World Economic Forum: A View from the Very TopJan 22, 2016
Even in as picture perfect a setting as Davos, Switzerland, the rumblings of political and economic turmoil were sounding in the public and private meetings of the World Economic Forum.
No one reading economic predictions should be surprised at the anxiety creeping into the annual rendevous of the world's rich and powerful. After its worst year since 2008, Wall Street has seen stocks plunge 8% since the beginning of 2016. The International Monetary Fund scaled back its outlook for the year, now projecting global growth of 3.4% in 2016 and 3.6% in 2017.
On January 19, Dennis Nally, chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International, announced at Davos that just 27% of global CEOs surveyed believe world economic growth will improve over the next 12 months. That's a decline of 10 points from 2015. Perhaps even more troubling for this usually optimistic group, just 35% expect their company to grow in 2016, down 4 points from last year.
Business and political leaders had a bevy of "big" issues to consider, including the rapid digital and physical convergence of data and advanced technology that WEF Founder Klaus Schwab labeled the "Fourth Industrial Revolution" (it seemed like just yesterday it was the third). Here are some highlights of the discussion.