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No answer at Davos forum to global meltdown

business Updated: Feb 01, 2009 20:26 IST

Mired in indecision and uncertainty, the world's foremost gathering of the best and brightest in government and business failed to come up with any new plan to stem, much less reverse, the global financial meltdown.

The five-day World Economic Forum in this Swiss alpine resort wrapped up on Sunday in the same atmosphere of doom and gloom that it began, with a realisation that the depth of the crisis is still unknown and the solution remains elusive.

"Everybody's lost in Davos," said Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore.

"No one seems to have a clear understanding of how big this crisis is and what we need to do to get out of it." he told AP.

"My own view is that you really need to do a fundamental reexamination of the whole global system to see what went wrong, and nobody here is yet ready to ask these kinds of fundamental questions in Davos."

There was widespread agreement that there's plenty left to do, starting at the April meeting of leaders of the 20 largest economies in London.

"Now the hard work begins," the forum's founder, Klaus Schwab, said, calling for a redesign of the global systems of banking, financial regulation and corporate governance.

Cautioning that the G20 wouldn't be able to solve all the issues, Schwab announced that in a few weeks the forum would start a "Global Redesign Initiative" which he said was supported by almost every world leader who attended this year's forum, from China's Premier Wen Jiabao to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.