A staff member adjusts a giant screen at the congress center where the annual meeting, World Economic Forum, will take place in Davos, Switzerland, Sunday Jan. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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The global economy is in better shape than it's been in years.Beneath the veneer of optimism over the economic outlook lurks acute anxiety about an increasingly toxic political climate and a deep sense of uncertainty surrounding the U.S. presidency of Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated on the final day of the forum.Last year, the consensus here was that Trump had no chance of being elected. Trump is the poster child for a new strain of populism that is spreading across the developed world and threatening the postwar liberal democratic order. The star attraction will be Xi Jinping, the first Chinese president ever to attend Davos.Both Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein and his JPMorgan counterpart Jamie Dimon will be in Davos.Still, some attendees worry that the pace of technological change and the integrated, complex nature of the global economy have made it more difficult for leaders to shape and control events, let alone reconfigure the global system.The global financial crisis of 2008-09 and the migrant crisis of 2015-16 exposed the impotence of politicians, deepening public disillusion and pushing people toward populists who offered simple explanations and solutions.
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