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La réputée réunion de Davos tient cette année, plus que les années précédentes, toutes ses promesses. On assiste au mélange qui fait désormais tout le charme étrange d’un capitalisme qui se découvre de plus en plus affecté par des frustrations et des contradictions inconscientes: un triomphe général et une panique presque aussi générale, — non, souvent, une panique plus générale encore, nous dirions une “panique maréchale”…
La tonalité globale? L’extraordinaire triomphe de la globalisation avec l’entrée en scène de la Chine et de l’Inde, — par conséquent, les perspectives extraordinairement apocalyptiques que cela nous réserve. Paraphrasant le Roosevelt de 1933 (“ce que dont nous devons avoir le plus peur, c’est de la peur elle-même”), Lawrence Summers nous dit que “ce dont nous devons avoir le plus peur, c’est de ne pas avoir assez peur”. Ceux qui observent les choses comprennent que ce qui se passe n’est qu’un faux-nez de la globalisation et du capitalisme et ils ressuscitent la théorie orwellienne des blocs qui passera par le néo-protectionnisme: « Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chief executive of Nestle, was more downbeat, saying that he once hoped for a truly global society but “the dream is over.” He said regions of the globe were drifting apart, separated by competition over oil and water, by differing attitudes and age demographics. »
Ci-après, un rapport de la première séance de Davos, d’après nos sources internes.
« How to save the West — Saving the world was on the agenda, but for many of the business leaders, academics and activists attending Wednesday's ‘Big Debate’ at the World Economic Forum, the theme may very well have been: Saving the West from China and India. Foreboding hung in the air as participants discussed key issues that global society must confront to navigate what Harvard University President Lawrence Summers described as one of the most important moments in history — Asia's new economic might. “What is happening in India and China ... the integration of the four-fifths of the world where people are poor with the one fifth of the world where people are rich, has the potential to be one of the three most important economic events in the last millennium, alongside the Renaissance and the industrial revolution,” Summers said. “I fear that we have too much hope and too little fear.” But fear was a recurrent subtext — at least in the words of the Westerners who comprised the majority of those present.
» Europe in serious danger — The debate reflected the realization by many that global integration and the wondrous technological advancements of recent years could bring traumatic change to countries that have grown comfortable and perhaps a little complacent. Speakers noted that by embracing market principles China and India have added hundreds of millions of inexpensive workers to the global labor market at precisely the moment when technology has rendered geographical location less important.
» 25 Years of downard pressures to salaries. — Laura Tyson, dean of the London Business School, warned of “downward pressure on real wages or employment (in the West) for a period to last up to 25 years.” Solar power advocate and businessman Bertrand Piccard — who became the first balloonist to circumnavigate the globe seven years ago — urged colleagues to think more creatively, along undefined new lines. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chief executive of Nestle, was more downbeat, saying that he once hoped for a truly global society but “the dream is over.” He said regions of the globe were drifting apart, separated by competition over oil and water, by differing attitudes and age demographics.
» Asia wants a bigger part of the cake. —Columbia University Professor Jagdish Bhagwati spoke in stark terms as well. “Twenty percent of the population of the world has 80 percent of the income... India and China are no longer willing to sit on the margins,” he warned, calling for a more equitable distribution of wealth. “We have 40 percent of the world's youth.” Each of the fifty-odd tables picked a discussion leader who reduced their own debate to two key questions facing the world, which were written down on blue cards and submitted to the organizers, who in turn formulated the most common themes and submitted the batches of questions to an electronic vote. The resulting big five? — What should China and India do to maintain sustainable development and preserve the environment? — What are the immediate steps needed to address climate change? — How can we create a global educational framework that fosters inclusivity? — How should educational systems be designed to respond to changing skill requirements? — What should be done to close income disparities. “I think the questions that emerged are the right questions,” Tyson concluded. “The issue is solutions coming from the business community.” »
Mis en ligne le 26 janvier 2006 à 13H56