Daily Archives: January 25, 2013

A handy guide to Davos-speak

By Ryan McCarthy

“The impatience for growth will really take patience” — that’s Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan in a panel on low economic growth, using the particular kind of language particular to the people who inhabit particular places like Davos. A panel called “No Growth, Easy Money — The New Normal?” (those latter three words another terrible Davos phrase) began with the moderator grimly telling the crowd: “Will we ever return to the normal, free world?” This kind of sentence is ostensibly the kind of English you and I subscribe to, but on further examination, not so much.

Are the Davos elite really worrying about their freedom? Well, no. The World Economic Forum has no shortage of silly phrases, but some of them actually do have meaning beyond the euphemistic. What Davos folks mean when they constantly call for a “growth plan” or “restoring growth” is that no one can see any particular industry that’s going to increase the pace at which they get rich. And, as a result, the rest of us will have fewer jobs.

Ray Dalio, who runs Bridgewater, the world’s biggest hedge fund, had probably the clearest take on this low-growth world. In a post-crisis, high-debt global economy, Dalio said, economic growth can’t come from debt, as it did during the last few decades or so. Economies are still deleveraging, debt won’t rise faster than income and the primary way large economies can grow is by increasing productivity. (CNBC has a bit more on his philosophy here).

What does Dalio actually mean by this? Dalio expanded a bit: the big conversation in politics and economics, he said, will be about how to get more out of workers – growth won’t come  from the next Internet, the next real estate boom or any new asset, in other words. This means, he said, hard choices about questions like “How long is a vacation?” or “What is a good life?”

If you unpack this Davos-speak a bit, what Dalio is saying is particularly dire for the rest of us. When the world’s most successful investors tells you economic growth is going to depend on whether or not you take a vacation, it’s time to worry. This is what Tyler Cowen calls “the great stagnation,” a period of declining productivity growth that could hurt living standards.

This isn’t good news for those of us who don’t have Davosian savings to rely on. But there’s another troubling phrase that kept coming up: on Friday, Mario Draghi said the ECB’s actions last year had “removed the tail risk” from the Euro, a phrase that was repeated by a handful of panelists on Friday. This a funny way to put it — as my Reuters colleague Felix Salmon has pointed out at length, tail risk is something that is , by definition, improbable, elusive and generally hard to identify. When a Davos luminary, even one as accomplished as Mario Draghi, starts claiming to have identified something largely unidentifiable, take it with a big dose of non-euphemistic skepticism.

Or, to put it in, Davos-speak: retain your “uber-mindfulness-influence”

Source: Newsjyoti

A handy guide to Davos-speak

By Ryan McCarthy

“The impatience for growth will really take patience” — that’s Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan in a panel on low economic growth, using the particular kind of language particular to the people who inhabit particular places like Davos. A panel called “No Growth, Easy Money — The New Normal?” (those latter three words another terrible Davos phrase) began with the moderator grimly telling the crowd: “Will we ever return to the normal, free world?” This kind of sentence is ostensibly the kind of English you and I subscribe to, but on further examination, not so much.

Are the Davos elite really worrying about their freedom? Well, no. The World Economic Forum has no shortage of silly phrases, but some of them actually do have meaning beyond the euphemistic. What Davos folks mean when they constantly call for a “growth plan” or “restoring growth” is that no one can see any particular industry that’s going to increase the pace at which they get rich. And, as a result, the rest of us will have fewer jobs.

Ray Dalio, who runs Bridgewater, the world’s biggest hedge fund, had probably the clearest take on this low-growth world. In a post-crisis, high-debt global economy, Dalio said, economic growth can’t come from debt, as it did during the last few decades or so. Economies are still deleveraging, debt won’t rise faster than income and the primary way large economies can grow is by increasing productivity. (CNBC has a bit more on his philosophy here).

What does Dalio actually mean by this? Dalio expanded a bit: the big conversation in politics and economics, he said, will be about how to get more out of workers – growth won’t come  from the next Internet, the next real estate boom or any new asset, in other words. This means, he said, hard choices about questions like “How long is a vacation?” or “What is a good life?”

If you unpack this Davos-speak a bit, what Dalio is saying is particularly dire for the rest of us. When the world’s most successful investors tells you economic growth is going to depend on whether or not you take a vacation, it’s time to worry. This is what Tyler Cowen calls “the great stagnation,” a period of declining productivity growth that could hurt living standards.

