World’s richest gather to debate the direction of the world economy

The 44th annual World Economic Forum (WEF) brought together more that 2000 corporate executives, prime ministers, presidents and other government leaders, heads of central banks and social celebrities at the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos, from January 22-25.

The 44th annual World Economic Forum (WEF) brought together more that 2000 corporate executives, prime ministers, presidents and other government leaders, heads of central banks and social celebrities at the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos, from January 22-25.

Under the official title of “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business”, these representatives of the biggest monopoly capitalists met to celebrate their gains at the cost of the savage exploitation and plunder of the world’s people. The wealthiest 300 people in the world saw their net worth grow by $524 billion over the last year, according to Bloomberg News. Over the past year, stock prices and corporate profits have surged to new record highs, swelling the bank accounts of the financial elite, even as austerity measures, wage cuts and layoffs have driven down the living standards of the working people and thrown tens of millions more people into poverty. Among the hundreds of corporate executives at Davos were substantial delegations from banks whose speculative and fraudulent activities triggered the 2008 financial crisis.

According to a study released by Oxfam, on the growing social inequality, the richest 85 individuals in the world possess more wealth than the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population—3.5 billion people! The WEF embodies the interests of this global financial aristocracy.

A survey of the delegates showed that the conference took place in an atmosphere of “fragile optimism”, expectation of more growth in the wealth of the representatives of global finance capital, but also the fear of the social and political consequences of the blatant exploitation and plunder of the world’s people by a minority of super rich.

In its annual “Global Risks” report, the forum listed income disparity as the number one threat, warning that it was the risk “most likely to cause serious damage globally in the coming decade.” WEF chief economist Jennifer Blake, pointing to the 2011 upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia, commented, “Disgruntlement can lead to the dissolution of the fabric of society, especially if young people feel they don’t have a future.” In an interview with the Financial Times, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde also cautioned that rising economic inequality poses the greatest to the system of international finance capital.

Panel discussions on topics such as “Regulating Innovation,” “Closing Europe’s Competitiveness Gap,” “Higher Education—Investment or Waste?” and “Immigration—Welcome or Not?” were sandwiched between lavish parties for the rich and powerful, according to various media reports.

The main agenda of this gathering of the representatives of international finance capital was to work out strategies to further their exploitation and plunder of the nations and peoples of the world. The thrust of the conference was “structural reform,” a euphemism for stripping workers of all rights and social security, dismantling what remains of state run social welfare programs, takeover of people’s natural resources and assets by the corporate monopolies and removing all environmental and health and safety rules that restrict corporate profit.

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