Page last updated at 08:09 GMT, Thursday, 27 January 2011

Davos 2011: Day 2 as it happened

Davos preparations

By Olivia Lang

Prime ministers, presidents and leaders of the world's biggest companies are in the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the second day of the annual World Economic Forum. The issues they will be debating affect millions of us. The BBC will be bringing you minute-by-minute coverage, analysis from our team of correspondents, and your reactions.

1833: Bill Clinton wraps up proceedings for us today. As far as the evening's entertainment goes, Davos-goers can choose from a number of sessions, on subjects ranging from exploring extreme climates to dying languages. Tomorrow, the big draws look set to be US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Hope you can join us from 0800.

Bill Clinton
1820: So what does Mr Clinton want over the next 10 years? "I'd like to live," he says (he has suffered a partially collapsed lung and undergone open heart surgery in recent years). He'd also like to be a grandfather. Apparently his wife too would like to be a grandmother - more so than she wants to be president. "This is an exciting time to be alive," Mr Clinton says.

1816:Watching the livestream of Bill Clinton speaking at #Davos and deciding a life goal is to attend one year... dream big!, tweets Kristin Mitchell from California.

1815: As the India minister suggests, the issue of global food prices is a topic very much on the agenda. President Sarkozy was critical of people who speculate on commodity prices and Indonesia's President Yudhoyono warned about the possibility of an "economic war" over scarce resources.

1758: Blimey, temperature in Davos plummets when it gets dark. Our edit cubicle in press centre gets v cold, last night we sat in thermals & coats tweets ITV producer Jess Brammar.

Bill Clinton
1754: Much of today's talk has been about the changing status of world powers. Here's Bill Clinton's take: "Do I think America is in decline? I don't, but its relative position is changing."


With the prices of key commodities rising, can governments keep subsiding the prices of food and fuel to help their populations? Maybe not. Indian Urban Development minister, Kamal Nath, tells BBC World that subsidies such as these could hinder economic growth in future. There will be some tough choices ahead.


Fuel subsidies 'could hit growth'

Bill Clinton
1743: Back with Mr Clinton. After starting off talking about the ongoing relief effort in Haiti and the UN's Millennium Development goals, the subject turns to the Middle East and North Africa. Mr Clinton describes the uprising in Tunisia and the anti-government protests in Egypt as "a yearning to be part of the modern world that works".

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1736: Among the delegates, watch out for the prowling "Davos Mistress", says Anya Shriffin, author and wife of economist Joseph Stiglitz. The life of a Davos wife is bad enough - but not as bad as for a mistress, she writes. "The skinny and beautifully dressed Davos Mistress typically hangs around the auditoriums waiting for a couple of minutes with her man. While waiting, she keeps her eyes peeled looking to search and destroy the competition." Entertaining stuff.

Bill Clinton
1733: Next up: A Conversation with William J. Clinton. The former US president has been a busy man since leaving office a decade ago - he's written an autobiography, set up the Clinton Foundation, headed the UN relief effort in the wake of the 2005 Asian tsunami, and is the UN's special envoy to Haiti. "You have given a new significance to the word retirement!" WEF founder Klaus Schwab tells him.

1731: Where are all the women? Despite a quota imposed on top companies to try to lift the number of women at Davos, they make up only around 16% of the 2,500 participants. (The WEF now requires its 100 or so "strategic partners" to include one woman among their five delegates). IT strategist Anked from Germany has been tweeting about the lack of women on the panels: #WEF has Young Leaders Forum with a 50% gender target, now at 44% women's share, good but where are the senior women? Read Anked's tweets.

1724:Pascal Lamy also sounds a warning to developing countries for the next Doha Round - a series of multilateral trade negotiations. One of its aims was to stimulate growth and wealth in developing countries but Mr Lamy says this will be "the first round ever where some developing countries will pay a price in terms of market access in manufacturing, in agriculture, in services".

1715: WTO director general Pascal Lamy literally takes a leaf out of George Orwell's Animal Farm. "In WTO all players are equal. But as we know some are more equal than others," he quips. He carries on: "All players are major. But some are more major than others." Who is he talking about? China and the US of course. That's why the US-China relationship is such a major issue.

