Page last updated at 08:36 GMT, Saturday, 30 January 2010

Davos 2010: Day four as it happened

South African delegation promote football's World Cup
Promotion of this summer's football World Cup in South Africa added a splash of colour to proceedings

By Andy McFarlane

TEXT COMMENTARY (All times GMT, CET -1)

1737 Well, that brings to an end our live coverage of the World Economic Forum from Davos. Thanks for joining us. More news reports will follow from the last day of the conference on Sunday.

Tim Weber
1732The BBC's Tim Weber says: "The congress centre in Davos is a bustle of activity - although there are hardly any participants around. Large numbers of support staff have roped off big chunks of the venue and are preparing it for the evening's soiree.

"I've managed to get a glimpse, and it looks like a riot of colour as sponsor South Africa uses the evening to promote the Football World Cup 2010. Most of the Davos crowd are now in their hotels - either for a brief nap or a posh pre-soiree dinner.

"After four surprisingly hard days of talking, listening, soaking up information and - most important of all - dealmaking and networking, Davos man and woman are getting ready to let their hair down."

e-mail sent in by reader
Rudy, Victoria, Canada, writes: Two potential Davos topics come to mind: Seeking an alternative to the economic systems currently in use and... how to create Artificial Intelligence that is empowered to decide the course of future human development. It can't be any worse than what is now going on. Send your comments.

A man holding an Ugg boot
Uggs - Congressman Frank's boot of choice

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Jason Pontin tweets: Cutely, Con. Barney Frank is wearing Uggs



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Confusus, in Wales, UK, writes: How is a jolly in Switzerland going to help the Zimbabwe poor? This will produce platitudes and many hearts on sleeves, but they will not be able to do anything, due to the financial recession. Send us your comments on Davos.

1643 Well, the day may be drawing to a close but I think we just had our first celebrity tweet. Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho (see below), who has been at Davos this week, has sold millions of books worldwide. They've been translated into more than 40 languages.

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Paulo Coelho tweets: Computer simulation shows Brasil has 60% forests it had 1000 yrs ago, Europe 0,3%, N America 12% (mostly in Canada)


comment from blogger
Jonathan Harris blogs: Davos could use some children. There is a strange irony in all of this talk about how the future will be while none of it includes the people who will actually be the future. Read Jonathan Harris' blog.

1635 It's getting late in the day and Davos is winding down. The great and the good (and the bankers, too) are getting ready for some of the night's soirees, including one from South Africa to celebrate its imminent hosting of the World Cup.

e-mail sent in by reader
FreedomKnight, Rayleigh, UK, writes: This is a meeting of the rich and powerful but what about the views of those who lost their jobs and their houses and those whose homes were broken and their lives ruined? Bankers should have a bit more humility. Have your say.

1631 After the UN voiced fears that cyber-attacks could lead nations to war, Microsoft's chief research officer Craig Mundie has called for a three-tier system of authentication - for people, devices and applications - to tackle the problem. Read more here

Nik Gowing
The BBC's Nik Gowing tweets: Pres of Mongolia stops me on stairs. Asks why I have not visited his country lately. I say have been busy!

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Bluesberry, in Toronto, writes: Zimbabwe - Western leaders remain reluctant to release aid without political reform. Banking reform - skeptical. We're not going exactly in the right direction. In other words, nothing important will result at this Davos, except setting the time for next Davos. What do you think Davos will achieve this year?

1609 Away from the conference, doctors have given Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva permission to return to work. He had been due to receive the forum's Global Statesmanship Award on Thursday but cancelled his trip, suffering from high blood-pressure.

1550 Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has complained to UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband about his suggestion that UN sanctions against the African nation should remain until Tsvangirai advocates their removal. Tsvangirai said the comments were "not helpful" ahead of power-sharing talks.

