World Economic Forum lost glamour: Brazil's Lula

Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:23am EST
 
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BRASILIA (Reuters) - The World Economic Forum in Davos lost its glamour after the financial system triggered the worst global crisis in years, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said.

The former union leader, who has earned praise for fighting social inequality, will travel on Wednesday night to the Davos gathering of top global brass in business, banking and politics.

"The financial system can't parade as a model of management because it caused the biggest crisis of the last years due to administrative and managerial irresponsibility," Lula said late on Tuesday in Brazil's southern city of Porto Alegre.

He spoke at the World Social Forum, a meeting of social movements launched a decade ago as a counterbalance to the Davos meeting.

"I'm aware Davos no longer has the glamour it hoped to have in 2003," Lula said in reference to the year he came to power.

Lula became a Wall Street darling by abandoning decades of left-wing rhetoric in favor of market-friendly policies.

On the top of the agenda in Davos will be how to reform banking and finance to prevent future crises.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy will open the event, and speakers include South Korean President Lee Myung-bank, who heads the G20 group of leading economies this year, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, head of the G8.

(Reporting by Sinara Sandri; Writing by Raymond Colitt, editing by Alan Elsner)