Davos 2012 -- jam-packed, exciting. A bargain? Not quite. But did the rewards outweigh the costs for attendees? Given the extraordinary time commitment and expense folks go through to attend, is Davos worthwhile?
In my opinion -- definitely yes. Here's why.
1. Davos gives me the chance to meet with pre-vetted folks in fields I don't know particularly well...but need to. Anyone looking for insight on these subjects would otherwise have to invest too much time to figure out who the true experts are, and how to reach out to them. I know who I really rate in thinking about global politics, and when I have questions or want to bounce an idea off a few people, there's no problem. But what about subjects that aren't my forte? What about food scarcity? Or climate change? Urbanization? Microfinance? Gender inequality? If you're interested in pattern recognition, systems thinking, and getting out of your box, Davos is a virtually unparalleled opportunity. Anyone with a global element to their work can benefit immensely from this type of exposure.
2. Davos is not just about finding experts in fields that aren't your specialty. You're also with top folks in your own field, and the audience is global and experienced. So you need to bring your A-game. Last year, Niall Ferguson, Ken Rogoff and I squared off at dinner in front of 50 CEOs on global rebalancing. This year it was global security, and I spoke alongside Richard Haass, John Chipman and Yan Xuetong. The audience has heard the top voices before, and they're a decidedly skeptical bunch; there's not much scope for misstep. Needless to say, it's an exciting opportunity that Davos provides.
3. If you're in a global field, you can pack six weeks' worth of meetings into five days. Just the breadth of people in attendance from governments, corporations and NGOs across the world -- I'm not somebody who likes to live out of a suitcase and spend my life on an airplane. That means picking and choosing your trips. Davos allows me to consolidate, and skip those extra couple visits to the major financial and industrial capitals and instead spend an extra week on the ground in China, or a frontier market I've been meaning to visit.
Bottom line: this little snowy town is as alluring as the incredible people who make the trek to get out there. It's a real chicken-or-the-egg affair, where people go because...people go.
On to my Davos 2012 awards.
Boris Johnson. On Thursday, the mayor of London gave a fantastic address on behalf of the London 2012 Olympic Games. One of the highlights: Johnson quipped that London's murder rate is one-quarter of New York's. It was perhaps the most well received Davos speech I have ever attended.
Best new theme:
While it is not exactly new, state capitalism seemed to finally catch fire in the Davos debate this year. In light of developed economies' woes and emerging markets' resilience to the financial crisis, state capitalism is receiving a serious look (even though it is by no means a viable alternative to free market capitalism). At Davos, David Cameron addressed state capitalism directly, explaining how Western leaders need to actively combat it and stand up for what he has been calling ‘popular capitalism' in his recent speeches. And it didn't hurt that The Economist topic du jour was state capitalism going into last week too.
I have to admit it -- the Google party really did steal the show. The ‘green' dance floor that measured the watts exerted by those brave enough to dance was a highlight. Every year at Davos, Googlers really seem to make up for lost time spent in the library throughout their youth.
Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). Chambliss is completely old school, and he understands the polls and the pols alike -- when I chatted with him, it was plain to see why he's so popular in Georgia. More on our meeting in my previous post.
Thank you, Azeri government. Awfully kind. See my earlier post.
Davos outperformer (country):
Brazil took the cake. They were taking the lead sponsorship for the first time at Davos and nailed it. Between World Cup and Olympics chatter on top of promising fundamentals when it comes to infrastructure build-up and stable governance, the Brazilians were the delegation to beat. Honorable mentions: Indonesia and Turkey. Both delegations had a strong technocratic presence in Davos and focused on attracting investment.
Davos outperformer (company):
McKinsey was the best represented company in Davos -- they are consistently the best attended, and Rik Kirkland had thought leaders streaming into the Seehof Hotel for intelligent conversations on key global issues in droves. It was so busy that there was even a camera set up in...a shower. (Gotta scrub those videos. Or perhaps Rik is moonlighting...)
Davos underperformer (country):
Russia. They did their best to dodge questions and kept the heavy hitters away. If Putin's too busy for debates, he's clearly too busy to attend Davos. Nouriel Roubini and I both used the conference to announce Russia shouldn't be a BRIC -- the response was very positive.
