Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan speaks at Davos gathering

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan is in Davos, Switzerland, this week for the World Economic Forum, the annual gathering of powerful business leaders.

Bloomberg snagged some of Moynihan’s time for an interview it videotapped. Moynihan did not say anything particularly new, but he did touch on a wide range of issues, from the bank’s ongoing legal troubles to his attempts to “simplify” Bank of America through the cost-cutting program known as Project New BAC.

Moynihan also talked about his reasons for attending the Davos gathering, where income inequality is among topics the leaders expect to discuss.

“Uniquely for banking, it’s a chance for all the CEOs of all the institutions across the world to actually sit together in a room with policymakers and others and have a dialogue,” he said. He also said the annual gathering is a good learning opportunity for him.

“As CEOs, we always have to learn, whether it’s learning about what’s going on in a particular company, what’s going on in a particular industry.”

The forum has attracted criticism and protests in the past. But, this year, many critics are seizing on the forum’s planned discussions on income inequality.

On Monday, Oxfam International released a report that says almost half of the world’s wealth is owned by 1 percent of the population.

“Oxfam calls on leaders at the 2014 World Economic Forum at Davos to make the commitments needed to counter the growing tide of inequality,” said the organization, whose mission is to fight poverty.