January 22nd, 2013
02:00 PM GMT
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Editor's note:  CNN is at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Follow CNN's coverage here.

Davos (CNN ) - "The future's bright ... the future's Orange" was the tag line for mobile phone company Orange's UK advertising campaign in the 90s. It was annoying but it caught on, and was regularly co-opted in conversation whenever someone was looking on the dark side of life.

Now it sounds like Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum in Davos, is doing it too. Ahead of the formal opening of the 2013 forum, Schwab says we should all be more optimistic.

"Last year we were all caught in a crisis mood," he told me. "I think it's time to look at the future in a much more constructive way again."

He believes the bright spots are everywhere, not least in the progress that has been made since last year's forum when the talk was all about the "collapse of the euro and the end of Europe."  He reminds me: "It hasn't happened."

Schwab has a point. Most of the world outside the U.S. and European Union is growing nicely, and the economic risks that do exist seem to be primarily transatlantic - again.

The danger of Davos is that it becomes a self-perpetuating whinge fest of what is wrong in the world and why it is so difficult to put things right. An intense week of discussing U.S. fiscal woes, European debt, developing world hunger, poverty and global climate change would have anyone running for the hills weeping.

Schwab wants us to look on the positive side. "We have certain signs of economic recovery, so let's see what we have to do to structure our future in a more positive way," he said. In Davos speak he wants us to be "more dynamic."

It is an interesting theory and perhaps one that is difficult to follow when EU unemployment is 11% and rising; inequality and social divisiveness is on the rise not the fall; and there is political gridlock in Washington.

I guess what Schwab is really saying, is that while are certainly many serious problems to be dealt with, we would do better to tackle them from a position of "glass half full" rather than the traditional journalists' view of "nothing in the bloody glass at all."

Ok, Professor Schwab. I will give it a try this week. Optimism at full strength. The future's bright........"

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. MAX

    "U.S. fiscal woes, European debt,"

    What is this always on CNN with calling the European situation debt and the US situation just fiscal. What utter nonsense. What a cheap way of reporting the situation in favor of the US. The fact is the US debt stands at 104% of GDP while all EU debt combined is less then 87% of GDP. On top of this it was the US that started the financial crises in 2007 (lehman collapse, Bailout AIG, Bailout Freddie May, Bailout Fennny mac, Bailout GM, stimulus Bush 350 Billion, Stimulus Obama 750 Billion, Fed interest rates at 0% with no end date, FED QE1, FED QE2, FED permanent no end date QE3, Uncontrollable debts surpassing 16 trillion and again and again reaching the debt ceiling and having to raise it. Except for situations like in Greece, Spain and Portugal many of the 27 EU members are in the same or better shape then the US with lower to a lot lower debt and lower to a lot lower unemployment.

    January 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  2. rose macaskie

    It may well be that America has more debt than europe but it also has less unemployment and I have heard that it is paying back its debt faster because growth is a more successful policy that allows them to pay back more than austerity is. They have played this republican democrate "we dont agree with each other", in such a way as to hold off austerity and give their countries a longer chance to recover before they start to pay back their debt in good earnest or, and, so that they can start to pay it off sooner because growth brings in more cash than austerity. They have been clever while Europe has stupidly been following the Hayeck type packet of ideas break unions, deregularise the financial sector, make i possible to pay people a miserable wage without offering them job security called structuring the countries because that helps the rich who are the money earners, ideas that have, over the last forty years brought us to were we are now. Europe has turned its back on Keynes slightly cleverer and less intuitative ideas and gone back to the ways of treating economics that have been with us from from time immemorial, look after the rich and hope the poor will provide an enormouse cheep work force for these rich people. Just forget that spenders drive the economy and that lots of poor spend more than a few rich and you can take us back to the times that existed before the french revolution Happily, because those that follow Hayeck are happiest when they are doing for us all, even though the possibiity that the rich persons grandchildren will do well were fewer people do well is slim. These very rich people live for the present and for themeslves and for they rest they just have wishful thinking, the rich of today dont mind what happens to their grandchildren, they only mind about being part of an elite that is every day more exclusive and so more egosatisfying for them I suppose. rose macaskie

    January 25, 2013 at 12:14 am |
  3. Laurent Marc

    "A great civilisation is not conquered from without until it has distroyed itself from within" Will Durant.When you live with a full salary and you are not to be able to make ends meet ,while firms are full of cash ,what ' s the matter to be European or Amerrican ?What's the matter to live or to die for a country,for a elite class who don't care about it's own people ? (US soldiers who don't find a work after risking life to defend it's own country despair and suicide,UK soldiers fired after war,the middle class who had a villa and now live in a car if lucky enough,people of middle class who pay more taxes and rich people who escape taxes in fiscal heaven..... Help Roosevelt

    January 29, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  4. rose macaskie

    Richard Quest. You talked to some man tonight, Febuary the fourth, about the dishonesty in the financial world and he said that there were lots of financiers who were friends of his who were honest people. This brings us onto another factor of the financial crisis which is that, a large amount of the financial world just werent thinking and did not seem to at all realise what was going on. Nothing made them think, maybe we are getting into deep waters and doing things that cant possibly work, at least that is what I have read on the topic and this means that one of the worrying things about the crash was the childishness of all these man who wear suits and look so trustworthy and solemn, and today, Standard and Poors have come out to explian that they just did not see the crash coming, which is not to hard to believe as during the first half of my life it was very hard to get people to lend money unless the person who wanted to borrow it was pretty likely to be able to pay it back so that the ratings agencies just presumed that debt backed securities were safe because it did not ocurre to them that the poeople who lent money would totally change their lending standards and lend to any insolvent person and crazy idea.
    The whole banking, lending world, took a walk through the woods on a totally unknown path and did not realise that they had gone off the beaten track and did not know were they were going. If they were dressed, some as pirates who did not really care about any serious factor and some as old women, from times when women were not educated, the image we have of them would be more correct than the one we get from looking at well groomed, short haired, men in pretty dreary coloured suits. They were asleep on the job or being crazy, even more than they were being sharklike, they need to be regualted.
    They also got too confident in mathematical models and did not see that they had not factored in the half of possible eventualities into their models. Like that they were a lot of adventureres and stupid ones at that. As Bones would say with some disdain, there are twenty thousand different possibilites in human nature and you have only taken into account two hundred of them in your formular. rose macaskie madrid

    February 5, 2013 at 2:06 am |
  5. daphne yviana

    for posting.have been reviewed,not all comments will be prosted.lika that they were a lot of adventureres and stipuds ones at that

    August 15, 2013 at 12:08 am |
  6. daphne yviana

    ilove you my brother

    August 15, 2013 at 12:10 am |
  7. m.s.mohamed ansari




    August 16, 2013 at 3:10 am |
  8. Papis

    Hi Richard, I have been following your report since maybe 15 years now and I hardly miss any of them, I found the reports on Qatar harsh and not founded they are to many bad issues in this word. Richard look I leave in an European Country I earn Euro around 600 my flat cost me 400 on my residence permit am bind to one employee, I ask my self where is the difference with taking the passport of workers in Qatar, on top of all I have a degree and speak 6 European languages fluent and in writing, what the world is up to Qatar is not founded in any ground.

    October 3, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  9. John Bamford

    MH370 should start looking east from last point of contact. Towards sabah or surrounding islands. Water landing for ransom? Flying 500knots under radar.

    March 11, 2014 at 8:23 am |

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