Davos underperformer (person):
Mick Jagger. Lots of folks were star struck, but he looked out of his element.
The best entrance probably belongs to Bill Gates, for its understated quality. He enters softly, softly, and suddenly he's there and his presence speaks for itself. He would probably be the last person in the conference to showboat, despite probably mattering more than anyone else there.
Steve Roach, definitely, as he escaped Davos protestors at an Open Davos event. More on that in an earlier piece of mine.
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
On Friday night, I co-keynoted the annual NYSE dinner with my friend, Morgan Stanley economist and Yale lecturer Steve Roach. It was a convivial group of about 40 CEOs, big listed companies, mostly American and European. Even against backdrop of a failing merger with deutsche bourse, the event went very well. Steve arrived, a little late, and quite shaken. He had just participated in an Open Forum event, a program that runs parallel with the WEF at Davos. He knew there might be trouble when he saw all the police outside. There were about 150 anarchists demonstrating, organized around the high school auditorium (it seats 1,000), who immediately started chanting and yelling -- and rushed the stage towards the end of the event. Security hustled him out the back, downstairs, through the kitchen, and into the dark…where he sped off. You have to give Steve credit -- he rallied pretty well within his friendlier confines of the Hotel Belvedere. But this was a Davos first.
Later that night, I went to the Google party, where all eyes were on the dance floor. Google had installed a "green dance floor" that showed how many watts were being created by the thumping Davos troops. Two points on that. 1. It's not entirely clear to me that this was a group you want to be boogieing down in front of, and 2. That has to be the most farcical pseudo green display since Vice President Gore offset the emissions from his 20-room Nashville mansion. It was a fun party though.
The party also let me spend some time with Circle of Blue co-founder and director J. Carl Ganter, who leads an organization filled with some of the smartest folks on global water scarcity/impact that you'll find. I always try to link up with them for a few moments to pick their brain on a topic that stands to take on increasing importance in the years to come. That's the great thing about Davos: It's a reasonably good bet that pretty much anybody you bump into on an abstruse topic is one of the best in their field. There was a sizable Circle of Blue cohort in attendance, wearing little silver/blue pins on their blazers (the only ones I consistently noticed doing that other than the Japanese delegation), and they always seemed to be moving together in a coordinated clump. At the Google party, though, Ganter's shirt was completely soaked. Not exactly the display I expected from the water scarcity folk.
Saturday morning, I had a host of CEO meetings lined up back-to-back, with a table reserved at the "forum lounge" for the occasion. It was a week of productivity in 2 1/2 hours -- that's the single biggest draw that Davos consistently provides and the most important reason people come. The 30 minute meeting is the standard at Davos; an hour tends to be looked at with suspicion. But for the folks with too many handlers, that can mean 15+ meetings in a day, which seems pretty inhumane.
Saturday night was the big banquet. But my annual tradition is to grab a small group of friends that look at global politics…and head up the funicular to a cozy little restaurant overlooking the village. Rule #1: Casual dress. And rule #2: If you mention a book you've written or are writing, you do a shot. I love that rule. Many fell victim before we headed back down for the after party once the banquet was winding down. And in a strange twist of fate, getting stuck on the funicular had all the elements of a horror movie -- but without the grisly finish. It was a welcome opportunity to share a last quiet conversation before the bustle of the after party and a long trip home. Davos -- exhausting yet exhilarating as always.
Last night, I had dinner with Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca-Cola, and other guests -- a small, and refreshingly international crowd. I ended up sitting next to Saxby Chambliss, Republican Senator from Georgia and Vice Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. His insight came without the dose of partisanship that I might have expected -- he didn't ask my inclination politically and didn't seem like it particularly mattered to him. He's been coming for over a decade to Davos…and consistently sees much less divide between Democrats and Republicans compared to the prevailing U.S. versus international view on the subject. It's a really constructive approach to the summit that can be extrapolated beyond domestic U.S. politics. Sound analysis and forward-looking consensus always beat the preconceived notions that everyone brings to the table.
far as the broader conversation went, it's important to note how spirited discussions
on Iran were. It certainly seems like the
consensus was the Middle East is the big risk coming out of the summit. It is a very precarious issue, to be sure,
and deserves attention. But a confluence
of factors gives it even more of the spotlight, specifically here in
Davos. The Israelis talk a great game,
and stay on message -- Iranian nuclear progress has cycled into the news
consistently in years past, and they help feed it. Yet coverage rarely spills over into 'boy who
cried wolf' territory that could be used to discredit the threat the next time
it flares up. On the flip side, few from
the Arab world want to talk, and those who do aren't particularly
representative. And on to other actors: among Europeans, there's a lot of
handwringing. China doesn't have much of
a dog in the fight (so sell oil). But at least they generally admit it --
whereas the Russians just bluster.
