Calm Before the Storm

There was no sign that Wednesday was different from any other day in Davos at 5 am on the Promenade – the main drag of the ski resort town.

Davos, Switzerland
Photo: World Economic Forum
Davos, Switzerland

Devoid of taxis, WEF shuttles or even pedestrian traffic, only a few security people and members of the police force indicated that major players from across the globe were about to meet to debate, learn and exchange ideas. There were just three lights on in rooms of the Belvedere Hotel. In fact, the big activity was on bar next to Credit Suisse private wealth management’s office finally ejecting its last-call crowd (either a pre-WEF celebration that got out of control or a really long après-ski session.)

The Congress Center, which will be the center of the hallway deals and chatter for three days, was completely empty.

There won’t be that kind of quiet again until Saturday evening.

From around 9 am Davos time you can expect the sound bite to start flying out of WEF.

We’re in for a big battle between the double-dip recession crowd and those who think the crisis is firmly behind us and the recovery is strong, according to Andrew Scott, economics professor at the London Business School.

Scott is leaning toward concern over the double dip. “Last time I was saying the bad times ain’t that bad, and now I’m saying the good times, they ain’t that good,” he told

And if you looking for expert commentary to get you going, be sure to check out the op/ed pieces on

Nobel Prize winner Edmund S. Phelps argues for rehab capitalism for the United States.


Alcatel Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen weighs in on the prospects for change at Davos this year.

Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan addresses how companies can move ahead of regulators to improve corporate governance.

And Latvia President Valdis Zatlers outlines why his country’s economic reform program is working.