1712: China's Commerce Minister Chen Deming has kicked off the debate on China's Impact on Global Trade and Growth. He says this year Chinese companies will focus on investing overseas and buying more products from overseas. "We want to boost consumption overseas," he says.

1710: Bill Gates is tweeting a link to a piece written by the director of the Gates' foundation, Joe Cerrell (in which he praises Mr Gates as one of the "great non-traditional champions" - don't hold back, Joe). Mr Cerrell claims that WEF has broadened its scope and that "international development has quietly taken its place as a standard agenda item on the WEF programme". Is that true, and is it making any difference? Please send us your comments.

1646: Where is the World Bank's Bob Zoellick? At the beginning of a debate on China, the whereabouts of Mr Zoellick are a mystery. Mr Zoellick was supposed to be on the panel but the panel chair tells the audience that he was initially trapped in Washington, then in Frankfurt, and he doesn't know where he is now. Answers on a postcard please...

1641: Has the French leader become more realistic in his ambitions for the G20 since last year? The Economist certainly think so. "This does not mean the French have abandoned hopes of big systemic changes, but they are now more realistic about what they can achieve." Whether this translates into a boost in popularity (rather needed right now) is a different matter.

1638: Nicolas Sarkozy struck a rather emotional chord earlier with his description of the euro - saying it was the lynchpin of peace and prosperity. "Europe has had 60 years of peace and therefore we will never let the euro go or be destroyed... I speak as much for my German friends as I do for the French".


'Never will we abandon the euro'

1621: Fin crisis of 2008 avoidable, says US inquiry, central banker in #davos said just now there was no excuse f the crisis, tweets the BBC's Tim Weber.

1620: Business tycoon Azim Hashim Premji is quoted in the Times of India criticising his Western counterparts, claiming that emerging economies are fed up with the West lecturing them.
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1610: Blaise Buma, from Bamenda, Cameroon asks: At a time when the US is facing fierce competition from the rest of the world, led by China, should the US not be doing more to tackle core issues such as a burgeoning deficit and high unemployment?

1604: Richard Edgar (from the FT) tweets: George Soros stole my laptop bag. By mistake. We both have WEF bags. His aide is bringing it back.

1546: Mayor of London Boris Johnson, complete with hair even more ruffled than usual, speaks out about the need for banks to do more for British society, in recognition of how the taxpayer has helped them out "in a major way". He told the BBC he wants a "much, much bigger commitment by the banks to the environment they are operating in".

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1528: A common sport among Davos attendees is looking over each other's shoulders to find out what gadget is hot this year. According to Ross Chainey, blogging on the Reuters Davos Notebook, there is only one contender: This time last year, the online team here in Davos broke off from its coverage of the WEF for an hour or so to follow the unveiling of Apple's iPad. Back then, we didn't even know what it would be called. Now the device is on show everywhere, especially among the global elite in Davos. Reuters technology correspondent Kenneth Li tweeted this yesterday: "Davos is ugly with iPads. One CEO tried to hide his from me. Shameful!"

1447: If our correspondents are talking about former cricketers and dresses, there must be a lull in proceedings. So, in case you missed it, now is a good time to watch the BBC World's debate on China's role in the world here:


Does China aspire to global leadership?

1421: I love the way Christine Lagarde dresses. SO classy, tweets the BBC's Tanya Beckett.

Tim Weber
1427: Another bit of star spotting: I'm not a cricket fan, but I just ran into Imran Khan, here at the #wef in #davos, tweets the BBC's Tim Weber.

1422: Stephen A. Miles tweets: #Davos at a street corner being pinned to the wall by police with Bill Gates and Kofi Annan so the PM of Russia's motorcade go by!! def: Imp Read Stephen A. Miles's tweets

1420: Bit of a love-in between Nick Clegg and the ECB's Jean-Claude Trichet. Both talk about the important trade links between the UK and the eurozone. The UK is more important to us than the US, the ECB president says.

