Friday, 29 January 2010


Dear Manuel,

I've spent a couple of days at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Why come to these things? First up, it is a great chance to meet world leaders and make contacts. Whether lobbying the president of South Africa for support for our 2018 World Cup bid, or discussing what matters for Canada's chairmanship of the G8 with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, you can get a huge amount done.

But this year there's another important reason. President Obama has opened the door to serious reform of finance and banking with calls for a leverage levy and a ban on retail banks undertaking the riskiest activities. These chime with our thinking and it is important that Britain is involved in this debate.

Proper financial regulation is part of what Britain needs to restore our reputation in the world, and it is clear that it needs to be combined with a plan for reducing the deficit and getting our economy going.

This was the message I was able to deliver in a keynote speech to the main lunch for British business here in Davos - the first time it hasn't been addressed by a Labour politician since it was established six years ago.


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