Davos WEF
Davos WEF

It's 'pretty interesting' China's president quoted Abraham Lincoln at Davos, Bank of America CEO says

Bank of America CEO reflects on Davos speech from China's president

Chinese President Xi Jinping's concern that the world could fall into a trade war is premature because it's too early to know the outcome of President-elect Donald Trump's plans, Bank of America chief Brian Moynihan told CNBC on Tuesday.

"Xi spoke earlier this morning, and he's quoting Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address about development being 'for the people, by the people'," Moynihan said on "Squawk Box" from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"You start to say this is a pretty interesting world where you have the president of China quoting the great American president," he added.

In his speech, Xi said: "It is true that economic globalization created new problems, but this is no justification to write off economic globalization altogether." He also warned that populist approaches could lead to war and poverty.

Moynihan, who had lunch with Xi, reported the Chinese president is "very much concerned that there will be a retraction from trade, and the ability of trade to help the world grow, and the ability rebalance the imbalances in economies."

As one of the five co-chairs of the World Economic Forum, Moynihan said: "That's the fear out there."

But the Bank of America chairman and CEO added: "I think we've just got to let it play out for a while.

"There's always around elections ... a lot of hand-wringing about what will happen next," he added. "When you get into it, everything takes more time. People have to think it through."