January 27th, 2009
11:41 AM GMT
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If we needed reminding why this week's World Economic Forum  is important, look at the pages of any newspaper: job losses, bank  write downs, economic collapse and no end in sight.

In previous years at Davos there has been the feeling that the delegates have been deciding the best way to improve the world;  rarely tempered by doubts of failure or mistake. Now the errors, the failures, the disasters of decision making are as evident as the mountain itself. So this year when some delegates sound off about what must be done, they might be met with, "You got us into this  mess in the first place."

Klaus Schwab the founder of the WEF recognises this, telling me this year's forum will be "...more modest. People see that they have  failed to a certain extent as leaders. Even in Davos ...nobody was really listening."

Which begs the question why we are bothering to listen to these people again? Simple. They are the ones who have to get us out of  the mess. Schwab points out "take the bankers, they are part of the problem but they are also part of the solution so that's the reason we still integrate them here. "

Klaus Schwab agreed that there had to be more humility at this years forum. Ultimately he admits that means hearing bankers and leaders say "sorry."

Tune in to CNN International each evening at 1900 GMT to catch  Richard's new show, 'Quest Means Business.'

For more coverage of this year’s World Economic Forum, go to our special Davos page.



soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Ivan

    Great new show Richard.

    I hope you will continue to ask the tough question to the very people causing havoc worlwide in the name of greed and overblown sense of entitlement.

    The masters of the universe are dead.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  2. Arthur

    Good day. I would like to know why the American Public, 306 Million of us, should not get 10 Million Dollars each as part of the 825 Billion Dollar bailout package. That money would certainly BOOST the economy! Why waste the money on businesses that were not managed properly and should fail to prove a point!!

    January 27, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  3. frans

    These guys should be sacked immediately to make room for competent ones. They have proven to be not trust worthy.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  4. Lauro Silva - Brazil

    Frankly I would say this: 1st. The WEF involves too much money to lodge and host to the delegates. Too many facilities and resources have to be furnished for this event and there´s no money to throw around. 2nd- no doubt what the bankers have in mind is just to have the best of the Forum, bringing home their bacon. There will be only hubris and no humility coming from. 3rd- The WEF events should start up again, maybe not, after all governments have a very clear idea about how the mess has to be faced. For while, all is in the air. I would also say the bankers are the first ones in line to blame for this goddamnedest trouble.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  5. keewatinbob

    Sorry (without sincere action is not enough)

    The CITI planned purchase of a 40+ million dollar (exclusive) jet is a prime example of the kind of actions that have to change to restore confidence in the Banking Sector... Used to be that lawyers had a bad reputation... but it would seem bankers are fast eclipsing the standard! Lets hope that the forum really can embrace fundamental change and chart new and lasting solution options.

    I doubt if many are optimistic that this will the case since the current broken model is the brainchild of 50 years of 'banking wisdom' that will have a lot of of momentum!!!

    January 27, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  6. Shane

    So far, no sorry, just a simple, "We all are responsible for what has happened" from Mr. Schwab. It's enough to make one sick when you think back to the last few years of this conference as it descended into a disgusting display of wealth, bankers mingling with celebrities. The only question is how we all didn't see it coming?
    In Case You Missed It

    January 27, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  7. Stephen

    How can these bankers also be part of the solution? They failed and they should be fired. Rank and files have been fired for lesser offense.

    Come to think of it, changing all these people on top will do us good, there will be fresh ideas from new people. And justice will be serve since they enjoy the perks when things are up, then they should get the boot when things went down (specially its their own doing)

    For starter, if the company needed to save cost, start the layoff from the top, there will be fewer people to let go but easy to reach the target amount, second, the unemployment number will be lower, 3rd, these so called "business leaders" (leaves a bad taste in the mouth) will think twice when its their ass on the line.

    Why in Davos? This meeting should be held in the midst of free kitchen or salvation army, so they can see the result of their brilliant decisions and the ripple effects,

    January 28, 2009 at 5:54 am |
  8. sylvia

    when does the gov't realize that even if they bail banks and mortgage companies out. i and many other families who got caught up with unscruplous mortgage still have to pay an increase in our mortgages every six months with the a.r.m. so when i think i maybe ahead here they come again putting more pressure on me. i'm not looking for a bailout i'm looking for a company thats willing to help people with bad credit, or maybe the gov't will come up with something like making those mortgages illegal since all it hurts is the little guy and makes the richer richer. thank you

    January 28, 2009 at 6:07 am |
  9. adam

    I have the fix to the economic problem we are facing. The thing about this solution is i would not even need a 100 billion dollars. The solutions is (marijuana).

    January 28, 2009 at 6:23 am |
  10. adam

    This would not only make money for the country but would create incredible amounts of jobs. So if anyone would like to hear more lets get the chatter going. This is not just their country its ours too.

    January 28, 2009 at 6:27 am |
  11. Zaldy

    People are looking for an answer in Davos with regards to economy. At the end of the day, we are always asking " Where is the money?, why we fail?".

    Iraq war (since 2001), Global weather problem (e.g.Katrina),Rogue trader(France), other wars (DRC, Georgia, Israel-Lebanon, Israel-Hamas) Fake products( China). These were some of the areas where our money goes, wasted. Example, The King of Saudi Arabia donated $1 Billion to Gaza people for the reconstruction of Gaza strip and its people, if there was no war, this 1B$ can be a good start for business who will give jobs to many people, very very simple logic, do we need to explain that, I dont think so!

    Then , in Davos they gather again and discuss what happen to the ecomony and the crisis and what they (the bright people-they said) will do for the world economy. They are just wasting their time. They are noe just doing vacation there, at the expense of their resfective companies and countries. (Hello how are you).

    January 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |

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