From Dimon and Blinken, to Altman and Lagarde: Here are some of the top quotes from Davos


People attend the 54th annual assembly of the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, January 18, 2024. 

Denis Balibouse | Reuters

The potential for generative synthetic intelligence, when rates of interest is perhaps reduce, and the ongoing wars in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip have been key subjects at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week.

Business and political leaders additionally mentioned world commerce, local weather change and what would possibly occur if former President Donald Trump returns to the White House this 12 months.

Here’s a rundown of who stated what.

Ursula von der Leyen

An more and more remoted Russia now depends on China for each its navy and financial ends, the European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday.

“Russia is now depending on China,” she stated throughout an handle at WEF, including that Russia is failing on its strategic targets.

“It is first and foremost a navy failure,” she stated, noting that Ukraine had up to now retained its “freedom and independence” in its nearly two-year struggle with Moscow.

Jamie Dimon

Bitcoin does nothing, in accordance to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. “I call it the pet rock,” he advised CNBC on the sidelines of WEF in Davos.

“There’s a cryptocurrency which could truly do one thing,” Dimon stated of sensible chain-enriched blockchains. “And then there’s one which does nothing.

When requested what he made of BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s change of coronary heart on bitcoin — after the world’s largest asset supervisor filed an application for a bitcoin ETF — Dimon stated, “I do not care. So simply please cease speaking about this s***.”

Dimon additionally spoke about Ukraine’s struggle with Russia following a gathering with its President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “We have to train the American public that that is about freedom and democracy for the free world, and that is the place the battle is being fought,” he stated. “This is ‘America first’.”

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

“One man has stolen a minimum of 13 years of peace, changing them with ache, ache, ache and disaster that influence the total world,” Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy advised delegates in a keynote speech in Davos on Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “embodies struggle,” Zelenskyy stated, including: “he is not going to change.”

During his handle, he additionally decried the failure of Western allies to sanction Russia’s nuclear trade. “It’s a transparent weak point of the West that Russia’s nuclear trade continues to be not beneath world sanctions, regardless that Putin is the solely terrorist in the world who took a nuclear energy plant hostage,” Zelenskyy stated.

Javier Milei

Argentina’s President Javier Milei, a self-described “anarcho-capitalist,” called on enterprise and political leaders at Davos to reject socialism.

“Today, I’m right here to let you know that the Western world is in peril,” Milei stated Wednesday, in accordance to a translation.

“And it’s in peril as a result of those that are supposed to have to defend the values of the West are co-opted by a imaginative and prescient of the world that inexorably leads to socialism, and thereby to poverty,” he added.

Adena Friedman

Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman stated she believes the Federal Reserve needs to be cautious of reducing rates of interest too quickly. 

Speaking at a CNBC-moderated panel at WEF, Friedman stated Tuesday that whereas “there are lots of indicators that will say that there needs to be charge [cuts] as we undergo the 12 months, the query is after they would begin. And if I have been the Fed, I’d be a bit involved about beginning too early.”

She defined that whereas inflation was heading in the “proper path of journey,” the Fed would additionally count on this to reasonable, making it more durable to carry charges down.

Sam Altman

OpenAI founder and CEO Sam Altman spoke about the potential for artificial general intelligence (AGI), saying: “It will change the world a lot lower than all of us assume and it should change jobs a lot lower than all of us assume.”

He stated AGI could possibly be developed in the “fairly close-ish future,” talking at a personal gathering at the Bloomberg House in Davos, Switzerland.

Altman additionally described being fired from OpenAI as “wild,” saying he felt “tremendous confused” and was “tremendous caught off guard.”

Concerns over AI security and OpenAI’s position in defending have been at the heart of Altman’s brief ouster from the firm.

Antony Blinken

Christine Lagarde

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde stated she expects this 12 months to be one of financial “non-normality,” after seeing the “starting of normalization” in 2023.

Speaking on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday, she stated consumption, commerce and inflation started to normalize final 12 months, after a post-pandemic interval that she described as “unusual, extraordinary and tough to analyze.”

The pandemic diminished shopper spending that means folks had extra financial savings, whereas world commerce was additionally disrupted. In October 2022, euro zone inflation reached 10.6% however dropped off in 2023, rising once more to 2.9% in December.

