Davos Founder Announces Global Economic Initiative | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 01.02.2009
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Davos Founder Announces Global Economic Initiative

The World Economic Forum will launch in the upcoming weeks an initiative to focus on reshaping the global financial systems, its founder Klaus Schwab announced on Sunday in the closing hours of this year's Davos summit.

Participants talk inside the Congress Center at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum

Five days were not enough for an economic breakthrough

"We will start a Global Redesign Initiative in next few weeks," Schwab said in an impromptu statement.

Swiss Klaus Schwab, founder and president of the World Economic Forum, WEF, gestures during a press conference

Schwab says the overhaul of the global financial system will take time

"It has the support of almost every political leader who was here" at Davos in the past five days, said Schwab, naming specifically UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao as backers.

He said the upcoming meeting in April of the Group of 20 industrialized economies (G20) would not be enough to solve the global economic crisis.

"It won't address the totality of the issues," Schwab said, adding it could at best deal with "technical" matters.

He said there needed to be a systemic redesign of the global banking system, financial regulation and corporate governance.

"The key is global cooperation," Schwab stated later, "not only among government but among all the stakeholders of our society."

What happened at Davos?

An overhead view of the congress center at the World Economic Forum in Davos,

Davos is the world's foremost gathering of business and government leaders

The World Economic Forum for 2009 ended with many asking what was really accomplished during the five days many of the world's political and economic leaders gathered in the frigid Swiss village of Davos.

In his concluding remarks at the end of an engaging session on the future of the economy with key economic players, the journalist Martin Wolf summed up many people's thought by saying that while no one knew exactly what needed to be done, something needed to be done and fast.

It was also apparent that things were -- in the mantra of our times -- about to change.

The financial and economic systems would look different, more regulated and controlled, and with better governance. While people would still get rich, the scale of wealth would diminish.

Fitting for what Britain's Gordon Brown termed the first crisis of the global era, the importance of international institutions and global cooperation were emphasized as key components to getting the world out of the economic downturn.

Blaming the bankers

protestors carrying the banner you are the crisis

Anti-globalists see Davos as part of the problem

There was anger at the bankers and the inventors of the complex derivatives that helped lead the world into the crisis and upset that the governments were being reactive and moving too slowly.

But some felt there was a unique chance for change and build a better system of economics, in part based on the concept of a "green economy," just in time for the international meeting at the end of the year when countries will try to agree on an aggressive global environmental convention.

The world's top brass gathered at Davos to conclude they didn't know what to do exactly but, possibly using some idea floated at the Forum, were determined, maybe optimistically, to get the economy back on track in 2010.

Success, though, will depend on how well they perform in 2009.

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