From a Bloomberg article subtly entitled The Specter of Donald Trump is Haunting Davos by Jeff Black, Bloomberg Business, January 21, 2016:
If Donald Trump as president of the United States is the ghost that’s stalking Davos, many among the global elite hope he’ll be banished by spring. Others see that as wishful thinking. “I think the nominees will be Donald Trump for the Republicans and Hillary Clinton” for the Democrats, Donald Baer, a former White House adviser under President Bill Clinton, said at a panel co-hosted by Bloomberg and WPP Plc. “The next year will be a very uncertain, chaotic period.”Well, it is an election year, after all.
The prospect of Trump in the White House is ratcheting up anxiety among the 2,500 business and political leaders gathered at the Swiss ski resort for the annual World Economic Forum. With less than two weeks before voting in primaries gets under way and Trump in the Republican Party lead, those who fear a rise in protectionism and economic mismanagement are speaking out against the billionaire property developer.“Unfortunately I do think that if there were to be a Trump administration the casualty would likely be trade,” said Eric Cantor, a former Republican House Majority Leader and now vice chairman of Moelis & Company. “That’s a very serious prospect for the world.”
So if they don't think Trump will make it through the primaries, what's their worry?Cantor said he doesn’t think Trump will make it through the primaries, a common theme among Davos attendees who nevertheless are still talking about him.
Trump’s positions —like a “temporary” ban on Muslims entering the country and the building of a wall on the Mexican border — are earning him opprobrium in the mountain resort....Well, doesn't Trump want the U.S. to be strong?
A Trump administration would be a “disaster,” according to Beth Brooke-Marciniak, global vice chair of public policy at Ernst & Young LLP and a former adviser to the U.S. Treasury in the Clinton administration. “The globe needs the U.S. to be strong,” she said. “The U.S. is still the horse that’s pulling the cart, and more so now with the capital outflows from emerging markets.”
So what's the problem? Why are they worried about Trump?....While Trump’s specter looms large, not many assume he’ll actually make it to the White House.
“I am amazed at Davos about how many people are taking Trump as seriously as they are,” said Martin Sorrell, WPP’s chief executive. “I think it doesn’t matter who the Republicans put up, I think Hillary will win.”.....Niall Ferguson delivers yet another End-of-Trump-Candidacy prediction. You can file this away and check it later.
“If you bother to read some of the serious analysis of Trump’s support, you realize that it’s a very fragile thing and highly unlikely to deliver what he needs in the crucial first phase of the primaries,” said Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch professor of history at Harvard University. “By the time we get to March-April, it’s all over. I think there’s going to be a wonderful catharsis, I’m really looking forward to it: Trump’s humiliation. Bring it on.”A day before, Bloomberg had published another article in a similar vein, entitled Trump is Losing the Davos Primary Among His Fellow Billionaires, by Matthew Campbell, Jacqueline Simmons, Simon Kennedy; Bloomberg, January 20, 2016. Some excerpts:
The collapsing center of U.S. politics poses a growing threat to global business, according to Davos delegates who say they’re watching anxiously as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders ride a populist wave in the presidential election.So why is Kurien concerned? Here's why...
“Trump is right now busy chasing the Mexicans,” T.K. Kurien, the chief executive officer of Indian information-technology services firm Wipro Ltd., said in an interview at the Swiss mountain resort, where the World Economic Forum meets this week. “But after he finishes with the Mexican story, I am pretty sure he’ll train his guns on us.”
Wipro gets about half its revenue from the U.S., much of it from outsourcing for large companies. Kurien said he’d be equally concerned if Vermont senator Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist seeking the Democratic nomination on a platform of reining in corporate power, were to win the presidency in November.I take it that Dennelind wouldn't want populism to make too much headway in his own country of Sweden, either. Look what multiculturalism and globalism have done to that country.The turbulent American election season is near the top of a long list of concerns weighing on the 2,500 corporate executives, political leaders, and financiers at this year’s gathering in Davos. With less than two weeks before voting in primaries gets under way, Trump has led the Republican field for months, while polls show Sanders is catching up with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.As usual, Trump is grabbing the most attention, even though the real-estate magnate’s blond mop and booming voice aren’t among the sights and sounds in Davos this year. His dominance of the race for the Republican nomination has attendees fretting that appeals to xenophobia and protectionism are taking hold in the world’s largest economy.....
If Trump has grabbed the most headlines, the rise of Sanders is “almost more stunning,” according to Stephen Schwarzman, chief executive of Blackstone Group LP. In Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote, the Vermont senator is running neck-and-neck with Clinton or ahead of her, according to recent polls.
“What’s remarkable is the amount of anger, whether it’s on the Republican side or the Democratic side,” Schwarzman [CEO of Blackstone Group LP] told Bloomberg Television in Davos.
Anti-establishment candidates are making inroads because “Middle America has lost faith in the economy,” said Tim Adams, head of the Institute of International Finance, and a U.S. Treasury official under the George W. Bush administration. That “leads people to extreme options and outcomes.”
While the U.S. economy has recovered faster than other developed nations from the global slump of 2008 and 2009, wages haven’t kept pace with a rebound in corporate profits. That’s helping candidates like Trump and Sanders who say the system is rigged against average Americans.
Johan Dennelind, head of Swedish phone giant TeliaSonera AB, called the current phase of the presidential contest “fascinating” — but said he hopes it won’t last too much longer. “It’s hugely important that you don’t get this populism to spread on too large a scale. It’s not just bad and ugly, it can be dangerous,” Dennelind said in an interview in Davos. “Hopefully it will get sane leading up to the real race.”