1413: Peter Thal Larsen tweets: Congress Hall at #Davos barely half full for Europe debate feat. Trichet, Clegg & Papandreou. Does this mean the eurozone crisis is over? Read Peter Thal Larsen's tweets

1411: Back with Europe and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou who says his country has a "very clear path, a roadmap" for ending its debt problems. He hopes Greece's economy can return to growth by 2012. Sounds good. But he also talks about the need to lengthen Greek debt payments to avoid a "bump" in 2014.

1402: The BBC debate concludes with a rather unscientific way of measuring who will be the leading global power in 20 years' time (a show of hands). China or the US? The majority of the 150-strong audience plump for the US. Let us know what you think.

1400: Over at a session called Europe: Back to the drawing board, UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says eurozone countries need to "return to some of those basic ideas" which were "on the original drawing board" when the single currency was created. This includes governments doing "the difficult homework that's necessary for Europe's long-term benefit".

1352: Anand Sharma's "global train" line is picked up on by a member of the audience who asks, "The question is who is on this train? There aren't too many people."

1345: Lagarde and Haass both question how China will balance its responsibilities at home with their responsibilities abroad. Victor Chu, chairman of First Eastern Investment Group, attempts to explain the domestic pressures China faces that the rest of the world don't see.

1342: Anand Sharma raises a laugh from the audience with this one-liner: "India is on the global train, we are not standing on the platform."

1340: The BBC World debate moves on to India and China. But while many people may band the two countries together as emerging economies, Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma points out that their growth has been driven by different things. China's has been primarily down to increased global trade; India's by domestic demand.

1333: We've said much about Russia and its efforts to attract foreign investment. But Africa wants to get in on the act too. There are African business bosses banging the drum and the World Bank's Ngozi Okonjo Iweala tells BBC World about its burgeoning middle class, ripe for investment. Nestle is getting ready to put a billion dollars into African countries, she says.

1323: Richard Haass, leader of the Council on Foreign Relations in the US, says the biggest challenges facing the United States are domestic issues. But does he see a consensus emerging on what needs to be done at home? "I'll be honest - I don't see it yet."

1318: French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde echoes President Sarkozy's earlier call for a rebalancing of global institutions such as the IMF and WTO so "we can be effective and decisive not just in our speeches but in our actions". France will be putting the topic of global governance on the G20's agenda this year.

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1309: Julie Harpum, from Evreux, France writes: Business as usual, fairly predictable, neither the Chinese head nor Barack Obama present. Clearly it is all happening elsewhere, as those two slug it out over who really owns the world's currencies.

1308: Gary Haugen, head of NGO International Justice Mission, tweets: @Davos session on crime. UNODC's Fedotov says impossible to fight human trafficking without fighting corruption - can't traffic without corruption.

1302: Look out for this year's BBC debate, which will be starting shortly on BBC World. The panel includes French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.

1300: Just went and saw site of "explosion" at Posthotel. Nothing major at all. A couple of cracked windows, tweets Vikram Chandra.

1245: Enough of the number-crunching: time now for a little artistic inspiration. Organisers have invited Damien Hirst along to bring a little creativity to the occasion. One of last night's big events was called Brush Strokes. Now Hirst is here, doing what's called a spin-painting.

1235: Here's that interview with Renault boss Carlos Ghosn we mentioned earlier about the difficulties of exporting from Japan. Worth a look.

Stephanie Flanders
1229:Europe may have been dominating the main stage this morning, but the US and it burgeoning deficit has been on the minds of many around the conference halls."What's going to happen first: sensible US fiscal policy, or a global revolt against the dollar? In all my discussions about the global economy so far here in Davos, that's the question we keep coming back to," writes the BBC's Stephanie Flanders.

1215: One of the world's richest men, Russian aluminium king Oleg Deripaska, has been defending his country against claims that investors are put off by politicians meddling in business. Try doing business in South Africa or India, he tells the BBC's Tanya Beckett, where you might well be tied up in the court system for 20 years. In Russia, it will take two years and you will get "a very solid decision," he says.

