Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson tells Al Jazeera's Stephen Cole that Europe should let banks that are ran "irresponsibly" go bankrupt. Speaking at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Grimsson also held his country as a model of economic recovery after its near-collapse four years ago. "We didn't follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies. And the end result four years later is that Iceland is enjoying progress and recovery."
Left-wing activists claimed responsibility for a minor explosion on Thursday at a hotel in Davos, close to where top executives and world leaders were meeting, but nobody was hurt.
Devin Wenig, CEO of Thomson Reuters' Markets division, was in a breakfast meeting of senior executives at the hotel when the explosion happened.
"A huge boom went off. The whole ceiling lifted. Everyone was convinced it was a bomb," he said. "It took a half hour to reassemble the meeting."
Participants were later told that a boiler had exploded, he added. The Forum's main programme was not disrupted.
[...] A group calling itself Revolutionary Perspective said in a statement on an activist website it had targeted the luxury Posthotel with a firebomb and said Swiss ministers and representatives of top bank UBS were staying there.
"Our fight against the dictatorship of capital is focused on the social alternative to capitalism: communism," the group said in the statement.
Someone noted yesterday that the makeup of the Egyptian demonstrators had changed -- that the middle class had broken through the "fear barrier" and had now taken to the streets. Think about that, because all over the world, the fear barriers are starting to fall and this is a huge threat to the global establishment, the very people who flock to Davos each year for the World Economic Forum:
Poverty and unemployment reared their heads at the World Economic Forum on Thursday, with speakers urging the elite audience to bridge a growing gap between booming multinationals and the jobless poor.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, who also chairs the Socialist International group of center-left parties, said the global crisis had led to an "unsustainable" race to the bottom in labor standards and social protection in developed nations.
"Politically, I believe we are at a turning point where... there are signs in Europe of more nationalism, more racism, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitism, fundamentalisms of all types," he said. "We need to look to a different model."
Maurice Levy, chairman and chief executive of French advertising giant Publicis, said there was "a huge suspicion about CEOs, bankers, corporations."
"People do not understand that these large corporations are doing extremely well, while their lives have not improved and without the support of the people, there is no way we will be able to grow," he told a panel discussion.
"We have been led by greed. We have been led by only the bottom line, the profit and we have sacrificed the workers in order to please the stockholders."
[...] Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said tackling income inequalities was essential to future growth and needed to be part of the core of doing business in the 21st century.
The Yes Men have done it again. They infiltrated the World Economic Forum at Davos and announced a united strategy to end world poverty. (As if!) They issued this press release and set up a fake website, featuring carefully-dubbed fake interviews with various leaders (including Bill Clinton, shown above) admitting past exploitative economic policies and pledging to change them.
But the press corps attending the event largely ignored them, more's the pity:
In response, WEF spokesperson Adrian Monck could barely contain himself. "The only defense to satire is common sense!" he sputtered, before racing back into the WEF war room to deal with the burgeoning crisis.
The CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, the world's largest agribusiness conglomerate, spoke of "agriculture's role in today's economic savagery, and the broader long-term issues of robbing whole groups for the greed of the food industry," before calling for "universal justice and agriculture's reform" via Food Sovereignty. "We want to undo the injuries of global capitalism," added a much-improved "Klaus Schwab," founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.
"The source of our financial treasure was violence towards the colonies of the global South," admitted "Queen Elizabeth II" most refreshingly, before pledging to sell her lands and use the proceeds to improve the lot of the world's poor. "We have caused this disaster," added "Prince Harry" with a stalwart giggle. "Nobody wants a catastrophe," Canadian Prime Minister "Stephen Harper" chimed in most helpfully.
"Haiti was a house of cards that we built through a history of exploitative economic policies," said a tired-looking "Bill Clinton." Now we have a chance to rebuild a more independent society by ending exploitation, forgiving their debt and bringing back real sustainability."
While at Davos, Rupert Murdoch discusses the rise of the Internet and digital media, but tells us he used News Corp. to manipulate the news.
Asked if his News Corp. managed to shape the agenda on the war in Iraq, Murdoch said: "No, I don't think so. We tried." Asked by Rose for further comment, he said: "We basically supported the Bush policy in the Middle East...but we have been very critical of his execution."
Am I reading this correctly? I found the webcast and it seems they haven't included Rupert's admission in the 9 minutes or so that they posted? I emailed The World Economic Forum for the full video. A memo to Murdock: A news organization is supposed to report-----<drum roll please>--- the news, not support an agenda.