In other interesting news: Cameron denounced state capitalism at his plenary. State capitalism wasn't really on the radar last year, but it has gained significant traction. Active questions for western powers are sticking: Can it --and should it --be combatted? And how? One of the big dangers of 'combatting' state capitalism is the possibility of slipping into an attempt to beat the Chinese at their own game, promoting protectionism and subsidies in what could trigger damaging trade tensions and backfire for all players involved. Reforming industrial policy, however, is smart. The United States has an impressive State Department, but its Commerce Department? Not so much. (Interestingly, Japan is just the opposite. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is weak, but METI is strong). This distinction is not an especially acute problem, that is, until the U.S. economic statecraft policy takes root and the focus shifts to China. Then this weakness is a structural one.
And tidbits from people-watching and resultant observations:
-There is a big Japanese delegation -- they all wear their Davos Japan pins. They hang together, like their new government. I sense a bit of skepticism on the recent American pivot towards Asia. Is it lasting? What does it mean in reality? It's an interesting issue that I'd like to look into more.
-Americans here see through Newt's surge. Last night at dinner? Perhaps 1/20 Americans thought Newt could snag the nomination -- and their hearts weren't in it. But that didn't stop Martin Wolf at the FT from betting me a dinner that Gingrich gets the GOP nod. I would have done a 2 for 1 deal on this one and still loved my odds.
-It's been interesting to see the effect of social media on Davos itself, in real time, as a traditionally insular summit gets recorded through the lens of countless thought leaders, CEOs, and government officials who share events in real time. And I'm not just talking about the amusing results on twitter. It is a decidedly more open forum than it has been historically, as people recognize there is more buzz, and more diverse outlets for information -- and a broader global community receiving it.
When I got to my Davos hotel room, I was greeted by two gifts. One was to be expected: greetings from the CEO of Nestle along with boxed chocolates. Thoroughly Swiss and thoroughly appreciated.
The second? The most politically controversial gift I have ever received.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation, run by Azerbaijan's First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, supplied guests with a CD set, dubbed the Voices of Garabagh. It wasn't until I opened up the package and read on that I saw what it was driving at. It was a statement regarding the Garabagh region between Azerbaijan and Armenia, delivered from a starkly one-sided point of view:
"Unfortunately the conflict ignited as a result of unfair territorial claims brought against Azerbaijan. The occupation by Armenian invaders of Garabagh… [has] turned the bright representatives of the Mugham art into internally displaced people… grief, sorrow, and melancholy is being felt today in their performance."
The package was giftwrapped in cellophane, so it was sure to be missed by any personnel intent on keeping such subjective perspective out of the hotel rooms. You have to hand it to this Azeri organization for so craftily injecting their thoughts into the summit. The takeaway: Davos truly is the biggest annual global political event -- and you can't underestimate how far actors will go to get their message heard on the global stage.
There are, of course, more technological and readily available avenues for communication that are boosting the reach and immediacy of messages around the world. This is a theme I'll continue to discuss in conjunction with global democratic trends.
Mugham melancholia notwithstanding, I have yet to make time for the CD itself -- Davos has done its best to keep me busy. And I'll do my best to keep you posted.
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Last night, I had the privilege of moderating a World Economic Forum dinner panel entitled, "The Future of Democracy," asking the following broad question that left ample room for debate: "How are established and nascent democracies being reformed and shaped to meet the challenges of the 21st century?"
The topic and a great group of panelists -- including Professor Timothy Garton Ash (U.K.), Archbishop Thabo Cecil Makgoba (South Africa), Kenneth Roth (U.S.), Amira Yahyaoui (Tunisia), and Jean-Francois Copé (France) -- made it easy for me to facilitate a spirited discussion. It largely revolved around one important theme: determining to what extent anti-democratic tendencies are on the rise globally.
