Davos 2012: Optimism or crisis fatigue?

 

I've been thinking about the lessons of this year's World Economic Forum in Davos for Radio 4's Today programme - including excerpts from interviews with financier George Soros and IMF chief Christine Lagarde, among others.

You can listen to my report here.

For full coverage of the Davos 2012 meeting, please go to our special report.

 
Stephanie Flanders, Economics editor Article written by Stephanie Flanders Stephanie Flanders Former economics editor

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 1.

    The epidemic of euro austerity will continue to create the conditions for further sovereign debt problems even if the Greek crisis is laid to rest for many months. Is Portugal the next on of the PIIGS to crash land?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 2.

    In the immortal words of Yoda, Do or not do. There is no try. What has needed doing has been blindingly obvious from the outset. Unfortunately our leaders have been in the not do camp for far to long and are only now starting to think about trying. The time is now long overdue for them to actually do !

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 3.

    This whole event is disgusting. The so-called money and political elite having a jolly time and debating about things hidden away that effects billion of people in the world. Without them having at the same table!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 4.

    Only true word spoken is the official who could no longer judge.
    WEST has gone EAST, EAST has gone WEST, dropping some money in the middle.
    No amount of shuffling debits and credits is going turn things around.
    However we will continue in the same way until collapse as in previous depressions.
    Not necessary bring in some wise rules link politician's pay to average pay, individual's need a voice

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 5.

    1.Watriler Is Portugal the next on of the PIIGS to crash land?

    I found the article below linked to by the Guardian live business blog on Portugal very helpful.

    "Portugal was also cut to junk status by S&P last week. And as economist Shaun Richards warns, the mistakes of Greece are being made all over again."

    http://tiny.cc/q9rno

  • rate this
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    Comment number 6.

    Optimism or crisis fatigue? Some would say fiddling while Rome burns. The chance of getting the bold action called for by David Cameron and George Osborne from this motley crew is, well - I think a cellist playing in complete darkness sums the situation up rather well.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 7.

    Oh, Davos, not Davros.

    missread that as the evil creator of the Daleks, hell bent on domination of all races.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 8.

    Portugal has on its balance sheet assets of many Billions of Euros in bonds that were issued by state owned enterprises most notably the railways. These can never be repaid as those enterprises lose money every year. Assets!?
    Spains unemployment is growing at an annualised 5% of the workforce they will soon have unemploment over 25% with a fiscal collapse in sight
    This Euro miasma is unsustainable

  • rate this
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    Comment number 9.

    When the useless EC politicians fudge again, if at all, will the Greek people accept it?

    If you were within an ace of having all your personal debts liquidated to rescue the long term political agenda of the EC would you roll over for the alternative of 20/30 years of personal hardship?

    The Greek government have only one revenue stream to pay back any debts, the vanishing Greek taxpayers.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 10.

    Tad strange that there has been a great deal of independent data about pointing to the problems from a long way back but we seem to be fed the point of view of interested parties who have been wishful thinking or trying to duck issues

    @ 5 Portugal, oh what a gal is due to party in about a years time it would seem. This panto could go on for years as the EU Maybe committee procrastinates

  • rate this
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    Comment number 11.

    IT IS A LONG DEPRESSION.

    The fools have a mistaken belief that they can TALK it all good again, by puffing up confidence. This will not work as the fundamentals are so negative.

    Davos just shows that the fools that created the depression by creating the bubble economy have understood NOTHING AT ALL.

    The Depression ends when ASSET PRICES have substantially reduced and private debt is deflated.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 12.

    Being Canadian, I was especially watching Canada's PM Harper. I didn't quite know what to make of those points that he DID NOT mention:
    When free-market tanked, it was WAGE EARNING Canadians (paying taxes) who bailed out auto industry & numerous other multi-billion Cdn corporations. It is ALWAYS working class & disappearing MIDDLE CLASS who carry the burden of greed.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 13.

    JfH@11

    Agree, the Davos mediafest is political grandstanding to justify their existance.

    Off to rugby, have a nice weekend, I have a feeling those international city slickers will start some dirty rucking and mauling next week, just to remind the politicians of the 'Golden Rule'. We have the gold and we rule!

    Cameron was too nice to the useless EC politicians last Thursday.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 14.

    Greece is hardly relevant, and so is Portugal. But wait till March when Italy has to refinance much of its debt, and look at Spain where unemplyment among Spanish youth is at ca 50%.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 15.

    I am afraid Portugal (in the great scheme of things) is not big enough to worry enough people and will be allowed to fail
    The PIIGS acronym is outdated now, Spain is doing some good stuff and should not be underestimated - watch & learn how this country gets through this.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 16.

    DrBalthar
    Isn't it a bit like Manns 'Magic Mountain' but with commercial breaks and less tuberculosis.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 17.

    UK and "the city"
    1. The British government is said to have good connections to rating agencies: in December 2011 Moody´s said UK could lose its triple A for low growth expectations; govt debt reached 1 tn pounds

    2. London as financial place stands for "excessive capitalism", greed without any limits, overwhelming banker bonuses, tax evasion.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 18.

    The creation of a currency union among a group of nations with divers cultures and economies by consent was always going to be difficult.

    The Euro's creators waved aside legitimate economic concerns for political reasons. Now they either have to force through a "United States of Europe" solution, without a democratic mandate, or face a breakup of their grand design.

    What's german for hubris?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 19.

    To co. 18:

    Germany doesn´t want to "lead" or "dominate" Europe.

    The UK is wamly welcomed to take the lead in Europe - that means of course being Europe´s biggest paymaster.

    Stand by Europe and opne your pockets widely.

    You can pump your taxpayer´s money in endless bailout packages for Greece as they didn´t manage to get control over their debt.

 

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