The World Economic Forum has begun, bringing the battle over bank regulation in the wake of the economic crisis to the Swiss ski resort of Davos.
Global business leaders are warning Western governments that a crackdown on the financial industry could damage a fragile recovery.
Opening the annual meeting with a keynote speech, French President Nicolas Sarkozy begged to differ.
“If we don’t change banking rules, if we don’t change accounting rules….it is not only a technical matter, it is not only a matter for experts…..where do we want capitalism to go?” he asked.
Sarkozy’s plea for reform is being made to the 2,500 senior economic figures and policy makers gathered for the conference. Amid the mountain peaks, the spectre of heavy-handed government intervention is the biggest cloud on many business leaders’ horizon.