Europe was an area of particular interest, where this threat broke down into two main categories: the disintegration of democratic institutions under the watch of Viktor Orban in Hungary, and a more general anti-immigration far right populism throughout Europe. There was general consensus that the threats to democracy don't extend as far as consolidated democracies like France, but with austerity in the equation for the foreseeable future, the periphery is poised to see this threat grow. An interesting debate arose between the Economist senior editor, who didn't see any of this as significantly anti-democratic, and Timothy Garton Ash, who certainly did.
It's interesting to examine this in countries that are bastions of democratic values and juxtapose it with tendencies in authoritarian states. Take the perceived trend in the other direction in Russia, for example, as we see the middle class publicly speak out and air its grievances.
Davos generally has a Western bent, with an underlying mentality that its customs and ideals will win out. Even with this in mind, there was a lot of talk about avoiding hypocrisy and the importance for Europe and the United States to get their own houses in order democratically before they champion these values abroad. This criticism was especially pointed with regard to the U.S., as people highlighted issues of wealth disparity and corporate influence on politics as areas where democracy seems to be eroding.
There was not as much on the role of technology as I would have liked, nor on the treatment of populations as consumers rather than citizens. But I tried to incorporate these trends into a broader question that I asked the entire audience. Given the following three trends, I asked, is the global environment becoming more supportive of democracy?
1. Exponential technology boosting communication avenues and the greater immediacy and availability of information
2. Volatility and the economic disparity of wealth
3. Challenges to an outmoded western model of international governance
I didn't take a formal poll, but responses came back roughly as follows:
Where do I stand? I'm mixed, perhaps with a toe in the "less favorable" camp.
The first day at Davos took its toll on me. A civilized 8 a.m. start, but then it was full tilt until 10 p.m., bouncing from one event to another. And I turned in early, which won't be an option from here on out. After all, the can't-miss evening events come tonight and tomorrow.
We've talked about the need for new models of global governance as we explore this transition period at a forward-looking Davos summit. Let's delve deeper and unpack the trend toward regionalism that we're already seeing, as highlighted in the WEF's Global Agenda Council report.
As I've discussed, old institutions are increasingly ineffectual when it comes to supplying global leadership. We have institutions that are relics from the post-WWII era -- including the IMF and the U.N. -- that haven't kept up with the evolving threats they are tasked with addressing. More recently, G20 collaboration among world leaders proved fleeting, limited to financial crisis response.
At the same time that institutions are waning, a global power vacuum is undermining the ability for any nation or durable alliance of nations to set the international agenda on their terms. Diminishing international coordination of all kinds comes precisely when the need for it is at a premium, with more challenges that transcend borders than ever before: climate change, cyber-threats, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, to name a few.
So how do these global trends tie into a rise of regionalism?
We're witnessing a sweeping return to geography as a primary organizing principle for international politics. A nation's regional placement will increasingly determine its friends and enemies, trading partners, and policy objectives. Countries are already gelling in new ways on a regional level -- or at least attempting to -- as they fill the void left by global institutions with more granular coordination within limited spheres of influence. This will extend beyond nations to institutions, as regional bodies pick up some of the slack from their obsolete global counterparts. They will be organized in their region's self-image, promoting and reflecting narrower interests that contribute to the ascendancy of neighborhood governance.
But this isn't just sliced and diced global governance in keeping with the old model. We won't merely see localized globalization, where the free flow of information, goods, and people plays out regionally instead of globally. More importantly, we'll see how the degree of cohesion in each region -- and what exactly these nations cohere around -- will differ around the world.
Some groupings are more formalized -- the European Union is the most formal and mature integration of states. There's significant institutional capacity at a regional level. Others will be more informally arranged, such as Eurasia, where sheer power dynamics drive cohesion. This is also a more coercive arrangement, where Russia acts as a local hegemon that imposes integration on unwitting neighbors that may or may not benefit but don't always have the capacity to hedge against it.
Likewise, the rallying points that produce coordination of all stripes -- formal or informal, voluntary or coercive -- will be different all over. Every region will have a unique mix of security, energy, economic, political, cultural, and religious concerns that inform the process. We see the Middle East operating largely along sectarian lines, with the Arab League and GCC serving as regional forums and Sunni-Shia conflicts informing regional politics. The EU coheres more along economic and political lines. Asia splits between two opposing trends: economic integration with China, and political/security integration between the United States and China's neighbors as they look to offset it. Eurasian states integrate with energy and security at the heart of it.