1212: We're doing fine, than you very much. The ECB president tells his audience that the bank has delivered price stability and will continue to do so, amid concern that the recent increases of oil and commodity prices will have a knock-on effect. He will be seeking to assure observers after Eurozone inflation spiked last month, exceeding the ECB's goal of just below 2% for the first time in two years.

1155: Oops, in Davos, makeup in washbag only has summer slap. Look like I've been tangoed, tweets ITV journalist Daisy McAndrew.

1145: More about the hotel blast: The source of the explosion has still not been confirmed, while Swiss media say an anti-WEF group threatened in an e-mail to attack the hotel with fireworks. Read our news article here.

1135: US under pressure if it's to meet G20 debt reduction plan, John Lipsky IMF#, tweets CNBC reporter Ross Westgate.

1123: LinkedIn Poised to File for IPO (maybe today says @KaraSwisher), tweets entrepreneur and blogger Loic Le Meur.

1117: News just in: AP reports that a small explosion took place at a hotel near where the WEF is taking place, citing Swiss police. Nobody was injured, said police spokesperson Thomas Hobi. The blast happened at 0800 GMT in a storage room of the Posthotel Morosani. It is not known what caused the explosion. More details to follow.

1104: That Rosneft-Exxon Mobil deal has been confirmed. It looks like Exxon will invest $1bn in the deep sea venture. The Rosneft chairman and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said they'd managed to persuade the US firm, who have clashed with Russian authorities in the past, that the investment climate had changed.

1101: Sarkozy warns everyone "betting against euro currency" that they should be careful about their money, "we will always defend it", tweets Loic Le Meur.

1059: Strong words from Nicolas Sarkozy, who has firmly dismissed any speculation against the euro, saying he and Germany's Angela Merkel would never let the currency fail. "Never will we turn our backs on the euro. Never will we abandon the euro."

1057: Are #Davos bankers on planet earth?, tweets the BBC's Robert Peston.

1045: There has been a lot of talk about the absence of big bank bosses this year - they are not seen as at their most popular at the moment, to put it lightly. But Jamie Dimon, head of JP Morgan, has made the trip. He has been talking about why investors shouldn't be forced to share the pain if countries default on their debt. It would be "far too risky" and could trigger a run on the banks. So he thinks governments should keep picking up the tab. No surprise there.

Tim Weber
1038: Windows Phone 7: Michael Dell tells me demand for these phones is higher than Dell can supply, but guards "we don't make *that* many", tweets the BBC's Tim Weber.

1029: Now underway is what everyone has been waiting for: Nicolas Sarkozy's "Vision for the G20". Mr Sarkozy is joined on the panel by WEF founder Klaus Schwab and advertising chief Maurice Levy. Watch it live on the WEF website here. As ever, we would love to hear your comments.

1008: Regional police spokesman tells AP that anti-#WEF demo planned for #Davos on Saturday expected to be peaceful, tweets Frank Jordans.

statue in davos entrance
A rather striking statue greets delegates in the forum entrance
1004: Big technology news from the gathering: "Michael Dell tells me that as soon as Android 3.0 Honeycomb is fully available, Dell will ship ipad-sized tablets", tweets the BBC's Tim Weber.

0952: Despite most of their time being spent tussling it out over high-brow economic matters indoors, Davos delegates still appear to appreciate the beauty and tranquillity of their wintry surroundings. Jess Brammar tweets: We've had about 4 hours sleep but couldn't care less right now. Amazing scenery. Read Jess Brammar's tweets.

0940: In forum now w/faith leaders @Davos. Many faith issues but energy around challenge of Islamic extremism, especially among Islamic speakers, tweets Gary Haugen.

0932: There's been some surprise at how small the Japanese delegation is at Davos this year. Carlos Ghosn, boss of car giant Renault, which has a big interest in Japan through its ownership of Nissan, agrees its presence is "discrete". Talking to BBC World, he stresses everyone has an interest in making sure supporting the world's third largest economy, but admits that shifting some of Nissan's production out of the country to avoid the strong yen won't have helped.