While these tendencies signify a “normalization,” Lagarde added that “it’s not normality that we are heading to.”

Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron stated Wednesday that Europe should be more assertive on the world stage forward of the U.S. elections this 12 months.

“2024 will likely be a pivotal 12 months for Europeans. We should show that we will be extra seen, make extra efforts, no matter occurs in the United States,” he stated, in accordance to a translation.

Macron additionally expressed considerations about what the election may imply for U.S.-China tensions.

“The nice threat for Europeans is that they’d find yourself with the incorrect agenda,” he stated.

Dmytro Kuleba

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told CNBC Thursday that he doesn’t assume there can be an enormous shift in help away from his nation if Trump is re-elected later this 12 months.

“So do I consider there’s a potential for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and Trump to agree on one thing behind Ukraine’s again if Trump turns into president? I do not,” he stated.

Kuleba additionally stated the ambiance in Davos was constructive. “People are searching for options as an alternative of endlessly discussing issues,” he stated.

Michelle Yeoh

Pedro Sanchez 

The rise of far-right political groups is the “greatest concern” for Western democracies, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez advised CNBC.

“I believe that not solely the [political] fragmentation, however the advance of the far-right, it’s one thing … I’d say [it is] the greatest concern for Western democracies,” he stated Wednesday.

Ahead of European Parliament elections this 12 months, Sanchez stated that having extra progressive or heart seats than far-right seats can be “simpler for all of us, the Commission, the Council and of course, the European Parliament.”

Li Qiang

Chinese Premier Li Qiang known as for better “cooperation in innovation,” during an address to the World Economic Forum on Tuesday.

“Scientific and technological fruits ought to profit humanity as an entire, as an alternative of turning into a way to prohibit or comprise the growth of different nations,” he stated, in accordance to an official translation of his remarks.

Li didn’t title nations in his speech, however Beijing has repeatedly requested Washington to take away restrictions on Chinese firms that stop them from shopping for superior know-how from U.S. corporations.

Li stated the Chinese financial system grew by round 5.2% in 2023. “In selling financial growth, we didn’t resort to huge stimulus. We didn’t search short-term progress whereas accumulating long-term dangers,” he added.

Isaac Herzog

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated his nation needs to “cease the struggle in Gaza.”

He stated that U.S. help of Israel was the “root of insecurity in the region.”

“The U.S. mustn’t, Mr. [Joe] Biden mustn’t tie their future to the destiny of Netanyahu,” Amir-Abdollahian advised CNBC Tuesday.

Sergio Ermotti

UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti stated returning to head up the financial institution final 12 months was “quite a surreal experience,” having been in the position for 9 years between 2011 and 2020.

Discussing the financial institution’s acquisition of Credit Suisse in March 2023, Ermotti stated that purchasers and staff “have been fairly shocked in the first spherical, and now they embrace the new mannequin.”

Ermotti described the interval since he took over as “fairly good.”

Marc Benioff

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff stated the tech trade is working to guarantee synthetic intelligence is developed safely sufficient to make it possible for the world avoids a “Hiroshima moment.”

“This is a big second for AI. AI took an enormous leap ahead in the final 12 months or two years,” Benioff stated on a World Economic Forum panel Thursday.

“We don’t desire one thing to go actually incorrect,” he stated.

Ray Dalio

Investor Ray Dalio stated that 2024 will likely be a “pivotal year” with the U.S. presidential election and geopolitical occasions set to have the greatest influence on markets.

“If we’re taking a look at the politics, the geopolitics, I do not assume that these dangers are priced in, as a result of it is [a] tough factor to play,” he advised CNBC.

When requested whether or not China or U.S. politics offered a better threat to markets, Dalio stated it was vital that “we work effectively collectively.”

“Our biggest threat isn’t China. Our biggest threat is ourselves,” he added.

Mark Carney

Mark Carney, the United Nations particular envoy on local weather motion and finance, advised CNBC that he believed sustainability “hasn’t slipped down the agenda of buyers.”

The former governor of the Bank of England stated that funding in clear vitality grew by 50% in 2023 to $1.8 trillion, up from $1.2 trillion in 2022.

“There’s an enormous surge in funding in clear vitality, in EVs, [electric vehicles] in the entire provide chain,” Carney stated on Thursday. 



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