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Davos supremo wants new model for capitalism

AFP · 18 Jan 2012, 17:29

Published: 18 Jan 2012 17:29 GMT+01:00

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The founder and organiser of the World Economic Forum, the annual gathering in Davos of the world's political and business elite, said Wednesday that capitalism needs a complete overhaul.

Speaking to journalists as he unveiled the line-up for next week's meeting in the Alpine resort, Klaus Schwab said "new models" must be developed and that there was an urgent need to revive a sense of social responsibility.

"Capitalism in its current form, has no place in the world around us," Schwab told reporters at the forum's headquarters near Geneva.

"We have failed to learn the lessons of the financial crisis of 2009. A global transformation needs to take place urgently and it must begin by restoring a form of social responsibility."

Schwab revealed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would give the keynote opening speech when the 42nd WEF begins on January 25th.

This year's forum comes as even Germany, the continent's economic powerhouse, has had to lower its growth forecast in the wake of the eurozone debt crisis.

Other leaders due to attend the five-day meeting are British Prime Minister David Cameron and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, while the Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will represent the United States government.

The new head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi and World Trade Organisation chief Pascal Lamy will also attend.

Organisers have also invited some of the world's newest leaders, such as Tunisia's new Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali and his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra, as they seek to bridge a generational gap.

Schwab noted that talent and not capital will become determining factors in driving future economies where he believed free enterprise is still vital.

"We are in danger of completely losing the confidence of future generations," said Schwab.

Representatives of Burma's government will also attend for the first time in many years in another sign that it is losing its pariah status as it embarks on a series of political reforms.

Organisers however have not invited representatives from anti-capitalist groups such as Occupy Wall Street although they did say they would in future be prepared to engage with such groups.

Story continues below…

The "Occupy WEF" movement has begun building igloos in Davos and plans to hold protests against the annual gathering.

"The WEF is a forum of self-appointed elites. It is important to mobilise against them," David Roth, president of the Swiss Socialist Youth, told AFP.

Security will be tight with some 5,000 security personnel on hand.

More than 2,600 businessmen, politicians, leaders of non-governmental organisations or scientists and hundreds of journalists from around the globe pack the tiny resort each year, despite the hefty participation cost.

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Your comments about this article

2012-01-22 20:25:57 by Global Macro
Jeff10 is correct. Capitalism is freedom. Freedom to succeed, and freedom to fail. All without the interference of government. What Schwab and Merkel and Lagarde and many other parasistic bureaucrats really want is less capitalism and less freedom. They want more government intervention in the economy, more welfare state, higher taxes and more bureacratic transnational sinecures like those held by themselves. They are hypocrites. And they do not want a "new model." They want more of the same old government bureacratic model, incompetence and corruption that has brought financial chaos to the world financial markets. But the Occupy Wall Street and Swiss Socialist Youth are no better. Most of them voted for the left-wing policies and politicians that they now protest against. People need to start taking responsibility for their votes.
2012-01-19 17:40:17 by HoppSuisse
Jeff10, correct.
This is just the Bankers trying to put the blame anywhere else but on their own heads where it belongs.

Capitalism is not capitalism if those who error are guaranteed not to fail, at the expense of everyone else.
That is socialism.

2012-01-19 06:31:38 by Jeff10
Oh, washed hogs. Where is there capitalism in the world? Try this: Don't bailout companies that fail. Bailing out failed companies isn't capitalism. Of course large, multi-national companies will act recklessly when they know that they don't have to pay the market consequences of such behavior, because their fellow crony capitalist in the government will bailout them. Then try this: 'The social-welfare state in its current form (such as most of the nations of the world) has no place in the world around us.' Replace this soft-form of communism with a true capitalist society, and that means no fiat money; that is, no central banks/fed reserve/etc.
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