Davos weighs world financial crisis

This year the World Economic Forum (WEF), an annual meeting of business and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland in late January, was focused on a financial crisis that shook world stock markets Jan. 18-21—the worst in 60 years, according to one participant, US financier George Soros. Other participants tried to minimize the dangers that a likely US recession would pose for emerging economies. The present crisis “isn’t the first and won’t be the last,” said Mexican central bank president Guillermo Ortiz. But according to former World Bank economist Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel prize for economics, Mexico‘s economy isn’t more resistant than in the past to contagion from the US, a situation made worse by the fact that the majority of banks in Mexico are now subsidiaries of US banks. (La Jornada, Jan. 24, 26 from AFP, DPA, Reuters)

Since 2001 opponents of neoliberal economic policies have countered the WEF with a World Social Forum. This year the forum was composed of decentralized events. In Latin America these included a rally in Buenos Aires, Argentina; a women’s march and events in Sao Paulo and Belem in Brazil; and an event in the Zocalo plaza in Mexico City. (Minga Informativa de Movimientos Sociales, Jan. 26)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Jan. 27