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January 28, 2010
Posted: 1156 GMT

Davos, Switzerland (CNN) – The runners are off… Davos has begun. The agenda is clear: how to do things differently in the future, especially when it comes to the banks.

The discussion has been galvanized by U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposals to split the big Wall Street firms and ban proprietary trading. Stephen Green, chairman of HSBC, told me reform of the banks is needed but cautions against doing it in haste. And he doesn’t like Obama’s proposals for banning prop trading by banks, which he says is unworkable.

There are big thoughts being raised here today. Ben Verwaayen the CEO of telecom company Alcatel-Lucent is promoting cohesive capitalism. He explained that companies need to set policies around a much bigger agenda than earnings per share. "I'm talking about issues... whether that's health, whether that's climate change, whether it has to do with the cohesion of society because of diversity. And companies need to contribute."  This is true Davosian thinking.

Verwaayen knows stating the principle is part of the process at Davos. Tom Glocer, the CEO of Thomson Reuters - a seasoned Davos hand - knows, "Ideas are generated independently. They begin to be socialized. They are essentially repeating what they’ve heard in the corridors here. The idea picks up traction."

In the cold winter of Switzerland there is, as always, hot debate of these issues and these conversations will eventually lead to change.

Tune in to CNN International each evening at 1900 GMT (or your local time) to watch Richard Quest on ‘Quest Means Business’.

For more information on Davos please visit

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zacatecas_guy (twitter)   January 28th, 2010 1:02 pm ET

great, but i still wanna 999 billions of laptops and plasma tv's ! quest give me some ,, right ?

Fionn   January 29th, 2010 9:02 am ET

So Boris (London's Lord Mayor) is in Davos where he may well decide to test Swiss tolerance by peeing in the street in Davos! Willie or won't he? The consequences in sub-zero temperatures don't bare thinking about.

Harley Roy   February 26th, 2010 6:44 pm ET

Hey Fionn, I don,t know what you're drinking,smoking or inhaling, or for that matter which planet you're on!! whatever it is please E Mail me some!!

simon buren   March 4th, 2010 12:58 pm ET

ref. Ms. Nana Mouskouri so generously foregoing her EU MP pension.
Ms. Mouskouri is a multi millionaire in her own right and after having "server" 5 years in the EU parliament is receiving around $25000 a year in pension for life. Most people are lucky to get that after 40 on the job. It is also well documented that the same people are able to put away $1M for every 5 year term served due to the outlandish expense funds etc.

Please someone, show us mortals just where elected officials anywhere are having to sacrifice due to the economic situation. Who aver said that because one is elected to office that they are entitled to life time payment for the rest of us?

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