Davos ready for a deluge of bankers

FINANCIAL services firms are set to make a strong reappearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week. Guests at the forum will include Barclays’ Bob Diamond, JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon, Deutsche Bank’s Josef Ackermann, HSBC’s Stuart Gulliver and outgoing Lloyds chief executive Eric Daniels among others.

The strong presence of banking executives comes during a year that the organisers say should move the world “from risk to opportunity”. But the theme of this year’s event, “shared norms for a new reality” has left some observers scratching their heads. The programme says: “The ‘new reality’ is a world with manifold power centres, characterized by a high degree of volatility and the entrance [and exit] of players in the global race for competitiveness.”

It promises that attendees will gain “real insight” into the issue.

Despite the optimism, however, the forum’s chair Klaus Schwab said last week that the world is suffering from “global burnout syndrome” that makes it too weak to tackle the myriad threats of economic uncertainty and political risk.

“We have to be careful that this crisis does not become a social crisis -- which it has in some countries,” the German business studies professor told a media conference.