January 28th, 2010
06:46 PM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) – Day two of the World Economic Forum in Davos and the issues being talked about in the hallways are truly global. The number one talking point remains the need for new regulation and the new definition of capitalism. Bankers continue their fight against harsh new regulations – Bob Diamond told CNN, “I think it’s really important that the U.S. tries to integrate as closely as they can with the G-20 initiatives, particularly around capital, around leverage and around liquidity.” While John Mack of Morgan Stanley bemoaned the fact there wasn’t a proper forum for government and banks to come together to sort out a solution.

But also the shift of power towards Asia is high on the agenda. The prospective next Chinese prime minister is here – and I assure you every word he says is analysed, dissected and followed with much interest no doubt by the prime minister and finance minister of Greece. In true Davos fashion I have now been able to hobnob with some pretty big players.

The prime minister of Greece had a moment to chat about the financial crises hitting his country. I interviewed the CEO of Pepsico, Indira Nooyi. Like other great thinkers she is determined that there needs to be a sea change in the way CEOs regard their companies and stakeholders (and in her case, she is also pushing hard for Pepsico to introduce more healthy chips, drinks and snacks.)

Ms. Nooyi did have one caution to offer – she reminded me that some of the issues had been on the Davos agenda over many years. It was time to deal with them and move on. Quite.

Tune in to CNN International each evening at 1900 GMT (or your local time) to watch Richard Quest on ‘Quest Means Business’.

For more information on Davos please visit www.cnn.com/davos

Filed under: BusinessDavosQuest Means Business


January 28th, 2010
11:56 AM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) – The runners are off… Davos has begun. The agenda is clear: how to do things differently in the future, especially when it comes to the banks.

The discussion has been galvanized by U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposals to split the big Wall Street firms and ban proprietary trading. Stephen Green, chairman of HSBC, told me reform of the banks is needed but cautions against doing it in haste. And he doesn’t like Obama’s proposals for banning prop trading by banks, which he says is unworkable.

There are big thoughts being raised here today. Ben Verwaayen the CEO of telecom company Alcatel-Lucent is promoting cohesive capitalism. He explained that companies need to set policies around a much bigger agenda than earnings per share. "I'm talking about issues... whether that's health, whether that's climate change, whether it has to do with the cohesion of society because of diversity. And companies need to contribute."  This is true Davosian thinking.

Verwaayen knows stating the principle is part of the process at Davos. Tom Glocer, the CEO of Thomson Reuters - a seasoned Davos hand – knows, "Ideas are generated independently. They begin to be socialized. They are essentially repeating what they’ve heard in the corridors here. The idea picks up traction."

In the cold winter of Switzerland there is, as always, hot debate of these issues and these conversations will eventually lead to change.

Tune in to CNN International each evening at 1900 GMT (or your local time) to watch Richard Quest on ‘Quest Means Business’.

For more information on Davos please visit www.cnn.com/davos

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January 28th, 2010
10:36 AM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) – As the serious business of rethinking, redesigning and rebuilding the world’s battered economy got started at Davos, I found myself wandering into a debate about how social media is changing the world.

LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman

Everyone that’s anyone in this rarefied world was there, including MySpace chief Owen Van Natta, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was represented by his sister, Randi.

It’s standing room only in the ridiculously small conference suite deep in the fortified congress center, such is the interest in what these new kings of Silicon Valley have to say.

See CNN's full Davos coverage

The idea is that each panelist gives his or her view on the most interesting issues in social networking, from privacy to how it’s being used as a newsgathering tool. The discussion is also going out live on the Internet - at one stage Zuckerberg reveals almost 6,000 questions have been filed by Facebook users within minutes.

Williams, in his jeans and hooded top, seems to be tweeting between questions, while Hoffman comes out with one of the most provocative statements when he calls privacy an “old person’s” issue that young people aren’t interested in.

Tell that to the huge number of bloggers that complained when Facebook altered their privacy settings recently. Interestingly, Zuckerberg isn’t keen to discuss privacy as she hides behind her laptop.

Don Tapscott, a veteran tech writer, chimed in about Facebook profiles being open to scrutiny by potential employers. “Someone could miss out on that job due to content in their Facebook account that doesn’t necessarily represent their true character.”

An interesting point. Are you worried about where your personal information is going? Let us know below.

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