Who said what at Davos 2019

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Who said what at Davos 2019

Workers listen during a briefing inside the Congress Center, the venue for the World Economic Forum (WEF), in Davos, Switzerland, on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019.
Stefan Wermuth | Bloomberg | Getty Images

From comments on global growth, the U.S.-China trade conflict and the prospect of higher taxes, the World Economic Forum has made headlines once again.

CNBC takes a look at the most memorable quotes over the past few days from the snowy Swiss Alpine resort of Davos.

  • Angela Merkel

    In a veiled swipe at President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had "grave doubts" about a changing approach to global affairs in which compromise and multilateralism seemed to be lacking.

    "There is a new approach that we see in the world today, an approach that harbors doubts as to the validity of the international system, they say 'shouldn't we look after our own interests first' and then out of that develop an order that is good for all," she told an audience on Wednesday.

    "I have my grave doubts that this is the right way to go about it," she said via a translation.

    German chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, on January 23, 2019 in Davos, eastern Switzerland.
    Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images
  • Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio, the founder of the world's biggest hedge fund, said that raising taxes on wealthy Americans in response to income inequality could have huge and unintended consequences on markets.

    "How tax rates are changed will have a huge effect on incentives and could have a huge effect on capital flows, and that will have big effects on markets and economies," Dalio said in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    Dalio made the comments in response to a question about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's proposal to roughly double the top tax rate.

    Ray Dalio, founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates, speaking at the WEF in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 22, 2019.
    Adam Galica | CNBC
  • John Kerry

    John Kerry had a one-word answer when asked his message for President Donald Trump: "Resign."

    The former secretary of State and Democratic U.S. senator from Massachusetts made the declaration while speaking on a CNBC panel. Kerry, who lost in his bid to become president in 2004, first hesitated to answer the question, lamenting that Trump "doesn't take any of this seriously" before calling for his resignation.

    US Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the assembly at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, on January 22, 2016.
    Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images
  • Wang Qishan

    The Chinese vice president's eagerly-anticipated speech came ahead of a March 2 deadline for the U.S. and China to strike a new trade deal.

    "For the Chinese and U.S. economies, I believe they are in state of (being) mutually indispensable," Wang said, according to a WEF translation.

    "This is a reality, either side can't do without the other side. So, the conclusion is that there has to be a mutual benefit and win-win (relationship)," he added.

    Wang Qishan, China's vice president, speaks during the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.
    Justin Chin | Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Matt Damon

    Award-winning actor Matt Damon talked politics, revealing which Democrats he would like to see in the White House.

    "There's going to be a huge Democratic field. I love Joe Biden and especially now, particularly with our institutions under such attack," he told CNBC Wednesday.

    "I think it would be a great signal to the world if we put somebody who was established and very stable and very wise back in charge."

    Matt Damon at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
    David A. Grogan | CNBC
  • George Soros

    Billionaire investor George Soros launched a blistering attack on Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, describing him as the "most dangerous" opponent to those who believe in open society.

    His comments come as the Chinese state continues to set up a broad ranking system to monitor its citizens, giving them a social credit score. "I want to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes," Soros said.

    George Soros, billionaire and founder of Soros Fund Management LLC
    Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • Mark Rutte

    President Donald Trump found support from an unlikely source in Europe — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte — who told CNBC that the president could be a catalyst for much-needed reforms.

    "The U.S. has voted and Trump is the president and maybe he will be re-elected ... So we have to work with him, and I think he is an opportunity," he said.

    "He is an opportunity to make changes to some of those multilateral institutions that we hold dearly, like the World Trade Organization (WTO) which is not functioning very well. Or take the United Nations or European Union — there are many issues to solve," he added.

    Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte
    Getty Images
  • Jair Bolsonaro

    Brazil's newly-elected populist President Jair Bolsonaro addressed the world's business elite, vowing to transform Latin America's largest economy into a more investment-friendly country.

    "Brazil's economy is still relatively closed to foreign trade and to change that situation is one of my administration's major commitments," Bolsonaro said Tuesday.

    "You can be sure that by the end of my term in office, our economic team, led by Minister of Finance Paulo Guedes, will position in the ranking of the 50 best countries in the world to do business," he added.

    Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's president, delivers a speech during a special address on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019.
    Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • Christine Lagarde

    The International Monetary Fund's Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, said that the current slowdown in China's economy is "legitimate," but warned it could pose a major risk if the downtrend started to accelerate.

    "Should the slowdown be excessively fast, it would constitute a real issue both domestically and probably on a more systemic basis," Lagarde told a CNBC-hosted panel.

    Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) attends a news conference on the world economic outlook during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 22, 2018 .
    Denis Balibouse | Reuters
  • Marc Benioff

    Silicon Valley has driven San Francisco into a "train wreck" of inequality, with homelessness being a severe issue in the city, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told CNBC.

    Benioff added that though the Valley is the home of "an incredible technology industry" that "every city in the world craves," some executives in the sector are ignoring issues such as gentrification and homelessness.

    "In some ways, San Francisco is the canary in the coal mine," Benioff said.

    —CNBC's Ryan Browne, Sam Meredith, Holly Ellyatt and Hugh Son contributed to this article.

    Marc Benioff, Co-CEO of SalesForce speaking at the WEF in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 22, 2019.
    Adam Galica | CNBC