The World Economic Forum taking place in Davos this week is a gathering of the movers and shakers of global governance—representatives of the idea of the global elite that has been such a goad to populist backlash across the developed world in 2016.
They will have plenty to talk about—from Brexit to Donald Trump’s trade and immigration policies once he enters the White House, also this week. Ostensibly, there is some reason to cheer: the stock markets are doing well and China seems to be in a holding pattern rather than heading for precipitous economic slowdown. But underlying all of this are the rumblings of popular discontent. For good measure, the International Labour Organization has just released a report forecasting spreading social unrest this year.
Davos may mainly be a talk shop, but it will also serve as a barometer this year: Are politicians, policymakers and bankers taking the lessons of the US election and Brexit seriously enough?