Thousands of world leaders have once again descended on snowy Davos, Switzerland, for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. The theme of this year’s event: “rebuilding trust.”

But there are the public meetings, and then there are the real those behind closed doors that attendees talk about the most. These include discussions about tensions between the United States and China, the war in Gaza, artificial intelligence, and the future of Ukraine.

There’s a kind of game some CEOs play. one with the other: How many public panels do you participate in or how many times have you been to the Congress Center, the main center for the forum’s big presentations? If the answer is zero, you have won.

Top US officials will appear on the main stage, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser. But speculation abounds about who they see behind the scenes.

One question: Will you include someone from the sizeable Chinese delegation, led by Li Qiang, the country’s prime minister? Tensions between the United States and China are high after Lai Ching-te, a fierce defender of Taiwanese sovereignty who is despised by Beijing, was elected president of the self-ruled island on Saturday.

Li has already met over lunch with the CEOs of IBM, Intel, Walmart and others. (He also addressed the conference on Tuesday and revealed that China’s economy grew about 5.2 percent last year, a day before the official data was released.)

There are also many eyes on Middle East officials. Israel’s President Isaac Herzog is expected to take the stage on Thursday as his country’s war with Hamas threatens to escalate further into a broader regional conflict. Some attendees wonder whether he will meet with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, whose country has been a key broker in negotiations over hostages and humanitarian aid in Gaza.

Also present is the Saudi Arabian delegation, led by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, as the kingdom demonstrates its growing economic and diplomatic power.

Another attendee: Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law who helped spearhead the Abraham Accords and now runs a private equity firm whose backers include Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

Volodymyr Zelensky is the keynote speaker, giving a public speech this afternoon and participating in a question and answer session that Andrew will moderate. And Ukraine’s president has met with top bankers, including JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan, as well as Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio.

Artificial intelligence is the talk of the town. DealBook has had more conversations about generative AI than any other topic at Davos. (There are more than two dozen events on the calendar that directly reference AI in their titles.) So it’s no surprise that among the most sought-after attendees are executives like Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI; Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of Google DeepMind who now runs Inflection AI; Lila Ibrahim, COO of DeepMind; Aidan Gómez, CEO of Cohere; and Florian Bressand of France’s Mistral AI.

Penny Pritzker’s Dilemma: She is officially there in her role as the State Department’s special representative for Ukraine’s economic recovery. In most years, her other role, as head of Harvard’s board of trustees, would make her an attractive candidate to the crowd of alumni present.

But with controversy over the defenestration of Claudine Gay as Harvard president amid accusations of plagiarism and concerns of anti-Semitism on campus, are concerned donors more likely to question her harshly?

Goldman Sachs beats fourth-quarter earnings estimates. Shares of the Wall Street giant rose nearly 2 percent in premarket trading after the bank reported a jump in income. But his annual profits fell to lowest level in four yearshurt by losses linked to its withdrawal from consumer banking and a slowdown in investment banking.

Houthi militants in Yemen attack more ships in the Red Sea. The Iran-backed group attacked a US-owned commercial ship with a missile on Monday, days after the US and British militaries launched attacks on Houthi targets in Yemen. Traffic through the vital sea route has plummeted in recent weeks. QatarEnergy, a major exporter of liquefied natural gas, is the latest company to order their ships to avoid the region.

Apple redesigns its smartwatch to get around an import ban. the company is Remove a blood oxygen sensor. of the Apple Watch at the center of a patent dispute with Masimo, a technology company that accused Apple of violating its intellectual property rights. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency approved the changes, according to Masimo.

Boeing to add more inspection requirements for the 737 Max and a key supplier. The aircraft manufacturer increase checks and sending a team to check the work of Spirit AeroSystems after hundreds of its 737 Max 9 planes were grounded when a panel manufactured by that company exploded in the skies over Oregon. The company also plans open your factories to clients to inspect processes.

