So no one’s going to Davos: our guide to the big issues that won’t be tackled | Davos

The aim of this column is normally pretty clear: to look forward at the greatest occasion in the coming week. However this time we’re breaking with custom to deliver you the week’s greatest non-event: Davos.

Yearly the nice and the good collect in the Swiss Alps at the grandly titled World Financial Discussion board to give their solutions to the big questions. However Covid-19, working now into its fourth calendar 12 months, has seen it referred to as off once more.

In the absence of a real-life discussion board this month, the Observer is publishing, as a public service, a abstract of the talks not given, the panels that remained ungathered, the roundtables not tabled.

Inequality after Covid-19

Klaus Schwab, founding father of the World Financial Discussion board. {Photograph}: Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA


As coronavirus unfold round the world, it prompted turmoil in monetary markets, however they shortly snapped again and US equities have hit a collection of latest data. Broad measures of inequality are notoriously unreliable, however one apparent signal is seen proper at the high, with 10 “centibillionaires” – folks value greater than $100bn – in accordance to Bloomberg’s day by day league desk. Hosted by Davos founder Klaus Schwab, engineer, economist and professional in getting the world’s richest folks in the identical room.


Central bankers did handle to get to their very own mountain resort working vacation in the summer season at Jackson Gap, however since then inflation has actually jumped up the agenda, thanks to surging world fuel costs and disruption to provide chains. So are the Fed’s Jerome Powell and the Financial institution of England’s Andrew Bailey actually keen to play the position of financial hawks?

Hosted by Jens Weidmann, the German economist who spent a decade crying wolf on inflation at the European Central Financial institution, just for worth rises to arrive simply after he left.

China’s place in the world

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon.JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon. {Photograph}: Jeenah Moon/Reuters


The pandemic originated in China, however as that nation overtakes the US as the nice world financial energy, will the world fall right into a “Thucydides entice” and have a tendency inexorably in the direction of struggle?

Hosted by HSBC boss Noel Quinn, whose wager is on Beijing, if his firm’s obvious willingness to overlook Chinese language repression is any guide, together with JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon, who managed a powerful two apologies after joking that his financial institution would outlast China’s Communist occasion.


Michelle MoneMichelle Mone. {Photograph}: PA

There’s no scarcity of individuals keen to go on about how cryptocurrencies will change the world. Simply ask Kazakhstan, the place bitcoin mining could or could not have been a consider latest power worth protests. Candidates for a Davos panel would possibly embrace El Salvador’s crypto-bro president Nayib Bukele, underwear tycoon/PPE connoisseur/bitcoin fanatic Michelle Mone, and Twitter founder/funds boss/Victorian sage Jack Dorsey.


Medication after the pandemic

Elizabeth Holmes.Elizabeth Holmes. {Photograph}: Jeff Chiu/AP

The pandemic has proved a monetary and public relations triumph for big pharma, which has (with honourable exceptions) firmly cashed in. So what subsequent for biotech? Hosted by famous thought chief Elizabeth Holmes alongside Jacek Olczak, chief government of cigarette maker Philip Morris Worldwide, which desires to transfer in the direction of web zero lifeless clients by shopping for an inhaler firm.

Construct Again Higher

Big economics had already quietly acknowledged that fiscal austerity was a foul concept after the monetary disaster, however the pandemic has not a lot opened the floodgates as destroyed them. Authorities funding is firmly again in vogue.

Who higher to discuss us by way of the implications than Joe Biden, whose flagship financial coverage is to “construct again higher” (simply don’t ask the way it will move the US Senate), and Boris Johnson, whose flagship financial coverage is to “construct again higher” (simply don’t ask about new trains, events, power costs, tax rises, and many others)?

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