The rise of regionalism isn't a good development for the broader challenges that global institutions can't handle in the first place. After all, even the most integrated region cannot address climate change without a broader coalition of support. Bottom line: regional governance beats none at all. But it will leave a mess of important problems unsolved.
Ian Bremmer is president of Eurasia Group and author of End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?
As this summit is shaping up as a debate about the future rather than a reaction to crises of the past decade, there is a fundamental area of tension for Davos. For more than 40 years, the World Economic Forum has reflected a world order dominated by elites of the developed world, championing a system of globalization -- a system that has been driven and informed by their values and priorities and their economic and political frameworks.
That global system no longer functions. It has been crumbling slowly, and the events of 9/11 and the financial crisis distracted us from this overarching trend, decades in the making. So at Davos, the world's former architects will do their best to repair an old car and add a new paint job: they will seek models that they hope will still allow their values, priorities, and institutions to hold sway. But in a world with so many important global players with such diverse values and systems, the world will need new models altogether. If and when they come, in order to reflect a very different balance of power, they will have to be a significant departure from the system of today.
This is an era of growing pains (hello, #GZero) where the old system doesn't work, but those in a position of authority have a stake in dragging their feet. To the extent that reality is resisted, new models are likely to be more haphazard, less effective, and take longer to emerge. It's been extremely interesting to watch this debate play out already at Davos this year. I'm going to do my best to keep it at the forefront of discussion.
So what can we expect? We'll see folks at Davos who are looking for a new way of reaching the same goals -- namely, globalization, open markets, and democracy. But the retention of the same goals will prove an obstacle in and of itself. The real question is going to be what values -- and ultimately which of these fundamental pillars -- is the developed world prepared to compromise on, or even sacrifice, to gain sufficient global cooperation. Some of this is about cash, on issues from climate change (the clash over footing the bill between developed and developing countries) to competitiveness in the eurozone (as the core and periphery struggle over the nature of moves toward fiscal union). But mostly, the balance of power is about the powerbrokers themselves: determining who makes the rules, who sets the agenda, and who prioritizes.
So as this overarching trend plays out, what does it spell for the foreseeable future? Global governance will continue to dissolve -- and nations and institutions will pick up some of the slack on a regional level. More on the rise of regionalism to come. Stay tuned...
Ian Bremmer is president of Eurasia Group and author of End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
With this week's Davos edition of The Economist, the concept of state capitalism has now graduated from provocative idea to conventional wisdom. The magazine's report on this trend is a must-read.
What exactly is state capitalism? No one knows better than Chinese and Russian leaders that communism doesn't work. They know from personal experience that the state can't engineer lasting long-term growth and that markets are crucial for the rising standards of living that autocratic governments must deliver if they are to remain in power. But these leaders also know that if they simply let markets decide who wins and who loses, they deny themselves control of the money needed to keep people in their jobs and off the streets in times of trouble -- and they risk enriching and empowering some who might use their newly won wealth to challenge for political power.
The goal of state capitalism then is to allow the state to play the largest possible role in controlling the wealth that markets generate within their borders. China, in particular, has used state-owned companies, privately owned national champions, sovereign wealth funds, and state influence over bank lending to build a powerhouse economic engine that its political leaders continue to drive.
This is a subject close to my heart. In fact, I've been invited to take part in an online debate on The Economist's website in which I argue that state capitalism is not a viable long-term alternative to the free market variety. In general, I was impressed with The Economist's excellent comprehensive coverage of this trend.
Until the very end of its report.
The Economist argues that "both for their own sake, and in the interests of world trade, the practitioners of state capitalism need to start unwinding their huge holdings in favoured companies and handing them over to private investors. If these companies are as good as they boast they are, then they no longer need the crutch of state support.