Jean-Claude Trichet
Jean-Claude Trichet points out the need for global financial regulation

1538 The BBC's Bridget Kendall writes: "Where are the Russians? Hardly any here in person, and not a mention in the big debate today on where the 2010 global economy is heading. It's like there is a big blank snowy space where Russia was - as though the Russians have written themselves out of the equation. All the more noticeable because PM Putin gave the Davos key note speech last year."

1520 The BBC's Kristina Block says: "Bumped into news photographer in the corridor. She's on her way to take pictures of an anti-wef demonstration. Though demonstration may be exaggerated - word of mouth is there are only 30 or so marching against capitalism."

Tanya Beckett
1502 The BBC's Tanya Beckett writes: The Davos meeting seems to be moving to a close with consensus over banking reform and the need to continue to nurture the fragile recovery. Perhaps the early impassioned warning from President Sarkozy prevented a more self-congratulatory tone which often prevailed in years gone by, ensuring a constructive few days.

Nik Gowing
The BBC's Nik Gowing tweets: Germany defence minister tells me: unclear how re-modelling of NATO's Strategic Concept is going.

1440 The main UN communications and technology agency claims countries are at danger of going to war because of cyber-attacks and says it must draw up a treaty to prevent this happening.

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Sloane tweets: At panel on water resource management (my passion topic) listening to president of Mongolia talk about water wars. #wef

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The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: #wef Session on weak signals: "everyone in this room is pessimistic, that's a weak signal for optimism"


Tidjane Thiam
Prudential's Tidjane Thiam may not win over politicians with his views on risk

1428 The BBC's Simon Jack says that "in a way it's 1-0 to the bankers" because of the such widely-differing views on how to regulate the industry.

1426 Indian businessman Anand Mahindra disagrees with MrWonderfulReality (below). He's tweeted from Davos - in proper tweet speak - that you can't beat one-to-one networking, which he says is the key to Davos' success. Read anandmahindra's tweets

1409 The man from the Pru - Prudential chief executive Tidjane Thiam - ends the session on financial regulation with a daring call to promote risk: "We need high-risk activities, they're good for the economy". Problems arise when the risk isn't understood, he explains.


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loic tweets: Davos moment: I just asked the person in front of me how many employees he has. He answered "only" 300,000 ;)


Nik Gowing
The BBC's Nik Gowing tweets: Response from one of my Tweet followers here that I tweet 'like an addict'. Not sure what he meant. Any other views?

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MrWonderfulReality writes: I do not understand why such meetings cannot be achieved and replaced via internet communication and then an actual summit used solely for signing of agreements. What do you think Davos will achieve this year?

US Democrat Barney Frank
Congressman Frank: Up for a fight, apparently

1353 Davide Serra, who runs the hedge fund Algebris - and was once a semi-professional volleyball player if reports are to be believed, calls for fewer regulating bodies. He suggests the best chief executives of financial institutions should take responsibility for regulation every five years.


Tim Weber
1342 The BBC's Tim Weber says: This year's Davos, more and more people tell me, was very business-like but it's been missing a big buzz, a big theme. Three years ago it was poverty, two years ago it was green, and last year the economic crisis... but this year?

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kenyanpundit tweets: Riding around in the Davos shuttles has led to several fantastic conversations and opportunities... maybe I should just do that all day #wef


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ariannahuff tweets: Just ran into [US Democratic Congressman] Barney Frank who told me he's set for a fight on budget-bloating military spending

1331 European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet has told the Redesigning Financial Regulation panel: "The fact that we must have global rules is absolutely essential."

1259 Financial Services Authority Chairman, Lord Turner, says the behind-closed doors meeting between bankers and regulators was "entirely cooperative". But he says there was no "big new idea" or agreement on financial reform.


1244 It didn't take long for the issue of China's currency to be raised. International Finance Forum in China chairman, Cheng Siwei, points out it has appreciated 20% since 2005 and that it will become fully convertible - but says they must go step by step, not too fast

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MarcLussy tweets: Getting ready for the FGM [Female Genital Mutilation] debate in Davos



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johnmaeda tweets: David Bloom: "For profit can be for public health." It's not just about the NPOs [non-profit organisations]. #davos

1235 Standard Chartered's Peter Sands says the crisis has accelerated the shift towards power in the East. "There's a greater recognition that the world's issues can't just be decided by a Western agenda," he says.