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0927: Amie Baker, from London writes: I was disgusted to read the cost to countries and participants of the forum, also that these participants can choose and pay for different tiers of participation. This does not make it a world economic forum, but an exclusive, closed door party? Talk of rich and poor and addressing issues of poverty cannot mean much when it is only one part of the world doing the talking. We cannot hope for real solutions to the very real issues, if every nation and its leaders cannot have their voice heard and listen to one another on a equal platform.

Tim Weber
0926: Why do economists get it so wrong, asks the BBC's business editor Tim Weber. "Nearly every economic forecast will come true at some point. It's just a question when," he says. "Poor economic forecasts can be a bit like a broken clock; it shows the correct time twice a day, when the hour comes around".

Dmitry Medvedev
0920: President Dmitry Medvedev may have gone home early, but Russia is definitely still on a mission to do deals in Davos this year. State-owned oil company Rosneft is tying up with US giant Exxon Mobil to develop offshore oil in the Black Sea, according to sources quoted by Reuters.

0910: Dimon at #WEF says "that is a ridiculous statement" by Larry Summers that banks fought financial reform, paid $1M per congressmen to lobby, tweets Adam Lashinsky.

0904: There are some reversals in what's seen as the West to East shift, according to Dominic Barton from consulting group McKinsey, who is speaking at the session on preparing for shocks. "If you talk to people in the China Investment Corporation they'd be very happy to invest in US infrastructure. So it's not just a shift in jobs going from West to East, it can also go the other way too."

Robert Peston
0855: The downgrade of Japan prompts banker gulp here at #Davos. Japan's huge national debt seen as big accident waiting to happen, tweets the BBC's Robert Peston.

0854: Meanwhile, bad news for Japan today: Standard and Poor's have lowered the country's long-term sovereign credit rating, saying it expected fiscal deficits to stay high in years to come. The news is sure to send shivers through a few at Davos.

0845: The boss of Lenovo was on fighting form speaking to BBC World TV - it's not often you get a chief operating officer shadow boxing live on air. Rory Read talked about their strategy: protect and attack. Look after their existing markets - such as China, where they have a massive 30% share - while taking on ones like India and South America.

A sniper stands on the roof of the Kongress Hotel close to the Congress Center during the World Economic Forum annual meeting on January 27, 2011 in Davos

0843: Mr Dimon goes on to voice his support for the EU's approach to the debt crisis. "I think Europe did the only good choice, which is to get through this crisis." Any restructuring that would force banks to take losses would be far too risky, he says.

0838: Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and CEO of Alcoa, says the focus on jobs is important but instead of looking at the existing big players, we need to look at new industries for growth.

0829: Head of US bank JP Morgan Chase Jamie Dimon is asked about the Greek debt crisis. "A stronger, better approach would have been to do something straight away. But I don't agree with socialising the debt," he says.

0827: A session featuring bosses from leading companies JP Morgan, McKinsey and Alcoa gets under way. They'll be pondering whether we are better prepared for the next shock.

Tanya Beckett
0825: BBC World business presenter Tanya Beckett puts it like this: It is like a family row - no-one wants to have it in public.

Stephanie Flanders
0824: But are these discussions a year too late, asks the BBC's Stephanie Flanders. In her blog, she says that this time last year, she couldn't understand why the impending crisis in Greece wasn't being discussed."I was told it was not a good subject for Davos," she writes in her blog. "The disagreements were too intense."

0813: Today will see attention turn to the eurozone's debt crisis. France's Nicolas Sarkozy gives the big speech of the day and will lay out his plans for the G20 under his leadership. Also appearing will be the European Central Bank's Jean-Claude Trichet and Greek Prime Minister Papandreou.

Tim Weber
0811: Why this year's #davos feels different: 1. there is no BIG issue dominating the agenda; 2. there's no scapegoat (e.g. banks, hedge funds), tweets the BBC's Tim Weber. The scapegoats were banks last year, hedge funds 2 years ago, then sovereign wealth funds 3 years ago, he says.

0808: Good morning and welcome back to our live coverage of the 2011 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, tweets (hashtag: #davos), and the best of the blogs. If you missed yesterday's coverage, you can catch up here.

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