Sauvé Senior Fellow Brett House is participating in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meetings in Davos, Switzerland all of this week. Both Brett and the Foundation’s Executive Director, Désirée McGraw were elected WEF Young Global Leaders (YGLs) in 2010.
#Davosproblems: The financial crisis isn‘t over, and the inequality crisis is just beginning
Brett House writes in Quartz:
The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting has kicked off in Davos, Switzerland under the banner of “The New Global Context.” Falling in the long shadow of the financial crisis, the WEF’s theme reflects as much hope as a creeping sense that economic turmoil is the new normal.
Some seven years into the current crisis, the participants at Davos are acutely aware that the world economy still hasn’t recovered its past momentum. The US is the only major engine of growth. Japan just passed its largest-ever national budget to knock itself out of two decades of stagnation. The European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to launch quantitative easing on Jan. 22 to stop Europe’s slide into deflation. And Russia is caught in a worsening meltdown.
Brett is interviewed on SAP TV “Davos – Day 1”
Brett is interviewed by Hub Culture on why dealing with inequality needs to be part of the global discussion.: While we’re making good progress on the Millennium Development Goals, inequality continues to widen
Brett’s notes to the JSF
The meetings in Davos, which kick off today, bring together prominent members of the policy, business, academic and activist communities and their discussions are often seen as a barometer of global concerns and emerging issues.
“Davos this year once again takes place in the long shadow of the financial crisis. Some seven years in, the world economy still hasn’t recovered its past momentum,” Brett notes. “The US is the only major engine of growth. Japan just passed its largest budget in history to kick-start investment and the European Central Bank (ECB) is on the edge of launching quantitative easing to combat Europe’s slide into deflation. Russia is caught in a worsening meltdown.”
Yesterday, Oxfam put inequality firmly on the Davos agenda with the launch of its report “Wealth: Having it all and wanting more.” The study finds that on current trends, by next year, 1% of the world’s population will own more wealth than the other 99%. The charity’s research shows that the share of the world’s wealth owned by the best-off 1% has increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014, while the least well-off 80% currently own just 5.5%. Oxfam added that on current trends the richest 1% would own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016. Brett explains that “The jump in inequality is a direct by-product of our response to the financial crisis. Quantitative easing has made liquidity cheap, and these funds have been plowed into tangible assets like real estate and art. If you were already rich, the crisis has probably made you richer.”
With 2015 the target year for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and a major United Nations summit in Paris on climate change, Brett expects international development and environmental issues to also figure prominently in Davos discussions this week. You can follow him on Twitter (@BrettEHouse) for updates.