This morning.

Davos, Switzerland.

The Irish Times reports:

European commissioner for trade Phil Hogan has stepped in to address business leaders attending IDA Ireland’s annual dinner at Davos this week, as the Irish contingent at the World Economic Forum (WEF) is shaping up to be the smallest in recent times.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had been due to host the IDA dinner on Thursday for 40-50 international executives at the Swiss Alpine village, but this was cancelled last week as he called a general election for February 8th. Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe also cancelled his planned appearance as the campaign got under way.

WEF regulars Bono and Denis O’Brien will also not be attending this year, according to their representatives.

Phil Hogan to address business leaders at IDA event at Davos (Joe Brennan, The Irish Times)



A new report by Oxfam has found that Ireland has 17 billionaires – the fifth highest number of billionaires per capita in the world.

Oxfam launched the study ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos which begins later today.

In its summary, Oxfam writes:

“Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people.

“This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of hours of the most essential work – the unpaid and underpaid care work done primarily by women and girls around the world.”

The report can be read in full here


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11 thoughts on “Chilly

  1. Cian

    There are more that 2 billion people under the age of 15. Children tend to have zero wealth. So having more wealth than a child isn’t usually a big thing.

    Saying that, nobody needs or deserves to be a billionaire. Nobody earned a billion.

    1. Rob_G

      I don’t know – Mark Zuckerberg created a website that (Lord knows why) became exponentially more popular than other, similar websites. Who should get the billions that his website generates, if not him?

      1. Cian

        I would suggest that the 40,000 Facebook employees are doing a lot more work for a lot less pay than Zuckerberg does.

        Not to mention the 10,000s of people that build the infrastructure (servers, data centres, and power stations, and the raw materials needed).

        1. Rob_G

          I’m sure all of Facebook’s employees are recompensed handsomely for their work. That doesn’t change the thrust of my point: Zuckerberg had a billion-dollar idea. Where should the billion dollars go to instead, if not to him?

  2. Verbatim

    “Earn” is a tricky verb, what is the system that allows some to earn so much more than many others ?

    1. Rob_G

      Indeed. Apart from all of the sex scandals, I am not sure that I agree with Oxfam’s new focus as an anti-capitalist think thank.

      The % of the world population living on less than $2 a day was 10% in 2015; this is down from 36% in 1990. This is mainly thanks to the “flawed and sexist economic system” (which has helped more people out of poverty than Oxfam could ever hope to).

      1. Verbatim

        Ah! I see where you’re coming from. 2$ a day, up from what exactly? Yeah they’re making that alright and their masters are earning the millions. God bless your soul Rob_G

        1. Rob_G

          So far, no-one has proposed a better system; I can’t think of any other system that could improve the lives of billions of people in so short a time.

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