(Bloomberg) -- The first day of the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering was dominated by the long shadow of President-elect Donald Trump, Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s first visit to the event and, naturally, the evening cocktail party circuit. Among a host of panels on Day Two, the Davos crowd will listen to Christine Lagarde talking about the rise of populism and Sheryl Sandberg discussing the power of optimism. Here’s a quick guide to what we’ve learned so far from Davos 2017.
Is Davos Learning to Love Trump?
Many Davos delegates will tell you they’re worried about the threat Trump poses to globalization and the postwar security order. But that wasn’t the mood on the first night of the Davos party trail. Nightcap events and cocktail parties hummed with optimism that he will be good for business as consultants, lobbyists and lawyers planned how quickly they could get back to Washington ahead of Friday’s inauguration.
May Meets the Global Elite
Many eyes switched on Tuesday from Davos to London as Theresa May outlined her vision for Brexit. The British prime minister lands in Switzerland on Thursday and her speech will be a big draw as executives, bankers and foreign politicians parse her remarks for details of her plans and the likelihood she’ll achieve what she’s setting out to do. Her reception may be a bit chilly -- not just because of Brexit -- but because she’s speaking to an audience packed with the rootless "global elite" she criticized in October for seeming "to play by a different set of rules."
Globalization - Chinastyle - Comes to Davos
The hottest ticket in Davos on Tuesday was an invite to lunch with Chinese President Xi at Davos’s fanciest hostelry, the egg-shaped Intercontinental. A-listers including IMF chief Lagarde, Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani and Procter & Gamble boss David Taylor heard the Chinese leader expand on his earlier speech making the case for globalization. As Xi exited behind a screen of burly bodyguards, he was locked in whispered conversation with Blackstone Group LP founder Steve Schwarzman -- perhaps Wall Street’s most committed sinophile.
The Trump Curiosity Gap
He might not be here, but Trump is casting a long shadow across this year’s conference. Given how little is known about how he will govern, newly appointed Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci was the unlikely star of the first day. Journalists and delegates followed his every move to hear him say that his new boss is a geopolitical thinker and deal maker with “the best political instincts of his generation.” Still, it’s not like he’s a totally unknown quantity to the corporate titans in Davos. As Matthew Campbell and Jacqueline Simmons point out, many of the roads to Davos this year have led through Trump Tower.
Drone Repulsion Force
Snipers are a regular sight on the rooftops of Davos as Swiss security forces protect the global elite from the threat of terrorism. But this year an extra piece of equipment is visible: anti-drone jammers. Resembling massive machine guns, they are designed to disable drones that could be used to spy on security positions -- or even launch attacks. The jammers don’t just look like something out of a dystopian movie, they are also big business. While the market for commercial applications of drone technology is estimated at $2 billion, it could be worth $127 billion by 2020, according to consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
--With assistance from Jacqueline Simmons To contact the reporters on this story: Javier Blas in Davos at firstname.lastname@example.org, Matthew Campbell in London at email@example.com, Simon Kennedy in London at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Fraher at email@example.com, Chad Thomas, Anne Swardson
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