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Posted at 12:34 PM ET, 01/12/2011

Post-holiday blues from the folks who bring you Davos

By Howard Schneider

The January blahs got a bit more dismal Wednesday when the World Economic Forum - the organization that sponsors the big snow-ski-and-ideas weekend in Davos, Switzerland, each year -- released its annual global risk report. This is not a document designed for good news: As the title suggests, it's about what might go wrong.

And there's plenty, according to the forum: The ability of leading governments to tackle another round of economic crisis has been exhausted. Cooperation between developed and developing nations is too weak. Aging populations, high debt and low growth are pushing some developed nations toward an economic cliff. Malthusian pressures are looming if coordination doesn't improve for development of food, water and energy resources for a growing population.

The executive summary has a particularly disturbing, snowball-like graphic showing the interrelated risks the world is facing, and how one risk might cascade and trigger others. Global governance failures seem to be at the middle of a lot of those risks, a timely observation by the forum ahead of meetings in Washington next week between President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao.

By Howard Schneider  | January 12, 2011; 12:34 PM ET
Categories:  China, International Economics, White House  
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Next: Fed report: Economic recovery on track at end of 2010

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