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Davos Diary: January 24, 2010 - January 30, 2010

The mistresses of the universe

One of the things about the masters of the universe here in Davos -- they are mostly masters. The World Economic Forum can be something of a guy thing. But longtime participants say the gender imbalance has gotten less...

By Ruth Marcus  | January 30, 2010; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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New worries at Davos

One of the most interesting points at a Davos session I attended on energy security turned out to be about water security instead. Robert Hormats, U.S. under secretary of state for economic, energy and agricultural affairs, noted the increasing...

By Ruth Marcus  | January 30, 2010; 7:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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To buy or sell, according to Davos?

Suppose you had to formulate a financial trading strategy based on what you heard at the World Economic Forum this week. What would you buy and sell, based on the public sessions and the corridor talk here? The best...

By David Ignatius  | January 29, 2010; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Sen. Graham on the prospects for a climate-change deal

A central -- maybe the central -- player in Congress’ climate-change bill negotiations is Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. I ran into the bleary-eyed South Carolinian this afternoon, shortly after he arrived in Davos. Graham proclaimed himself "very optimistic" about...

By Ruth Marcus  | January 29, 2010; 12:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Reason for optimism on Israel-Palestine?

It wouldn’t be Davos if people weren’t speculating about the Arab-Israeli peace process -- but this year the talk seems especially gloomy. Even one of the region’s most indefatigable optimists, Jordan’s King Abdullah, said today that he was “somewhat...

By David Ignatius  | January 29, 2010; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Gates Foundation announces massive vaccine commitment

A decade ago at Davos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda launched a global campaign to deliver vaccines and immunizations to fight disease in the developing world. On Friday at Davos, they turbocharged the effort, committing $10 billion...

By www.washingtonpost.com  | January 29, 2010; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Cameron vs. Cameron

David Cameron is the iconic Davos figure, and he played the part Thursday as the young, up-and-coming U.K. Conservative Party leader swept through the World Economic Forum, holding forth before journalists at lunch and meeting other leaders in the afternoon....

By www.washingtonpost.com  | January 28, 2010; 7:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Clinton's take on Obama's State of the Union

Hardly anybody in Davos stayed up to watch President Obama's State of the Union address. Hardly anyone, that is, except Bill Clinton. The night owl former president not only stayed up to watch the main event -- which began...

By Ruth Marcus  | January 28, 2010; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Davos by night

Nobody would want to call them “parties,” of course. This being the World Economic Forum, they all have some kind of high-minded theme to justify the schmoozing and free booze. (With all the snow coming down today, the latter...

By David Ignatius  | January 28, 2010; 2:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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U.S. officials few and far between

Last year, amid the economic and financial crisis, and with a new administration just settling in at the White House, many U.S. bankers and government officials stayed away from Davos. This year, many of the bankers are back. Morgan Stanley's...

By www.washingtonpost.com  | January 27, 2010; 3:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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In Davos, talk of Massachusetts

The shock waves from the special Senate election in Massachusetts resonated not only in the halls of Congress but in the halls of the Congress Center in Davos, where many of the world's business and government elites are gathered. Several...

By www.washingtonpost.com  | January 27, 2010; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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The populists dominate

It wasn’t exactly Robbespierre, but when French President Nicholas Sarkozy called on global “citoyens” to reform the economic system, he seemed to be calling for an international populist movement. I wouldn’t call his tone “anti-globalization,” but the speech he...

By David Ignatius  | January 27, 2010; 2:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Is Davos dissing India?

By Carlos Lozada Every year, by design or by accident, one nation becomes the Davos darling, the country that everyone gawks at, snapping photos with its leading politicians or gushing over its prospects in panels and speeches. Back in Jan....

By Carlos Lozada  | January 27, 2010; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Life on other planets

Is there intelligent life on other planets and, if so, would it get anywhere near the World Economic Forum? That depends, I guess, on whether we are talking about ET (who would probably prefer kids on bicycles playing monotonous...

By David Ignatius  | January 27, 2010; 10:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Chronic disease in the developing world

We've been educated over the last few years about the impact that chronic illness -- diabetes, heart disease, cancer -- has on health-care costs in the United States and other industrialized countries. When it comes to health-care problems in...

By Ruth Marcus  | January 27, 2010; 9:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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If George Soros doesn't believe in capitalism...

When George Soros says that capitalism is broken -- condemned to recurring bubbles -- and that regulation doesn’t work either, is that a sell signal? I’ll leave the market mechanics to others. But Soros, one of the original hedge...

By David Ignatius  | January 27, 2010; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Inside the Davos goodie bag

I will, I promise, be appropriately high-minded and serious about Davos. But first, let me tell you about the gift bag. I am a longtime conoisseur of the art of the goodie bag. I love the way it brings...

By Ruth Marcus  | January 27, 2010; 4:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Security jitters at Davos

The annual gathering of business and government leaders every year at Davos is one of the world's most heavily secured big events, with wide, fortified perimeters and heavily armed police surrounding the main event site in this Alpine town. So,...

By www.washingtonpost.com  | January 26, 2010; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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What's the attraction of Davos?

Over the years, “Davos” has become a brand name -- but for what, exactly? I’m back this year for my ninth meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), and I'm still trying to figure out precisely what it symbolizes...

By David Ignatius  | January 25, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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