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Swiss economist: crisis cost USD 5 trillion

Published on 28/11/2008

28 November 2008

PARIS – USD 5 trillion (CHF 6 trillion, EUR 3.9 trillion) were lost in the global financial crisis, the head of the Davos economic forum said Thursday as he announced a record presence of world leaders at the conference in January.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will give the opening speech at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort on 28 January where the theme will be "Shaping The Post Crisis World", said its founder Klaus Schwab.

The Swiss economist, on a visit to Paris, said, "As it stands now, about five trillion dollars has been lost in the financial crisis and now has to be reconstituted" by governments.

The forum forecast the crisis in the financial system in its annual risk report at the start of 2008.

"I am not dramatically pessimistic about the future, just realistically pessimistic and I think there are also enormous opportunities in terms of using technology and changing the environment," Schwab told AFP.

He said the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression meant that the 39th annual Davos meeting would be the most important ever and it will have the biggest participation.

Schwab said there would be more than 160 heads of state, government and ministerial leaders among the 1,200 business, social and trade union leaders at the five day forum.

Putin was the only world leader whose presence was confirmed but forum officials said many leaders from the Group of Eight industrial powers and emerging economic powers were expected to attend.

The full list will be released in January.

[AFP / Expatica]