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Davos will see bankers fight Obama plans

Steve Dinneen
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THE slopes of Davos will be the unlikely setting for the start of a fightback against the draconian measures being touted by the White House.

Bankers from the world’s most powerful financial institutions will begin the mammoth task of lobbying regulators against Barack Obama’s anti-bank legislation at the World Economic Forum, which kicks off on Wednesday.

Also on the agenda will be exploring ways to encourage investment in infrastructure in devastated Haiti.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy will open the event, and speakers include South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who heads the G20 this year, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, head of the G7 and G8. President Bill Clinton, a UN special envoy for Haiti, will address a session Thursday.

Chancellor Alistair Darling and the Conservatives’ David Cameron and George Osborne will all attend, while Gordon Brown has not yet confirmed his place at the summit.

During the peak of the financial crisis many of the most powerful bankers stayed away from the conference but this year most organisations will have representatives there.

Top names include Morgan Stanley chairman John Mack, JP Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon, Deutsche Bank chairman Josef Ackermann and Goldman chief operating officer Gary Cohn.
Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan will make the event his first foreign trip since taking up the position at the world’s third biggest bank. Barclays president Bob Diamond and Citigroup chief executive Vikram Pandit, who both snubbed the event last year, will also attend.

The forum will make the small town become by far the richest place on earth, in terms of wealth per capita and per square foot.