It's no surprise that The Economist would argue against the use of this system. Pretty much everyone here at Davos who is not part of the Chinese, Russian or Gulf Arab delegations would agree. I know I do. But The Economist is telling China's leaders to immediately begin shedding the system that has made their economy the second largest in the world while helping them maintain their monopoly hold on political power-and to opt instead for the brand of capitalism blamed for the financial crisis, the global recession which followed, America's economic malaise, and the Eurozone's current crisis of confident. While we're at it, why don't we ask the Chinese leadership to become a "responsible stakeholder."
As I've said, I agree entirely with the larger point that state capitalism is not a viable long-term alternative to liberal capitalism, but there is no reason for the governments that use it to ditch it this year.
Why not? Look again at China. The vast majority of its state-owned enterprises and privately owned national champions lag far behind multinational corporations in access to state-of-the-art technology, branding expertise, and market share. They still have work to do and can use every advantage their government can provide to narrow the gap with their foreign competition. In addition, China remains a hugely important market for foreign companies and investors. This provides Beijing with the leverage needed to help more Chinese companies find their footing.
In other words, China has not exhausted its opportunities to "level the commercial playing field" (from China's point of view) or "further stack the deck" (from everyone else's).
One day, the changing competitive landscape in China will make that market much less attractive for outsiders, and things will have to change. A rising standard of living will make China's plentiful labor and capital much more expensive, encouraging companies to look elsewhere in Asia for these advantages. This process is already underway, and even some Chinese companies are joining their foreign competitors in opening up shop in places like Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
In the end, the Chinese government will have to liberalize its economy. It won't be easy, because all these state-owned companies will have their defenders within the political elite and the bureaucracy. But for the time being, it is clearly in China's interest to stay the course awhile longer.
Not that China's leaders care very much what we think.
Ian Bremmer is president of Eurasia Group and author of End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
I'm headed to Davos tomorrow for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, where the discussion is sure to be provocative -- and a bit more forward-looking than in recent years. Since the financial crisis first shook the global economy in 2008, these summits have focused mainly on the meltdown's market impact and its implications for policymakers. As aftershocks ripple across the eurozone, its troubles will remain a high priority topic. There just isn't much new to say about them -- though there will be much speculation on how short-term solutions play out. The forecast is for more muddle-through as Europe's leaders take halting, painful steps toward austerity and closer fiscal union.
But on a more macro level, we'll see plenty of willingness here to change the tune. I wouldn't quite call this the first recovery summit, but we're seeing signs of life in the U.S. economy, solid growth numbers in China, and we've put a cap on the security-driven 9/11 era with the killing of bin Laden, the crippling of al Qaeda, the end of the Iraq War, and a scheduled troop drawdown from Afghanistan.
So if global politics are no longer consumed with responses to 9/11 on the security side and the financial crisis on the economic front, this year's gathering will have room to address broader drivers of international governance and the global balance of power in years to come. Thus the Davos theme: "The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models." I look forward to getting plenty of perspective from my work as moderator for several upcoming discussion panels and to unpacking this idea piece by piece in posts to come.
To kick off, let's unveil the themes sure to be most hotly debated. The growing gap between rich and poor will play a huge role. The issue already stands to provide the U.S. 2012 elections with both text and subtext, and an Occupy Davos movement will soon echo through the summit press coverage. How this divide compares to other sources of global tension -- sectarian divides, nationalistic ones, and the demographics of age and immigration -- will make for charged debate. The future of democracy versus its various alternatives will also take center stage, along with juxtaposition of the relative merits of free market and state capitalist economic models. A discussion of the Arab Spring's impact on the state of democracy -- or perhaps just the stability of states in general -- is sure to surface.
And, yes, Europe's travails will cling to the top of the charts, though the eurozone itself will survive 2012 in one piece. I strongly suspect we'll see positive signs from the meetings here, probably in the form of some announcement of (incremental) support for the periphery and a modest upswing in optimism that the Greeks make it through their next funding deadline on March 20. We can expect a lot more market volatility. We're not headed for a cure, but nor are we headed over a cliff. That alone will give us plenty to discuss.
Then we'll leave Davos as we arrived -- with a new set of urgent questions that defy simple answers.
BTW, I can't forget to thank Newt Gingrich for stirring the political pot with that win in South Carolina. I fully expect shrewd questions about this from befuddled foreign friends. I only hope I can provide some semi-satisfying answers.
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The Call, from Ian Bremmer, uses cutting-edge political science to predict the political future -- and how it will shape the global economy.