Staff members nearing a sign which reads: "Wake up with a world leader"
Organisers recognise a good double-entendre when they see one

1223 As if to prove Simon Jack's point, a discussion is now starting on "The Great Shift East in the Global Agenda".

1214 Fred Kempe from the US think tank The Atlantic Council tells the BBC's Nik Gowing that at Davos you can watch the acceleration of America's decline. "I've never seen a lower participation of senior Americans - I've never seen so few ideas coming from there"

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Simon Jack tweets: this is the last year that we will hear the term "emerging markets" - at least here in Davos. They have emerged.

1205 The head of the International Monetary Fund urges the US to join with other countries to reform banks. Read the full article.

Tim Weber
Tim Weber tweets: In the mind of a hacker - session at #wef... "white hat hackers hack for educational purposes. They don't inhale"


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Simon Jack tweets: Power shift from West to East informs every conversation here. More theories on how to reform banks than there are delegates


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MarcLussy tweets: Open forum: Leuthard is opening up the panel #wef #ofd10 #ofd2010 #davos

1137 Italy's Unicredit boss, Alessandro Profumo, tells Tanya Beckett the major threat to financial reform is a lack of co-ordination. "Clearly the recovery is weak," he says, adding that it's too early to withdraw stimulus packages. His view seems to be shared by most delegates.

Zakumi the Leopard among delegates
World Cup mascot Zakumi the Leopard proved a hit with the crowds

1131 Barclays president Bob Diamond also backs the idea of a global levy to fund wind-downs, the FT says.

1129 Are big banks starting to make concessions? "I'm advocating a European rescue and resolution fund for banks," Deutsche Bank chief Josef Ackermann told the Financial Times, so the costs of Lehman-style collapses are paid for "to a large degree" by banks themselves.

1114 The official 2010 World Cup mascot is Zakumi the Leopard, a quick web search has revealed. According to the FIFA website, he's a "mascot with attitude". Scary.

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QueenRania tweets: Was moved by applause for role of education in Palestine-Israel. Our hope not with politicians on either side but with new generation to overcome hate and fear. #Davos

1106 They've gone football crazy in the main congress hall, where South Africa is promoting this summer's World Cup. The country's former captain Lucas Radebe is on stage, next to a cuddly mascot with green hair blowing a horn. I'm not sure what kind of animal he is.

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QueenRania tweets: Stepped off #WEF panel on education into BBC interviews. Dynamic discussion, inspired that education message resonating with WEFers. #Davos

1046 Zhu, a relaxed and charming guy, points the finger at the US for the trillions of dollars in US government debt that China holds. "That's because we have more savings. The reason we have more savings is because there's less savings on the other side." So the savings are merely "displaced", he says.

1041 People's Bank of China deputy governor, Zhu Min, has been talking about a good year for his country, in which GDP grew by 8.7%. But he sees a "bumpy road" ahead for the US economy - and fears this will have an impact on Chinese exports.

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jason_pontin tweets: In the studio of the Congress Centre at Davos, watching a beautiful presentation by Toyo Ito on "revolutionary architecture." #Davos #WEF


Larry Summers is projected on a big screen
Larry Summers is concerned about the human impact of the downturn

e-mail sent in by reader
Mr Jones, Wales, UK, writes: The focus for Davos should be free trade and an end to protectionist practices. One such move should be to stop China in keeping its exchange rate artificially low. This... has cost millions of manufacturing jobs in the West. What do you think Davos will achieve this year?

1024 An interesting statistic from Obama's economic adviser Larry Summers: One in five men in the US between 25 and 54 is not working. Even assuming a reasonable recovery, he says, that might only rise to one in seven. In the 1950s, 95% of men had work.

