DESKCHAT: What To Look Out For At Davos World Economic Forum

  • Trump speaks on Tuesday.
  • Boris is a no show but Sajid Javid will attend.
  • Climate change is set to dominate the agenda.
  • Highlights from the speaker schedule.

World leaders, CEOs and the odd celebrity meet this week at Davos in Switzerland to discuss the most important events around the globe. The event is attended by around 15,000 people with an eyewatering 100 billionaires set to attend.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the event and over the years there have been many market-moving interviews and speeches. Attendees will include US President Donald Trump, UK Chancellor Sajid Javid, climate change activist Greta Thunberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, German Chancellor Angela Merkle and many more.
The main theme of the forum is set to be climate change. Although this does not have too much to do with the financial markets, it could give us a clear indication of trends moving forwards, for example ESG investing.

Issues like the Australian wildfires will be at the forefront of investors’ minds and climate change technology will be an investment focus in years to come. If you are looking for insight into the future potential of this sector, then Davos is definitely for you.
US President Donald Trump speaks on Tuesday and it is anyone’s guess as to whether he plays nice or not. The president will surely look to drive attention away from his ongoing impeachment, but now he has negotiated his ‘phase one’ deal with China it could be expected that he has a softer tone this time out.

Analysts will be looking for any updates on the Iranian situation: any new news could impact oil prices. Also, any updates on the ‘phase two’ deal and how it may be constructed could have an impact.
As always, Mr Trump could say anything market moving at any time. There are some notable political absentees this time round as the Boris Johnson and  Emmanuel Macron have chosen to give this one a miss. From a UK perspective, Chancellor Sajid Javid is due to attend and his recent comments about Brexit have sent sterling falling.

In the past, some of the biggest financial themes have been missed by Davos. Before the financial crisis, the theme for the event (2008) was “The power of collaborative innovation” and the year before (2007) the event was titled “Shaping the global agenda, the shifting power equation”.
So, can we expect the speakers and event to catch the next major trends in the global economy? Maybe not, but it is still useful to hear the thoughts of some of the most important world leaders and economic influencers.
Schedule (subject to change)

Tuesday 11.30 CET – Donald Trump
Tuesday 14.30 CET – Steve Mnuchin
Wednesday 10.30 CET – Steve Mnuchin
Thursday 9.00 CET – How to tax the digital economy (one for the crypto folk)
Thursday 11.30 CET – Abdulaziz Bin Salman
Thursday 14.15 CET – Angela Merkel
Thursday 14.30 CET – Faith Birol (IEA) important for oil markets
Friday 10.30 CET - ECB’s Villeroy, Wolf, Knot, Reinhart
Friday 11.30 CET – Sajid Javid, Zhu Min, Steve Mnuchin, Olaf Scholz, Christine Lagarde