Slow Growth, No Growth, Snow Growth
News Editor, CNBC.com
The snow started coming down Tuesday evening and a crisp white blanket covered Davos before sunrise. But much of the talk late yesterday and Wednesday morning was about snow in the UK — and whether it's really to blame.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne blamed "terrible" weather in December for the surprise 0.5 percent fall in fourth-quarter GDP. But as ploughs cleared the snow in Davos there was much skepticism in the WEF community.
While storms may have grounded flights at Heathrow the thoughts among several delegates were that it was policy that was grounding the UK economy.
Economist Nouriel Roubini hadn't even arrived in the Alpine resort before he was Tweetingthat the Bank of England couldn't ride to the rescue because of rising prices. That was confirmed when Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said that inflation could hit 5 percent.
The UK is now looking like a test case for the austerity-now approach in large economies and there aren't many people giving it a high grade.
As one delegate said, this is a referendum "on which policy was right? The US or the UK?"
"It's the US," she said.