writes: There seems to be a divide at Davos between the bankers and some business people who think the crisis is over and we should return to normal and others, including union leaders, who want radical change.

tweet
The BBC's Tanya Beckett Tweets: Standing waiting for President Sarkozy to speak. It is packed! Read Tanya Beckett's tweets.

1630 Lord Adair Turner, the chairman of Britain's financial watchdog, the Financial Services Authority, says banks who complain that Barack Obama's reforms will lead to a new credit crunch are "scare tactic lobbying". He adds: "We have to use the fact that there was this terrible crisis to look at how we get this right."

1625 President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is expected to plead the case for tough reforms of the banking sector in his keynote opening speech expected in just over an hour's time. All eyes will be on how this goes down with banking executives. A new PriceWaterHouseCoopers poll, released in Davos, suggests at least six in 10 CEOs are worried by the threat of over-regulation.

1606 Back at the Haiti session, and the head of telecoms firm Digicel, Denis O'Brien, says criticism of efforts on the ground are "uncalled for". "It's the last thing we need when people are working so hard," he says.

e-mail sent in by reader
Chris Bardouleau, Somerset, UK says: In reality, rather than excessive regulation we need bankers who understand banking and politicians who understand politics. What do you think Davos will achieve this year?

1544 Humanitarian groups are urging Davos delegates to invest in earthquake-hit Haiti, where some 200,000 people have been killed and many more made homeless. The head of the UN Children's Fund, Ann Veneman, said: "We can't simply sit back and forget..."

Tim Weber
The BBC's Tim Weber writes:Interesting chat with George Colony, the chief executive of technology consultants Forrester. On Social Media (which are big here in Davos), he says they are still very immature, most companies still don't understand how to use them. Also, on tonight's launch of Apple's tablet computer: George thinks the device will be a big hit. But he has one proviso: It's the first time that Apple is trying to create a completely new device category... with all its other hits (Mac, iPod, iPhone etc) Apple revolutionized existing categories.

e-mail sent in by reader
Cimbeline says: I welcome George Soros's comments about the reformation of banks. The elephant in the room is the urgent need to prevent another catastrophic collapse of the worlds financial system. What do you think Davos will achieve this year?

1522 Latest news - via his Twitter account - on the movements of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. He's apparently on his way to Davos. Phew. Earlier he weighed in to the Google-China row, telling ABC's Good Morning America keeping the internet thriving in China is "very important". Read Bill Gates' tweets.

1508 The BBC's Tanya Beckett reveals how those in the know find their way round the WEF.

tweet
Balivernes tweets: Whatever #apple shows today, it will do more to change the world than whatever the WEF loonies are now cooking in Davos. Think about it! Read Balivernes' tweets.

tweet
The BBC's Evan Davis: Ken Rogoff rapidly becoming my favourite economist. Says big govt debts can very suddenly catch up on you. Hear him tomorrow on @r4today. Read Evan Davis' tweets.

1431 Josette Sheeran, the executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme tells the BBC Haiti is the most complex emergency they've ever dealt with. Not the biggest, but because of the broken roads and bridges, single airstrip and sheer numbers needing help, it's the most complicated. She'll be part of a Davos session on Haiti, starting in about an hour.

Davos delegates
There are some 2,500 top bosses and politicians at Davos
1427 Forget the global financial crisis, what about the important question: What was on the menu for the media lunch with George Soros? The answer, from the BBC's Tim Weber, "Smoked salmon and gorgonzola cream, followed by lamb in a bread crust with potatoes and beans, followed by blueberry creme brulee with ice cream." Hmmm... No wonder there was a lull, in proceedings. For the REALLY important stuff though, read Tim's latest piece: Soros calls for big bank break-up.

tweet
loic tweets: There is a tough fight going on throughout Davos: find a seat and power for your laptop, just succeeded. Read Loic's tweets

1414 After a bit of a lunchtime lull, things look set to get moving at Davos in the next few minutes. Investment guru George Soros, Yale economics professor Robert Shiller and Harvard history professor Niall Ferguson are going head-to-head on "rebuilding economics". Watch the WEF live feed here.

1402 Here's a chance to see in full that BBC interview with Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organisation (see 1217). Still plenty of risk out there, he says.

e-mail sent in by reader
Dominick, Florida says: Hopefully Davos will focus on long versus short term planning, or the next economic downturn may very well be a second great depression. What do you think Davos will achieve this year?

Evan Davis
The BBC's Evan Davis tweets: "Spoke to Stephen Green of HSBC at Davos. Says bankers pay was full of bad distortions. Now improving." Read Evan's tweets

1328
Bridget Kendall
No major celebrity sightings yet. And according to the BBC's Diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall, there are fewer world leaders and more business leaders this year, which is different from last two years.

1310 Zimbabwe's deputy prime minister says he is in Davos to try to influence the debate on how the global economy should be restructured. He told BBC World that western leaders could "speak less and listen more".

