Consensus in Davos on presidential elections
Publicly, global business leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland do not want to predict the winner of the upcoming US presidential election. The closest they’ve come? Referring to this as “geopolitical risk”.
But talk to officials privately, and they are more frank: They expect Donald Trump to win and while many are worried about it, they are also resigned to it.
Predictions of a Trump victory came in various forms. Many pointed to the headlines and mood in the US, with one senior banker telling DealBook that all you had to do was look at opinion polls To find out Trump is on track to win.
JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon also made a lot of headlines with his comments. in one Interview With Andrew on CNBC, he did not predict that Trump would win, but suggested that it would be a mistake to dismiss the former president and his supporters.
“Just take a step back and be honest,” Dimon said, listing things he thinks Trump got at least partially right: NATO, immigration, the economy, China and more. “He wasn’t wrong on some of these important issues and that’s why they’re voting for him,” he said.
“I think this negative talk about MAGA will hurt [President] Biden’s campaign,” he said.
That said, the Davos crowd often gets things wrong. A common criticism of forum participants is that they are counter-indicators of what is to come, so hopeful that their expectations may bode well for Biden or Trump’s Republican rivals. “Trump is already the president of Davos — which is a good thing because the Davos consensus is usually wrong,” Alex Soros, George Soros’ son, said on a panel.
A little history: The consensus at Davos was that Hillary Clinton would defeat Trump in 2016. And in 2020, the prevailing view was that there were some risks to the economy… as the pandemic began to spread.
Saw and heard:
Perhaps the biggest complaint among attendees was the long lines everywhere, especially at the Grandhotel Belvedere. Many complained that the process to enter the building – wait times sometimes reaching an hour – was worse than ever and it did not matter whether you were a business titan or a less famous guest. One executive complained to DealBook that security was more restrictive than at US airports because he had to take off his Apple Watch every time. At previous meetings, executives wanted a room at the Belvedere because the hotel was considered the best in the city and closest to the main venue — but many told DealBook they no longer do.
Despite the rigid class system – people are given different colored badges that grant access to different levels – the event has weird ways of leveling the playing field, at least a little bit. At last night’s Salesforce party, which was the hottest ticket of the week, even the billionaires had to wait outside with everyone else to see Sting perform.
What’s going on over here
Congress approved a stopgap spending bill to prevent a government shutdown. President Biden is expected to sign legislation on Friday to keep the federal government running through early March. This is the third such stopgap bill since October.
Jamie Dimon got a huge pay bump. board of jp morgan chase granted Its CEO received $36 million in compensation for 2023, a year in which the bank faced a banking crisis and rising interest rates and made record profits. The 67-year-old head of a major US bank, the longest-tenured, has given no indication of when he will retire.
Reddit is reportedly considering a March public listing. The social media platform is said to be moving ahead with a long-standing plan file for ipo According to Reuters, in the first quarter. The market for new listings has been turbulent and the outlook seems to have improved slightly this year.
Macy’s will cut thousands of jobs. The country’s largest department store operator will lay off 2,350 employees, about 3.5 percent of its total workforce. The cuts come as veteran retail executive Tony Spring prepares to take over as CEO next month. Macy’s has been grappling with sluggish sales since the pandemic-driven store-to-door boom has shaken up the retail sector.
BYD has doubled down on overseas expansion. Warren Buffett backed Chinese electric vehicle maker Plans to invest $1.3 billion at a new Indonesian factory as it continues its aggressive push beyond its domestic market. Indonesia is home to the largest reserves of nickel in the world, a vital mineral in the production of EVs
ESG migration accelerates
Money flowing from ESG funds has run into trouble amid investor anger over a sector hit by greenwashing concerns, red-state boycotts and boardroom debates.
Investment strategies have become increasingly politicized after being used by companies to address environmental, social and governance issues among their employees, customers and other stakeholders. In the sign of the times, idiom has been cleared From the official program of the World Economic Forum in Davos, after being on the agenda in previous years.
Investors withdrew 5 billion dollars According to ESG-focused “sustainable” investment funds last quarter A new report from Morningstar, The withdrawals came despite a broader market rally at the end of 2023.