The annual economic summit in Davos did not come up with a magic bullet to solve the world’s financial woes, Edith Lederer reports for AP.
Mired in indecision and uncertainty, the world’s foremost gathering of the best and brightest in government and business failed to come up with any new plan to stem, much less reverse, the global financial meltdown.
The five-day World Economic Forum in this Swiss alpine resort wrapped up Sunday in the same atmosphere of doom and gloom that it began, with a realization that the depth of the crisis is still unknown and the solution remains elusive.
“Everybody’s lost in Davos,” said Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. “No one seems to have a clear understanding of how big this crisis is and what we need to do to get out of it.” he told AP. “My own view is that you really need to do a fundamental reexamination of the whole global system to see what went wrong, and nobody here is yet ready to ask these kinds of fundamental questions in Davos.”
There was widespread agreement that there’s plenty left to do, starting at the April meeting of leaders of the 20 largest economies in London. “Now the hard work begins,” the forum’s founder, Klaus Schwab, said, calling for a redesign of the global systems of banking, financial regulation and corporate governance.
It’s inconceivable to me that anyone who was truly among “the best and brightest” expected that a conference was going to solve something so complex, especially considering that we don’t yet even know what the causes of the crisis were. Indeed, the global economy will likely right itself before the experts reach any concensus on what happened. If then; after all, economists are still debating the New Deal’s effects on the Great Depression.
James Joyner is managing editor of the Atlantic Council.