Page last updated at 08:32 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

Davos 2010: Day three as it happened

A child shown on a screen before a session on climate change at Davos on 29 January 2010

By Jude Sheerin

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (All times GMT, CET -1)

1808 That's it for our live coverage today. But join us on Saturday for more highlights, when Queen Rania of Jordan and Deutsche Bank's chief Josef Ackermann will be among those taking to the stage. There'll also be what promises to be a lively debate on sexual equality.

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Yuru Inspires tweets: #Davos - disappointment with big banks presents a tremendous opportunity 4 a new kind of bank that is more connected 2 customers 2 emerge

1758 In the end it all comes back to that hoary bete noire: bonuses. Larry Summers says he can't understand how bankers argue they can still pay bonuses without it affecting their ability to lend. But ask them to pay a government fee in return for the billions of taxpayers' dollars used to bail them out? Well, that might affect their ability to lend, they say.

1751 "Managing failure" should be the shiny new third way when it comes to crisis-hit financial institutions, Larry Summers says: a nice, ordered winding down, rather than a chaotic Lehman-style unravelling, or committing large amounts of taxpayers' money to patch it up. That's the idea, anyway.

1746 Larry Summers says: "I think the president's going to succeed; I think we're going to put in a place a set of reforms that will make a real difference."

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Raul Rojas tweets: HSBC boss Stephen Green says regulation of banks "will and should get more intense". He also says boards have crucial role to play.

1739 President Obama's economic adviser, Larry Summers, is the next up on the main stage. He sidesteps a question on whether Mr Obama's banking reforms would lead to the break-up of any big names on Wall Street. Constraint was the key word, he says, but on risk, not on doing business with customers.

1716 Next Monday is National Sickie Day, apparently. After so much excitement in the heady alpine air, I trust the well-refreshed bosses at Davos will make it into work following the weekend.

1705 The BBC's Stephanie Flanders asks UK Chancellor Alistair Darling an interesting question: the UK's budget deficit is not very different to Greece's, so why should the markets take a different view [i.e. not punish it] when the UK's plans for cutting it are much less dramatic? His answer: We've got a plan and we are going to stick to it.


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Arianna Huffington tweets: #WEF On plane to @Davos saw Larry Summers reading Martin Jacques' "When China Rules the World." His review: "Interesting…and disturbing"

Tim Weber
1650 The BBC's Tim Weber says: As China Mobile boss Wang Jianzhou starts speaking in the main hall, everyone scrambles for headphones to get a translation - until they realise he's speaking perfect English. He's briefly stopped in his tracks as the whole audience giggles over its gaffe.

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The Philanthrocapitalism blog says: [David] Cameron's appearance was brief but emphatic. He said that however financially broke Britain is, his government would honour its pledge to allocate 0.7% of GDP to international aid.

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Scott Forbes tweets: Where is #Labour at the #WEF it's being taken over by conservatives!

1629 The BBC's Tim Weber has a ringside seat for Davos' unexpected new blood sport.

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Evan Davis tweets: Could someone invent a name badge that sticks to the face, so you can talk to folks and identify them without looking at their chest?

Evan Williams tweets: Overheard: "Google versus China - finally a fair fight!" #wef

1611 Spotted: Iceland's President Olafur Grimsson deep in conversation with IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Surely not discussing another loan? Don't you just dread those meetings with the bank manager?

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Jason Pontin tweets: Goog's Schmidt: "We don't want to leave China. We love what they're doing in growth; we don't like what they're doing in censorship." #WEF

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband at Davos on 29 January 2010
David Miliband checking if any of his remarks made our Davos live page

David Brain tweets: #davos Bill Gates says that each country will have to decide if GM food should be used to help increase food yields.

1601 It was the best of technology, it was the worst of technology: Google's Eric Schmidt says gaming can boost strategic reasoning and hand-to-eye co-ordination, but he is concerned about the impact on deep reading..."as more and more people spend more time online, they spend less time reading literature and long documents".

