Soft Talk, Writ Large
Each year, some 800 CEOs and senior executives trek to a remote village in northeastern Switzerland to participate in the [...]
April 1 1996 by JP Donlon
Each year, some 800 CEOs and senior executives trek to a remote village in northeastern
When “pitchfork Pat” Buchanan excoriates the “new economic world order crowd,” one can’t help but wonder if he has Schwab’s mob in mind. But in the midst of all this global hand-holding were signs of economic nationalism. Russian Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov feels that the best way to get back at “the corrupt bureaucrats” and his country’s disintegrating social system is to renationalize industry. If elected in June to succeed Boris Yeltsin, he promises to introduce “a mixed state and private system.” Zyuganov is the type of guy who, during his country’s transition from U.S.S.R. to the
Even the die-hard internationalists with the European Union were having a hard time. Both EU President Jacques Santer and Bundesbank Chancellor Tietmayer complained that if monetary union is not achieved by 1999, it might not be achieved at all. Wolfgang Schaueble, chairman of
One would think the late 1990s would be the belle Ã©poque of international trade and growth. To some extent, it is. In the 25 years that internationally minded business leaders and politicians have been coming to Davos, the Cold War has not dominated economics in the last five. Apart from
Then there is this delicate business in
Pat Buchanan is dead wrong about trade, but he may be right about one thing: We’re in a culture war. Issues that appear to be economic on the surface are, in fact, cultural. The first thing people seek from government is order-not some arbitrary, authoritarian order-but a rational, predictable order in which people can raise families, find jobs, make a living, and plan for the future without too much physical or emotional disruption.
The business leaders in Davos, and elsewhere, are beginning to see that the pace of change is not just taking a toll on individual companies that merge, restructure, or die, but on the societies on which all this massive “re-engineering” is writ large.