Quick: Bernanke Backers in Davos
There's no shortage of items on the agenda here at the World Economic Forum: Haiti, the gender gap, cap and trade, rebuilding long-term economic growth.
And yet, talk in the hallways and cocktail parties here inevitably turns to the agenda in Washington. Chatter is focused on President Obama's State of the Union address and what he will do to create more jobs. And with the Senate considering a second term for the Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke is the buzz on everyone's lips.
The Fed head is getting some support from big names here in the Alps. John Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley , joined us on "Squawk Box" and made his case for Bernanke. Here is what he said:
"Ben got us through—along with a team of others—we got through a big crisis... And I'm sure there are people that would say if he was really doing his job that wouldn't have happened. You and I both know that's bogus. He has been in that role for a short period of time so I don't think we'd have panic but I do think it would hurt the markets -- we saw the markets sell off about 5% last week but I think the markets are feeling somewhat better because there is support and it looks like he will be voted in."
So, I'm Not A Photographer
There's a reason they don't pay me to take pictures, and here it is:
This is French President Nicolas Sarkozy making his way into address the Forum. Really. That's him in the lower left-hand corner.
And while this shot may not give you a good idea of what Sarkozy really looks like, it does give you a good idea what the World Economic Forum looks like.
It's crowds and photographers chasing after business leaders and heads of state. Welcome to the circus.
The Race Is On
My favorite part about Davos 2009: the pedometer race.
In case you weren't following along on this blog last year, let me catch you up to speed: Davos wants visitors to be green, and so it encourages us to walk everywhere instead of taking cars. Sounds easy, until you realize it's snowing, two degrees below zero and to get anywhere requires hiking up the Swiss Alps.
But the event organizers here figured they could trick us with childish games. They gave us each a pedometer, and promised that whoever took the most steps at last year's World Economic Forum would win a prize. I, for one, fell hook, line and sinker.
The pedometer became my obsession last year. I wore it everywhere, even to the shower. I even figured out how to game the system by jiggling around a lot while it was perched on my hip, to mimic extra steps.
And then...disaster struck. My pedometer blanked out halfway through the week. I lost over 20,000 steps.
But the pedometer is back! And I am on fire. After only an hour or two wearing it, I already have 1,218 steps. I am on track to win!!
At least, that's what I thought, until I read the fine print that comes with the pedometer and realize last year's winner logged 100,897 steps. Who is this freak? I have a lot of walking (and jiggling) to do.
Davos Is Hot
Davos is hot.
I mean figuratively, of course. Literally it's below zero here. But Davos isn't the hottest show around. At least, not anymore.