1548 Google's Eric Schmidt calls on governments to invest in telecom networks and remove barriers to the internet. He says this is as important as the development of the railways in the mid-19th Century. Where information is fastest - Japan and South Korea - governments have invested heavily in the infrastructure, he adds.

1545 In the technology talk, US entrepreneur Joel Selanikio discusses an SMS pilot scheme with agriculture in Chile, where one farmer's annual crop was saved because he delayed planting, after getting a text message warning him of torrential rain.

1458 UK Foreign Minister David Miliband suggests the US and EU could "re-engineer" ties with Pakistan. He is talking about the huge sums spent on sending troops to Afghanistan, versus the amount of assistance to Pakistan, which faces its own Taliban threat.

Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska in Davos on 29 Janaury 2010
Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska also showed up

1445 Audible sigh of relief in the Oval Office over those impressive GDP figures: the White House says it's the "most positive news" yet on the economy, AFP news agency reports.

1440 Brazil's inflation remains under control, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega tells Reuters news agency from the sidelines.

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George Colony tweets: Drawing from many hall conversations at Davos, the sense is that iPad is a disappointment -- even with Apple fanatics.


And here's the full interview with the IMF's Dominique Strauss-Kahn:

Tanya Beckett
Tanya Beckett tweets: Just in a session of Afghanistan. This is an area in which discussions in Davos can be electrifying.

1350 Coming up this afternoon - Google's Eric Schmidt makes two appearances - speaking at Technology for Society and then Business Leadership for the 21st Century. He's joined on the second panel by the boss of China Mobile, Wang Jianzhou. Wonder if Google's row with the Chinese government will come up?

Queen Rania of Jordan in Davos on 29 January 2010
A rose among thorns, Queen Rania of Jordan injects some glamour


1335 All those business people and leaders at Davos will be pleased with the news - just out - that the world's biggest economy grew at an annualised rate of 5.7% in the fourth quarter. Biggest jump in six years. Is this the US back on form?

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Tim Weber tweets: Just had lunch with top EU central banker. Boy, is he unhappy w bankers' recent behaviour. And boy, is he carrying a big stick


1315 Another leader joins BBC World on its picturesque balcony overlooking the Alps. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva promises growth of 4% this year.

1301 A warning - as if we needed another in Davos - from the IMF's Dominique Strauss-Kahn, not to get too carried away by signs of a return to global growth. The future, he cautions, will not be "business as usual". A new global economic model will need to be invented to take account of growth from Chinese consumers, rather than US ones. It needs to be a green one too, he says. No small task.

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Aron Cramer tweets: Consensus view that emerging market multinationals are still 10-15 years off.

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Evan Davis tweets: No, I didn't get a chance to ask Bill Gates about the iPad. But the 10bn seemed too big to make it worth going on about.

A participant at Davos on 29 January 2010

1233 Stephen Schwarzman, boss of mega-hedge fund Blackstone, is pleasing the China Central Television host of the session on redesigning China's growth by saying that the country is "very flexible - extremely high energy and that's the makings of a dynamic economy and culture".

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Evan Davis tweets: Bill Gates had been criticised for comments on Google and China. Worth reading. 'I may have been misquoted,' he told me.



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Jason Pontin tweets: No one at Davos #WEF knows what's after Copenhagen, 'cos the West can't talk to China & India. Delegates talk hopelessly of "engagement."

Yao Ming
How is China like basketball star Yao Ming? See the entry on the left

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The BBC's Nik Gowing tweets: Barney Frank, US Congressman/Ch Fin Cttee, tells me in BBC Debate there is 'constitutional crisis' in US. Newshounds jump on his rmrks.

1152 The debate on China is under way, with China Central Television's Rui Chenggang saying the country is like a 16-year-old Yao Ming (the Chinese basketball player) - "already two metres tall, but still growing".

