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National flags at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Photo: Dursun Aydemir / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

The talk of Davos, ahead of President Trump's Friday speech, from Bloomberg's Matt Campbell:

"As much as they’re exuberant about soaring equities and booming economies, many global executives ... are counting the risks that could bring the party to an end."
  • "Stocks rose worldwide [yesterday] even as Trump slapped tariffs on solar panels and washing machines that some warn is a harbinger of a wave of protectionism."
  • "The International Monetary Fund this week predicted global growth will accelerate to the fastest pace in seven years as U.S. tax cuts encourage businesses to invest."
  • But the IMF warned governments to be on guard for the next recession.

Martin Wolf, Financial Times chief economics commentator, has a dour reality check, "The liberal international order is sick" (subscription):

  • "Among global changes, the most important are the declining relevance of the west as a security community after the end of the cold war, together with its diminishing economic weight, especially in relation to China."
  • Why it matters: "The liberal international order is crumbling, in part because it does not satisfy the people of our societies."
  • "Those who attend Davos need to recognize that. If they do not like Mr. Trump’s answers ... they need to advance better ones."

And Axios' Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan told you yesterday about French President Emmanuel Macron's role in luring President Trump to Davos. The unlikely buddy picture continued yesterday:

  • The White House said Macron will be the guest of honor for Trump's first state dinner, expected in April.

Go deeper

51 mins ago - World

Pentagon warns of ISIS-K capabilities outside Afghanistan

The site of an airstrike conducted by the U.S. against a planner for ISIS-K in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan in August. Photo: Xinhua via Getty Images

U.S. intelligence believes ISIS-K has the "intent" to eventually launch attacks outside of Afghanistan and could be capable of doing so "somewhere between six or 12 months," a top Pentagon official told senators Tuesday.

Why it matters: The U.S. withdrawal and subsequent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has raised fears that terrorist groups will reconstitute and potentially pose a renewed threat to the U.S. homeland.

Exclusive: Billionaires back new media firm to combat disinformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new public benefit corporation backed by billionaires Reid Hoffman, George Soros, and others is launching Tuesday to fund new media companies and efforts that tackle disinformation.

Why it matters: Good Information Inc. aims to fund and scale businesses that cut through echo chambers with fact-based information. As part of its mission, it plans to invest in local news companies.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Sequoia Capital just blew up the VC fund model

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sequoia Capital, one of the world's oldest and most successful venture capital firms, is forming a single fund to hold all of its U.S. and European investments, including stakes in publicly-traded companies, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Venture capital is the money of innovation, but the industry itself rarely innovates. This is a radical exception.

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