Saturday, January 31, 2009

Back to Basics: The Future of Banking and Finance Discussed at the 2009 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

This is the first time I've paid close attention to the events at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, held in Davos, Switzerland. The World Economic Forum is an independent, international non-profit organization. The motto of the organization is "entrepreneurship in the global public interest".

If you are interested in learning about the topics discussed during the panel discussions at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a good place to visit is the Events section of the forum's website. The 2009 Annual Meeting section has a list of panel discussion topics, each linking to summaries of the key points that were debated and discussed.

(For deeper exploration of the themes and topics of the annual meeting, I've provided links to video clips, webcasts, podcasts, and social media located at the end of this post.)

Here is the short view:

Davos: More Questions than Answers 1/30/09
"Alan Murray, deputy managing editor for The Wall Street Journal, says this year's World Economic Forum took on a different tone from years past. On preventing another financial crisis, he says there were more questions than answers."

Excerpts from Wall Street Journal Article:
Signs of the Future of Banking and Finance Emerge 1/31/09 CARRICK MOLLENKAMP, JOELLEN PERRY and ALESSANDRA GALLONI

"Davos, known in the past as a celebration of profits, this year was more of a cold outpost where attendees, including regulators, bankers, and hedge-fund managers, have been sorting through a raft of back-to-basics strategies for the world's financial system."

"In the end, what we want is a financial industry and banking-sector industry where you have more capital, less debt, more rules and much stronger supervision," said Italian central-bank governor Mario Draghi. He said markets largely remain frozen and that the only thing that would attract investors -- many of which actually serve as lenders because they invest in debt -- is an assurance of safety and transparency.....Among the new rules of the game for banks are likely to be simpler models that rely less on off-balance-sheet vehicles and borrowed funds to drive profits. There also likely to be fewer opportunities for banks to offload risk to third parties -- such as
American International Group Inc. -- that then end up unable to insure themselves against losses or exposures to loans."
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, at the World Economic Forum
Photo from WSJ via AP

World Economic Forum in Davos participants enact life in a refugee camp for a day:



World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Quotes

2009 World Economic Forum Social Media Links
2009 World Economic Forum YouTube Channel
2009 World Economic Forum Podcasts, Webcasts and Videos
2009 World Economic Forum Interviews

INVESTOPEDIA (Links to a financial dictionary for those of us who have trouble with understanding the financial alphabet soup.)

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