Donald Trump scored a record victory in the Iowa Republican caucuses last night, crushing his opponents and demonstrating his dominance over the party as he seeks a rematch against President Biden.

freezing temperature cool participation. But with most votes counted, Trump managed to win all but one county and was expected to win. sweep almost all demographic voters: men, women, young people, university graduates, evangelicals, moderate and conservative politicians.

Biden called Trump “the clear favorite” by the Republicans, and used his predecessor’s victory as a fundraising speech. (The president’s re-election campaign says his war chest amounts to approximately 117 million dollars after raising more than $97 million last quarter). And world leaders are already warning of Trump’s possible return to power. “He is clearly a threat,” said Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank. last week.

Iowa was as good as Trump could have hoped. Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida finished a distant second, despite investing heavily in the state. His campaign is now running out of cash, but he tried to interpret the result as giving him some momentum.

Nikki Haley, who has been gaining ground in national polls and winning renowned donorscame third, with about 95 percent of the votes counted as of press time.

The duo spent heavily on advertising, part of a record spending of more than $123 million by all candidates, and still lost to Trump by huge margins.

The race has thinned out. Vivek Ramaswamy, the wealthy businessman who ran a largely self-financed campaign, finished a distant fourth, dropped out of the race and endorsed Trump. Ramaswamy had frequently clashed with Haley and DeSantis during the election campaign, and was a staunch defender of the former president, vowing to support him in the face of countless legal challenges.

Next January 23rd is New Hampshire., where Haley has focused many of her efforts and is doing better in the polls. The state is home to more moderate Republicans and independent voters than Iowa, and has a larger anti-Trump voting bloc. Even so, the former president has a double-digit lead in the polls there.

Northvolt, one of Europe’s largest green startups, is raising $3.4 billion in debt from the European Union and a consortium of banks, including JPMorgan Chase, to expand battery production locally and support the nascent battery sector. electric vehicles on the continent.

The financing and subsidy agreement is a bid by Europe to keep battery production closer to home and limit the advance of Chinese and American players who are beginning to dominate the market. The Wall Street Journal reports.

The financing is one of the largest transactions made by a clean energy company in recent years. It highlights a push by investors and policymakers to funnel billions of dollars into making batteries that can power electric cars and store energy when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine to accelerate the shift away from fossil fuels.

China controls sectors of the battery supply chain, from metal processing to cell assembly, a concern for Western countries that are investing billions of dollars in tax credits, loans and subsidies to companies to start their own supply chains. The 2022 US climate law has led other countries to beef up their own subsidies to attract clean energy investment.

Marion Nestleprofessor emeritus of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, on how popular weight-loss drugs like Ozempic could disrupt snack food marketing in the United States.

After markets were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King’s birthday, a slew of earnings, economic data and speeches from central bankers will be released this week. Here’s what you should keep in mind.

Wednesday: China will officially release fourth-quarter GDP and population data, raising questions about the health of the world’s second-largest economy and the scale of its demographic crisis.

The United States will release retail sales data for December and the Federal Reserve will release its latest “beige book” report, detailing economic activity in 12 regions.

In terms of earnings, Charles Schwab, Alcoa and Citizens Financial report results.

Thursday: Central bankers are in the spotlight, with Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, and Raphael Bostic, head of the Atlanta Federal Reserve, speaking at separate events. Expect plenty of questions about persistently high inflation and the timing of the first round of interest rate cuts.

Taiwanese chip giant TSMC reports its fourth quarter results.

Friday: State Street, Comerica and Burberry report results, and the University of Michigan releases its latest consumer confidence report.


Artificial intelligence

  • Elon Musk threatened to do it take a company out of Tesla focused on artificial intelligence and robotics if the automaker’s board doesn’t give it greater voting control and a big performance bonus. (Bloomberg)

  • Thomson Reuters is in conversations with generative AI companies to license their news and data in deals that could be modeled on OpenAI’s deal with Axel Springer. (Bloomberg)

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