Davos Journal 2011

Farewell, Switzerland: A Davos post-mortem

February 2, 2011: 10:53 AM ET
Davos, Graubünden

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From Jamie Dimon's defense of bankers, Mike Duke's less than rosy economic outlook, to the talking (and not talking) about the political turmoil in Egypt, here's a look at some of this year's highlights at Davos.

Toward the end of another long day in Davos last week I phoned home to San Francisco, where the day was just starting. My four-year-old daughter asked me: "Why is your work in Switzerland, Daddy?" A most wonderfully astute question, I thought, though I was unable to give her a satisfactorily succinct response. Upon my return, my wife asked, as perceptively as her daughter: "So, what do people talk about in Davos?"

I've thought quite a lot about these two questions. My "work," such as it was, shifted at the end of January to Davos, site of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum and its endless panels, institutional meals, hallway conversations, slippery sidewalks, lavish and ear-thumping parties and, yes, a few ski runs. I went for the same reason I assume everyone else goes: Because I got invited and for the opportunity to rub shoulders with the people who are the tops in their fields across the globe, primarily in business and public service.

As for what people talk about, I think I've boiled that down to a simple answer now too: Other than general schmoozing and catching up with old friends and new (shoutout to journalists Daniel Gross and Peter Lattman) as well as ex-journalist Rik Kirkland and his always awesome wife Vicky), most everyone in Davos is advancing their agenda, or, as the case may be, agendas. More

  • Why Davos was worth the trip

    There was a whole lot of talk at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting. But how much of it will turn into meaningful action?

    By Vineet Nayar, contributor

    When I arrived in Davos, Switzerland, last Tuesday for my fourth WorldEconomic Forum annual meeting, I found myself asking an odd question: What am I doing here?

    As described in a previous post, I kept thinking about the investment made in the 5-day event -- including MORE

    Jan 31, 2011 3:45 PM ET
  • Browsers get more (but not enough) privacy

    As several major web browsers begin to adopt stronger privacy measures, here are a few things that policymakers and business leaders should keep in mind.

    By Michael Fertik, contributor

    This week in Davos, the World Economic Forum is convening several sessions on digital privacy. (I am moderating one and panelizing and participating in others.) The WEF has taken a leadership role in this field, emphasizing the importance of privacy in the context MORE

    Jan 28, 2011 4:11 PM ET
  • In Davos, Egypt takes a back seat to economic issues

    The world's heavyweights are gathered to talk about carefully selected topics. An uprising doesn't make it on the official agenda.

    There are a few big stories this year in the sessions at Davos: The developed world's massive deficits, the rise of developing countries, the future of the euro.

    Off the mountain top, there is only one big story: Egypt.

    Davos, of course, is its own world, 1,600 miles from Cairo MORE

    Jan 28, 2011 12:52 PM ET
  • Apotheker on risk and (over)optimism

    I met for the first time this afternoon with Leo Apotheker, the new CEO and president of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). We agreed not to discuss HP matters, given that he isn't quite ready to discuss his grand plan for the company.  (Yes, I traveled halfway around the world to meet the guy next door.)

    Apotheker is as charming and pleasant as I'd been told. If he has any ill will for my MORE

    Jan 28, 2011 10:57 AM ET
  • Watch Jamie Dimon request quick death for "big dumb banks"

    At the World Economic Forum today, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan (JPM) called for humane executions of bad banks:

    Jan 27, 2011 1:41 PM ET
  • Google's Schmidt wants to set the record straight

    Eric Schmidt opens up about his company's executive shuffle, whether or not Facebook poses a threat, and where Google is competing with Apple.

    The media speculation about why Eric Schmidt is ceding the Google (GOOG) chief executive role to Larry Page is "completely false," Schmidt told a group of reporters Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

    Noting that various pundits have guessed that his job shift from CEO to MORE

    Jan 27, 2011 12:22 PM ET
  • Ghosn: Renault-Nissan's Ghosn: The pressure is going to be on the cities to make EVs work


    Talking to CNNMoney's Poppy Harlow, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renaul-Nissan, downplayed concerns that his big bet on electric vehicles will be harmed by a lack of charging spots. In this chicken-and-egg situation, he expects consumers to buy the zero-emission cars and insist that their elected officials deliver the hardware. Cash-strapped states must be thrilled to hear that this is now on their plates. Reassures Ghosn:

    Jan 27, 2011 9:10 AM ET
  • Wal-Mart's Mike Duke: Davos Man?

    Mike Duke sees Wal-Mart (WMT) shoppers embracing smart phones. He "loves" his company's business in Mexico. And given Wal-Mart's history of buying the goods it sells in developing countries, especially China, he's even excited about the handful of U.S. products Wal-Mart is exporting to places like Japan and China.

    Duke is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, for the first time, yet another sign that the once-insular Wal-Mart is MORE

    Jan 27, 2011 6:16 AM ET
  • Sully on turbulence (and leadership)

    The Hero of the Hudson dishes out a little advice on how to get through the rough patches.

    Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger was on my flight to Zurich from San Francisco Monday. Happily, his services weren't needed in the cockpit. It was a flawless flight, though there was quite a bit of turbulence, which awakened me in the middle of the night.

    Wednesday morning, while he was filling his plate at the breakfast MORE

    Jan 27, 2011 6:00 AM ET
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