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Tim Weber tweets: Obama's econ adviser Larry Summers at #wef: This is a statistical recovery but still a human recession


comment from blogger
The Prokerala blog, in Davos, says: Bank executives met central bankers and government officials to discuss whether regulations should be imposed on financial markets. Officials from the US and Europe were taking part in the discussions with Deutsche Bank, Switzerland's UBS and other major banks.

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Tim Weber tweets: Martin Wolf (FT) needles Deutsche Bank boss Ackermann at #wef: "Are you back to lending? We know you're back to making a fortune for yourself ".


Trevor Manuel in a scarf
Some feel the cold - but South Africa's scarves promote football's world cup

1002 It's Japan's turn in the economic outlook session. Minister Yoshito Sengoko says his country's economy needs structural change, relying more on domestic demand. He says "maybe the Lehman's shock will give us the opportunity to change".




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davos tweets: #WEF Facebook poll: have we achieved gender parity in workplace? 80% women said no, 63% of men said no

0957 Deputy chairman of the Indian Planning Commission Montek Ahluwalia is not shy about expressing the newfound confidence of the giant Asian economies. "There's a marked difference in the mood in Asia and the mood, shall we say, in the developed world."

0950 IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn touches on the lack of discussion by the US with the rest of the world about President Barack Obama's reforms. "The question of co-ordinating the financial reform is key, and I'm afraid we're not going in that direction."

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Tim Weber tweets: packed congress hall at #wef for today's big session on global economic outlook, w Lagarde, Ackermann, Strauss-Khan, Zhu Min, Summers


e-mail sent in by reader
Hilary, San Francisco, US, says: No unelected person should have as much power as the big bankers. The people of this earth should be the ones in control of the global economy. What do you think Davos will achieve this year?

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Bill_Gross tweets: #Davos - Queen Rania of Jordan on education panel: "The saddest thing is not death, it's when your dreams die when you are alive." #WEF

0931 UK Chancellor Alistair Darling agrees with Tanya. He's told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he is "confident but cautious" that Britain is on the path to a sustained recovery. Action taken by world governments is restoring private sector confidence, he says.

0927
Tanya Beckett
Tanya Beckett tells BBC World News there will be more discussions about the global economy today. She says the feeling is that people are relieved that the worst of the crisis is behind us and the focus can return to growth.


Japanese delegation walks through the snow
Brrr! Snow - the perfect hangover cure for delegates who partied too hard

Stephanie Flanders
0917 The BBC's Stephanie Flanders writes: Relax. That was Larry Summers' basic advice to the bankers and officials at Davos when he spoke to me last night.

Tim Weber
0900 The BBC's Tim Weber says: It's snowing again in Davos, and quite a few people streaming into the congress centre this morning looked just a tad fragile. Little wonder, Friday night is party night at the World Economic Forum.

0849 Back in the education session, Jordan's Queen Rania is calling for a return to prestige in the teaching profession. Finland, she says, has one of the best education systems in the world - but it's not to do with pay. While salaries there are average for Europe, the prestige creates stiff competition for jobs.

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NikGowing tweets: Eye contact among delegates less fashionable ths year! Default is heads down reading email and internet, even walking. Many near misses!

0840 AP reports that government officials from "several nations are meeting behind closed doors with bankers" to discuss regulation. Apparently French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and Joaquin Almunia, the EU competition commissioner, were among them.

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Ev Williams' tweeted in the early hours: This is the safest 5am walk home I've ever done. Also, the only one with a metal detector and armed guards. #wef

0835 If a few of the delegates are looking a bit bleary-eyed, then they probably spent last night at the Google party. By all accounts, it was the hottest tickets in town.

0830 So, it's day four at Davos. Welcome to our live coverage. Today's highlights include Queen Rania's thoughts on education, Deutsche Bank's chief executive Josef Ackermann on the global economic outlook and the Bank of China's deputy governor Zhu Min.





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