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Davos Today – January 19

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Modern Money

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016 kicked off with an evening program Tuesday in Davos. Here are some of the highlights:

UBS sees automation helping the rich getting richer: The theme of this year’s gathering in Davos is the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” UBS Chairman Axel Weber was on topic as he revealed the findings of a report that forecasts automation playing an increased role in the global discussion about income inequality. “Automation will continue to put downward pressure on the wages of the low skilled and is starting to impinge on the employment prospects of middle-skilled workers. By contrast, the potential returns to highly skilled and more adaptable workers are increasing.” Read the full report from UBS.

Has Davos become too passé for BRIC leaders to bother?: This New York Times piece looks at the evolution of emerging markets – both as an asset class and as a hot topic at events like Davos.

“In the past, Brazilian presidents and Vladimir Putin of Russia have led their countries’ delegations. This year, Russia is sending a deputy prime minister, Yury Trutnev, while China is sending a vice president, Li Yuanchao. … The president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, whose popularity polls have sunk to single digits, will not be making an appearance, but her recently appointed finance minister, Nelson Henrique Barbosa-Filho, is scheduled to attend.”

Big Data: All hype or a gold rush of information?: Big Data has been a buzz word in Wall Street corporate strategy sessions for a number of years now. Debra Walton, the Chief Product & Content Officer at Thomson Reuters, takes a look at finance and gauges what Wall Street is doing, can do and should be doing to harness the power of Big Data. “It’s easy to be enthralled by the hype, but hard to turn big data into an integral part of the corporate strategy,” Walton writes.

What is on tap the rest of this week: This primer from the World Economic Forum previews the topics and sessions likely to appeal to the economic and finance crowd. Watch for news about contagion between teetering emerging markets and monetary tightening in key advanced markets, monetary policy disconnection, the affect of the sharing economy, advances in fintech and the status of current and future financial regulatory reform.