This isn’t good news for those of us who don’t have Davosian savings to rely on. But there’s another troubling phrase that kept coming up: on Friday, Mario Draghi said the ECB’s actions last year had “removed the tail risk” from the Euro, a phrase that was repeated by a handful of panelists on Friday. This a funny way to put it — as my Reuters colleague Felix Salmon has pointed out at length, tail risk is something that is , by definition, improbable, elusive and generally hard to identify. When a Davos luminary, even one as accomplished as Mario Draghi, starts claiming to have identified something largely unidentifiable, take it with a big dose of non-euphemistic skepticism.

Or, to put it in, Davos-speak: retain your “uber-mindfulness-influence”

Source: Newsjyoti

Advertising in Davos: The message isn’t medium

By Frank Tantillo

With 1,500 business leaders and up to 50 government officials in town for the World Economic Forum it shouldn’t be a surprise that advertising messages in Davos are aimed at a different demographic than one would expect in even the most upscale of ski resorts.

The most popular source of ads are emerging nations attempting to attract investors with millions of dollars to sling around. For example many of the buses here tout former Soviet State Azerbaijan as the “Land of the Future.”

Despite their subject matter, some of the ads adhere to standard conventions such as citing statistics to prove their “product” is bigger or better than competitors. For example this billboard above Davos’s famed Kaffee Klatsch restaurant informs passing plutocrats of India’s high population of low median age people who apparently enjoy dressing up and striking nonchalant poses.

This ad and many others seen around town are sponsored by the India Brand Equity Foundation – “A hub of knowledge for all facts, market research, industry reports, trade information etc related to Brand India.” Here’s another one that informs the skiers and elderly residents boarding this bus that India is an “aspirational nation of potential and promise” and that, by the way, the electronics market there will grow by 700% by 2020.

Not all of the ads in town go for the hard sell. This banner on the side of the Kirchner Museum features a tasteful image of the South African flag with the simple, if open-ended, message “South Africa – Inspiring new ways.”

On the even softer-sell side, some ads aren’t at all clear about what they’re selling. This billboard posted outside a centrally-located restaurant touts something called INDIAFRICA as being “the largest people to people and youth outreach programme for over 2.5 billion people across India and Africa.”

Those wanting clarification on what INDIAFRICA actually does can visit their website which states that “INDIAFRICA: A Shared Future is a unique people to people initiative that aims at engaging multiple stakeholders in India and Africa through contests, fellowships, discussions, events, collaborative projects and cultural exchanges” a message that perhaps can only be deciphered by those in the 1%.

Source: Newsjyoti

Advertising in Davos: The message isn’t medium

By Frank Tantillo

With 1,500 business leaders and up to 50 government officials in town for the World Economic Forum it shouldn’t be a surprise that advertising messages in Davos are aimed at a different demographic than one would expect in even the most upscale of ski resorts.

The most popular source of ads are emerging nations attempting to attract investors with millions of dollars to sling around. For example many of the buses here tout former Soviet State Azerbaijan as the “Land of the Future.”

Despite their subject matter, some of the ads adhere to standard conventions such as citing statistics to prove their “product” is bigger or better than competitors. For example this billboard above Davos’s famed Kaffee Klatsch restaurant informs passing plutocrats of India’s high population of low median age people who apparently enjoy dressing up and striking nonchalant poses.

This ad and many others seen around town are sponsored by the India Brand Equity Foundation – “A hub of knowledge for all facts, market research, industry reports, trade information etc related to Brand India.” Here’s another one that informs the skiers and elderly residents boarding this bus that India is an “aspirational nation of potential and promise” and that, by the way, the electronics market there will grow by 700% by 2020.

Not all of the ads in town go for the hard sell. This banner on the side of the Kirchner Museum features a tasteful image of the South African flag with the simple, if open-ended, message “South Africa – Inspiring new ways.”

On the even softer-sell side, some ads aren’t at all clear about what they’re selling. This billboard posted outside a centrally-located restaurant touts something called INDIAFRICA as being “the largest people to people and youth outreach programme for over 2.5 billion people across India and Africa.”

Those wanting clarification on what INDIAFRICA actually does can visit their website which states that “INDIAFRICA: A Shared Future is a unique people to people initiative that aims at engaging multiple stakeholders in India and Africa through contests, fellowships, discussions, events, collaborative projects and cultural exchanges” a message that perhaps can only be deciphered by those in the 1%.

Source: Newsjyoti