Stephanie Flanders
1150 Greece is the word - again. The BBC's Stephanie Flanders says: Eurozone officials would like a way to say yes (they will help Greece) to the bond markets, without appearing to let Greece off the hook. But it's not clear that such a path exists. And if they keep looking for one, they risk making the bailout which they fear that much more likely.

Bill and Melinda Gates in Davos on 29 January 2010
The Gateses give Davos a shot in the arm as they pledge $10bn for vaccines

1123 A pledge from Bill and Melinda Gates: their foundation is committing $10bn (£6.2bn) over the next decade to help research, develop and deliver vaccines for the world's poorest countries.

1120 Another high-profile no-show: Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has cancelled his trip here at the last minute.

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Tim Weber tweets: John Evans at #wef: bankers complaining about reg failure is like having a burning house and complaining about firebrigade flooding it.

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Mayor of London tweets: Just urged the punters in Davos to befriend a banker in order to hug a hoodie. They have got to come to the table to help society.

1112 A BBC producer in Davos writes: The small hotel where we're broadcasting is opposite the congress centre, so very convenient. The downside is you have armed security on the centre's roof peering through your hotel room window when you wake up in the morning.

1105 Quite a line-up in the upcoming session Redesigning the Global Dimensions of China's Growth. Alcoa chief Klaus Kleinman (yes, the former Siemens boss who was caught up in the corruption scandal), the Chinese economist David Li Daokui, Blackstone's chairman Stephen Schwarzman, John Zhao chief exec of investment house Hony Capital and Chinese TV personality Rui Chenggang.

EvanHD tweets: Waiting to hear Bill and Melinda Gates talk about vaccinations. Hoping for quick interview afterwards. Is it too trivial to ask about iPad?

1047 Standard Chartered's Peter Sands predicts Asian currencies will eventually become more valuable than Western ones, reflecting shifts in economic power. Does that mean the end of the US dollar as the reserve currency?

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David Brain tweets: John Evans [trade union expert, in session about rethinking government assistance]: 'The fairer a society is (in wealth equality) the better it does economically over the long term'.

1038 The issue of Greece's financial predicament just won't go away, with speculation continuing it is seeking an EU bail-out, despite fresh denials from the Greek premier. Speaking in a Bloomberg TV interview at Davos, European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said there was no special EU plan for Greece.

1031 India's economic policy-maker Montek Ahluwalia says his government's strategy is for public-private partnerships for much-needed investment in the country's infrastructure.

British opposition leader David Cameron
UK opposition leader David Cameron would make a lousy ventriloquist

1030 Back in the session about rethinking government assistance the talk is about job creation. Dominic Barton, from consultants McKinsey, criticises policy-by-soundbite. He gives the example of green jobs growth - when you look at the potential for green job creation in the US it's relatively small, he says.

e-mail sent in by reader
Sean Feely, Ithaca, USA says: I think it's clear with the recent disaster in Haiti that there needs to be a serious effort to not only cancel third world debt, but also to aid the development of poor nations. What do you think Davos will achieve this year?

1007 Plenty of financial crystal-ball gazing going on this year, as ever. But as the famous US economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said: "The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable." Discuss

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Daniela Hinrichs tweets: Watching the helicopter ballet in Davos whilst trying to figure out the 'greener Davos' initiative #wef

Tim Weber tweets: David Cameron at #wef: supports a global insurance levy (Tobin-ish tax) on financial services to safeguard fin system Read Tim Weber's tweets

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Tim Weber tweets: European Central Bank's Trichet at #wef - we were very close to "catastrophe" and global "depression", we still underestimate size of crisis Read Tim Weber's tweets

e-mail sent in by reader
Chinoy Mathew, Bangalore, India says: People will want to see the global financial system being properly regulated and balanced. People will also want prevention from the whole concept of too big to fail. What do you think Davos will achieve this year?

UN climate change chief Yvo De Boer in Davos on 29 January 2010
Why the long face UN climate change chief Yvo De Boer?


