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Bankers get a scolding at Davos

By Laurie Bennett

January 31, 2010 at 7:42am

The common man isn’t the only one who resents bankers these days.

The power elite gathered at Davos for the annual World Economic Forum have given financiers the cold shoulder.

As the Wall Street Journal writes, the unofficial motto of this year’s meeting is, “First, kill all the bankers.”

In the opening keynote address, French President Nicholas Sarkozy pointed to the “indecent behavior” of financiers.

“That those who create jobs and wealth may earn a lot of money is not shocking,” he said. “But that those who contribute to destroying jobs and wealth also earn a lot of money is morally indefensible.”

The sentiment, along with a general call for more regulation, led to an event Saturday that wasn’t on the meeting’s official agenda.

Regulators, central bankers and finance ministers met for two hours with bank executives.

Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, emerged from the session saying that even the bankers recognize that tougher oversight is inevitable.

“There’s going to be regulation, they understand that,” Frank said.

Others attending the meeting, according to the Associated Press, included Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, JPMorgan Chase Chairman Jacob Frenkel and Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank.

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