The shadow of Zelensky and Trump is looming over Davos
Two people have enormous influence on the World Economic Forum, and one of them isn’t even there.
One is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who gave a full press conference to business and global leaders on stage in Davos, Switzerland. The other is Donald Trump, whose re-election prospects dominate the discussion among attendees.
Zelensky used an expletive to describe Trump’s claim to involve Vladimir Putin. In a Q&A with reporters, moderated by Andrew, Zelensky rejected the idea that Trump could block the Russian president from visiting other parts of Europe. Putin will not stop, he said – but the question is what the US and Trump will do after this point, because in this case it would mean that Europe lost the most useful and strongest army in Europe because we lost Ukraine.
Zelensky initially tried to downplay concerns about Trump, And whether his potential re-election would lead to a decline in support for Ukraine. But he also seemed somewhat frightened by this possibility. “One man cannot change the entire nation,” Zelensky said in the Q&A, adding that deciding on the next president “is a choice for the American nation and only the American nation.”
The Ukrainian leader acknowledged that a victory for Trump, who has opposed US aid to Ukraine, could affect his country’s military operation or negotiations. “The radical voices of the Republican Party have created tension and pain for the Ukrainian people,” he said.,
Zelensky isn’t the only leader at Davos worried about Trump. Several attendees told DealBook that the election results are a potential risk for trading, especially after the former president defeated his Republican rivals in the Iowa caucuses.
Ukrainian leader calls for increased global trade support. He spoke at a private gathering of executives hosted by JPMorgan Chase, which is advising Ukraine on its reconstruction efforts.
In the audience at the Congress Center for the conversation are Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman, Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio, Carlyle’s David Rubenstein and Dell’s Michael Dell, who listens to DealBook.
Zelensky also explained how US-China tensions are affecting Ukraine. Given China’s size and influence over Russia, it is important to involve Beijing in rebuilding the country, but Ukraine is viewed as a US concern, not a global concern, he told the CEOs.
Seen and heard around town: Traffic on Main Street was so bad that President Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry sent it to a meeting. And at the annual wine tasting hosted by financier and former Trump official Anthony Scaramucci, the wines ran out.
What’s going on over here
There is turmoil in the market due to the concern of rate cut. European stocks and bonds are down this morning Christine LagardeThe European Central Bank president warned that interest rates may not fall until the summer, and inflation in Britain has surged unexpectedly. US futures also fell after Fed Governor Christopher Waller signaled yesterday that it was too early to consider a rate cut in the first quarter.
Disney formally rejects Nelson Peltz’s board nominations. The entertainment giant has Presented a list of directors — which includes Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman and General Motors’ Mary Barra — and ignored the activist investor who has criticized Disney over strategy and succession planning. Separately, Disney CEO Bob Iger’s compensation for fiscal 2023 was more than $31 million.
BP appoints a new CEO Energy giant today Name As its new head Murray Auchincloss. The former CFO stepped in as interim chief four months ago after his predecessor Bernard Looney resigned due to failing Disclosing relationships with employees. Auchincloss has indicated that he will follow Looney’s strategy to grow the company’s renewables business and cut its oil and gas production by the end of the decade.
China delivered a double dose of bad news this morning, sending markets lower in Asia. Official data showed the economy grew at its slowest pace in decades last year and the country’s population declined again.
The reading is another sign of deep problems in the world’s second-largest economy, as it grapples with an asset crunch, weak consumer confidence, falling exports, deflationary pressures and major demographic challenges.
The economy grew 5.2 percent last year, up from 3 percent in 2022 when strict coronavirus restrictions were in place. That was better than the official target of about 5 percent, but 2024 is expected to be tough, with a Reuters survey of analysts predicting growth that would probably slow to 4.6 percent.
Population decline points to major challenges. More deaths than births were recorded in the country for the second consecutive year. Beijing is concerned because fewer people means fewer consumers, and it needs people of working age to boost growth. Retail sales in December also fell short of expectations, while industrial production barely kept pace with them.
There has been no incentive after Covid. “Chinese officials and some international economists believe that China’s economic slowdown over the past few years was caused by the “zero Covid” policy,” Yi Fuxian, a University of Wisconsin–Madison scientist and expert on Chinese demography, told DealBook. ” “But China’s economic recovery last year was much weaker than expected, as the main drivers of the slowdown were the aging and declining workforce.”
Structural reforms are needed to deal with these new realities. But for the short term, China will continue to rely on export-led growth at a time when many Western companies are already looking to shift parts of their supply chains elsewhere.