0955 Over at the big climate change session of the day, where Mexican President Felipe Calderon says he hopes to re-establish "trust and confidence" when countries meet to thrash out a climate treaty in Cancun this December. "Our objective is to reach a robust, substantial and comprehensive agreement," he said. Deja vu, anyone?

0952 Plain speaking from Standard Chartered boss Peter Sands. He says the relationship between banks, governments and society has changed irreversibly. Banks have been tone deaf and shot themselves in the foot, he says, but politicians' demonisation of an entire industry hasn't helped much either. He says re-establishing the fundamental social purpose of banks is now the primary challenge.

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MayorOfLondon tweets: Told the financial elite in Davos last night that the masters of the universe must become the servants of society Read MayorOfLondon tweets

Davos

0934 Peter Voser, chief executive of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, tells the BBC's Tanya Beckett he doesn't want the financial system overburdened. He says it's about time we focused more on job creation. On climate change he says: "Let's stop debating and go and do what we can" - like look at bio-fuels and gas.

0929 Karzai's bailed, it seems. AFP news agency is quoting a Davos spokesman who says the Afghan president has cancelled his planned stopover on the way home from Thursday's London conference on Afghanistan. No reason given.

Tim Weber
Tim Weber writes: WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrrell said: "We in the West have gone to some sort of state-directed capitalism in the past year." So how can we, the taxpayer, get out of it? I'm just going into a session called Rethinking Government Assistance. The panel includes European Central Bank boss Jean-Claude Trichet, UK opposition leader David Cameron, Indian government economic policy-maker Montek Ahluwalia and McKinsey head honcho Dominic Barton. Stay tuned.


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QueenRania tweets: Was nice to see P[resident].Clinton. Heard abt his tireless effort & concern 4 people of Haiti. Stories of survival, hope the world must never forget Read Queen Rania of Jordan's tweets

0913 Development economist Jeffrey Sachs tells the Millennium Development Goals forum that business is better at getting things done than government when it comes to carrying out pledges.


Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in Davos on 29 January 2010
Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai keeps on plugging away


0905 With all the world leaders here, it's not just finance on the agenda. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has told the BBC artillery shells fired by North Korea this week may have been a negotiating tactic. He also said he would have a face-to-face with Kim Jong-il this year, if the dialogue was constructive, yielded results and the North was willing to talk candidly about its nuclear programme. A lot of "ifs", says the BBC's Bridget Kendall.

0859 Morgan Tsvangirai says it's important to set goals relevant on the ground. He talks about his village with no water or electricity where people still live in thatched houses and children go to school 10km away. "What we need is a development model that can pull the village out of peasant entrapment," he says.

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Anandmahindra tweets: Sum journo shld do photoessay on diff security contingents at Davos. Compare dour faces of Chinese, Russian & US teams. What a coffeetable book! Read Anandmahindra's tweets

George Soros on stairs at the congress centre in Davos
Security! Take that bum off the stairs. No hang on, that's, er, George Soros

0849 The BBC's Tim Weber was at the Davos equivalent of a pub quiz last night. Find out how some of the world's best finance brains (and Tim) would invest $1bn.

0846 Today's opening session in the congress hall includes Bill Gates and Morgan Tsvangirai discussing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Mr Gates says: "It's clear we are not going to get straight As on MDGs but among our successes is malaria, where we should hit our goal; Vietnam likely to make all MDGs."


Bridget Kendall
0842 Diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall writes: Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's beleaguered PM, is doing the rounds, trying to get investors to take an interest. More interestingly, he signalled support for easing targeted Western sanctions, as a way of sending a message to opponents that there could be rewards for supporting the unity government.

Tim Weber
0834 The BBC's Tim Weber says: The sun is shining over Davos and the first breakfast briefings are under way. The millionaires were stomping on the dance floor at last night's party hosted by US consultancy McKinsey. On the way, one man said to me: "Seems there's still a bubble economy." Not sure whether he meant the party, or the bubble machine at the entrance.

0830 Welcome to the third day's coverage of the World Economic Forum in Davos. We have Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan among the stellar line-up - and that's just this morning!



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