Nik Gowing
The BBC's Nik Gowing in Davos: Chairing brainstorm of 260 political/business leaders to try to define what system failings are not addressed by countries or international institutions currently. Read Nik Gowing's tweets

tweet
The BBC's Tim Weber in Davos: George Soros says Wall Street bankers opposing Obama's reforms are tone-deaf and wrong. Read Tim Weber's tweets

Robert Peston
BBC business editor Robert Peston writes: A year ago the World Economic Forum was a drama lacking a central character. The bankers, business leaders and politicians who gather in the Swiss Alps every January to schmooze and deal were interested only in what the new young American president would deliver, but neither he nor any of his inner circle turned up to enlighten them. Today, Davos man... is wiser and sadder about Mr Obama. Read Robert's blog in full

tweet
The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: George Soros says the old financial system must not be rebuilt. We need a new one with much smaller banks. Read Tim Weber's Tweets

1217 Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organisation, tells the BBC he's happy, because "there has not been a significant rise in protectionism" in response to the economic crisis. But "things may not be improving in the short term on the jobs market", so the risk is still there, he cautions.

tweet
TiggerTherese: Should there be more regulation? Speaking as an ex-BoE regulator: No, there should be better regulation. Read TiggerTherese's Tweets

1206 Here's that BBC interview with the Icelandic president (see 1105) - who addresses the thorny issue of taxpayers paying back that Icesave cash.

Jacob Zuma (centre) promotes South Africa 2010
South Africa's delegation pushes the 2010 World Cup - and the boundaries of the Davos dress code

1201 Amre Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League, is in Davos - you can tell by the scarf - but is quite concerned about today's meeting on Yemen, in London.

1156 What are the headlines from the opening morning so far? Well, mainly Barack Obama's banking reform plans getting a good kicking, especially from Barclays president Bob Diamond. This is the BBC News website's take on it. Meanwhile, FT.com has the latest in its gapperblog.

1130 Gloomy news from the outside world. The International Air Transport Association says 2009 saw the biggest decline in air passenger traffic in the post-war era - and predicts a grim 2010. Can the delegates to Davos do anything about things like this? Have your say.

tweet
ckdozi tweets: Take off the profit maximizing glasses put on the social maximizing glasses. Quote from speaker at Davos. Read ckdozi's tweets

Tanya Beckett
The BBC's Tanya Beckett at Davos tweets: Some firm words from the head of the Arab League. Wow Read Tanya Beckett's tweets.

1105 Word from the president of one of the countries hardest hit by the financial crisis - Iceland. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson tells the BBC's Tanya Beckett that there are many lessons to be learned from the experience, and that since the collapse, Iceland's "neglected" industries - such as fishing, IT, tourism and energy - have flourished.

tweet
The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Just filed my fairly gloomy piece on the global economy (sorry, folks), now I'm off to have lunch with George Soros. Read Tim Weber's Tweets

e-mail sent in by reader
Pancha Chandra, Brussels, Belgium says: There is still so much to grapple with: fears, uncertainty over financial regulation. Central banks and governments still feel it is too early to call an end to the crisis. What do you think Davos will achieve this year?

1050 A warning note from Zhu Min, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China: "The real risk for the global economy is weak and volatile growth. Even by the end of 2010, US GDP will be at the same levels as it was in 2007. Three years gone for free, economically."

e-mail sent in by reader
Kim Potter, Hungerford , UK says:The WEF should concentrate hard on the urgent need to effectively regulate the global banking system. What do you think Davos will achieve this year?

1014 The head of the International Labour Organisation Juan Somavia has just called for the same political impetus behind saving the banks to be applied to jobs.

1007 A heads-up on a couple of key sessions coming up later. Investment guru George Soros will be drawing the crowds at the Rebuilding Economics session at 1415. He'll be fresh from having lunch with the BBC's Tim Weber. All the news on that on Tim's Twitter feed, tim_weber. Later, at 1530, a big discussion on how to help Haiti, led by senior charity figures just back from the earthquake disaster zone.

0955 Of course it's not just brainstorming and networking at Davos...

0946 We've already had the three D's, now the University of Chicago's Raghuram Rajan tells delegates the new world order is represented in 10s. That's 10% unemployment in the US, and 10% growth in China. Anyone got another pithy, number-related upsum of the world economic situation?

e-mail sent in by reader
Leslie Jarrett, Slough, UK says: The world economy is fragile. Surely it is time to wipe the slate clean and reduce all the debt owed by so many countries to zero. What do you think Davos will achieve this year?

tweet
The BBC's Tim Weber at Davos tweets: Nouriel Roubini sits next to me checking his Facebook page ... could ask him if I get stuck with my piece on global economy. Read tim_weber's tweets.

0922 Big focus this year on emerging economies, and there is an early warning for the "Old World" powers. David Rubenstein, co-founder of private equity giant Carlyle Group - says the US faces three problems - debt, deficit and dollar. The dollar is going to lose its position as the world's reserve currency unless these are sorted out, he warns.

0910 Not what you want to hear, but economist Nouriel Roubini, famed for predicting the current financial meltdown, has just told a session that new bubbles are being created that are laying the foundations for another crisis. Too much "business as usual" he says.

Evan Davis
The BBC's Evan Davis writes: "It is of course easy to be cynical about this event. It can be seen as a junket. And this year in particular, it can be seen as a forum where the people who got the world into trouble have the temerity to think they can plot a way of it. Of course it is both these things. But it's still very interesting." Read Evan Davis's blog.

e-mail sent in by reader
John, Caerffili, UK says: The last meeting completely failed to predict this global recession so I would not expect anything of use to emerge. What do you think Davos will achieve this year?

0850 Bob Diamond, president of Barclays, sets out his stall as an internationalist at an early Davos session: "We need a strong financial centre in New York and a strong financial centre in London. But elections are by definition national. This is a time when isolated actions in the UK and US are not constructive."

0837 This year the theme is "Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild". Top of the agenda will be how to reform banking and finance to prevent future crises. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France will plead the case for tough reforms in his keynote opening speech this evening.

0831 Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the first day of the 2010 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. As ever, we would love to hear what you make of the summit's developments.



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