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Bankers less defensive at Davos

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The chief executives of big banks once strode into the World Economic Forum at Davos as rock stars.

The financial crisis ended all that. For a few years, bankers were almost pariahs, forced to keep and apologetic, low-key profile. Some skipped the event all together. But the economic environment has changed considerably over the last two years, and bankers definitely have some mojo back. Bankers will have their heads a little higher as the event opens. They'll also have their eyes open on possible opportunities.

Bloomberg Businessweek notes that, "Bankers are inveterate dealmakers, and Davos is prime hunting ground. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is back this year, although the bank's multibillion-dollar trading loss may take some of the customary swagger out of his step. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is coming, too, along with the heads or board members of Bank of America, Blackstone Group, Banco Santander, etc., etc. Journalists will be on the lookout for interesting pairings, but anything cooked up in Davos won't become public for months."

There will be plenty of protests, but the intensity of anti-bank sentiment is expected to be weaker than in some years past.

"There are signs that the officials who set the tone for global regulation of banks have become more worried about a credit squeeze in Europe than about the risk of another banking crisis," according to DealBook.

Central bankers may well be the new source of big controversy this year.

For more:
- here's the DealBook article
- here's the Bloomberg Businessweek article

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