The annual convocation of the rich and powerful at Davos is the Global Economy distilled into a show. On a variety of stages, before a variety of audiences, a representative sample of the crowd entertain themselves and each other in performances keyed to self-assertion and self-praise.
Davos is the personification of the maxim, Money talks.
Which is why, analysts are saying, even though President Trump passed both Davos spotlight tests…he didn’t drool and he didn’t start any new wars, his “open for business” offer got just nods of rote approval from European business leaders and academics.
Meanwhile, China’s economic presenters were getting not just approval, but rapt attention from among the more numerous representatives of “emerging market” countries in South, Central and East Asia, Africa and now, Latin America. Beijing is talking about a big money expansion of its international loan program Road and Belt. At Davos a lot of people were really listening.
Even in the bull-talkin’ competition, Trump got radically outshone by French President Emanuel Macron. Not that Macron said anything much, but the way he said it to an auditorium full of carefully tailored suits left Trump looking like a torn T-shirt.
There was also an anti-Trump eruption in the No Bull division, from what many might have thought an unlikely source. The IMF is not known for swimming upstream, especially not against the current in the Potomac River, but there was IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde countering the prevailing Davos happy talk with 3 developments that worried her about the world economy. It is not an exaggeration to say those 3 developments have their sources in Trump, Trump and Trump.
First Lagarde said she feared that Trump’s tax “reform” could lead to a bigger US budget deficit, and that extra borrowing by the US Treasury will force up long-term American interest rates and choke off longer-term growth.
Second, she worried about the likeliest impact of Trumponomics, even more inequality, which Lagarde said could tear societies apart.
Finally she said, she saw signs already of a world coming apart as an era of international agreements degenerated into an era of “me first.”
It was enough to curdle somebody’s soufflé.
Nomi Prins is a renowned journalist, author and speaker. She is currently at work on a new book, Collusion (formerly called Artisans of Money), that will explore the recent rise of the role of central banks in the global financial and economic hierarchy. Her last book, All the Presidents’ Bankers, is a groundbreaking narrative about the relationships of presidents to key bankers over the past century and how they impacted domestic and foreign policy. Her other books include a historical novel about the 1929 crash, Black Tuesday, and the hard-hitting expose It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bonuses, Bailouts, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street (Wiley,2009/2010). She is also the author of Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America (The New Press, 2004) which was chosen as a Best Book of 2004 by The Economist, Barron’s and The Library Journal, and Jacked (Polipoint Press, 2006).
She was a member of Senator (and presidential contender) Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Federal Reserve Reform Advisory Council, and is listed as one of America’s TopWonks. She is on the advisory board of the whistle-blowing organization ExposeFacts, and a board member of animal welfare and wildlife conservation group, Born Free USA.
Nomi received her BS in Math from SUNY Purchase, and MS in Statistics from New York University, where she completed all required coursework for a PhD in Statistics. Before becoming a journalist,
To Pre-order Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World
this is the companion promo/video song to Collusion, it’s called You and Me by Danny McGaw.