The Davos elite like to make bold predictions. But it didn't always hit...

The Davos elite like to make bold predictions. But it didn't always hit...

The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland begins next week. It's an annual meeting where a global elite of business leaders, politicians and economists make bold predictions and try to set the agenda for the coming year, but they don't always get it right.

Here is a summary of some of the statements made in recent years.

European recession

The fate of Europe's economy was a major concern at the May 2022 WEF annual meeting in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser, when asked if there was going to be a recession in Europe, gave a definitive answer: "Yes and I hope I'm wrong."

Although the region's growth rate has taken a hit and inflation has risen, the EU has so far escaped a recession. A number of analysts predict there will be one in early 2023, but expect it to be "soft".

Nuclear war

Billionaire investor George Soros warned during a speech in Davos in 2018 that the United States could be headed for a nuclear war with North Korea.

"The United States has set itself on a course toward nuclear war by refusing to recognize that North Korea has become a nuclear power," he said at the time.

The Obama administration also said in 2016 that this was a major national security risk.

So far, the United States has avoided any military conflict with North Korea. In fact, recent concerns have focused on Russia, following its invasion of Ukraine.

US-EU trade agreement

At WEF 2020, then-German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said he was confident a trade deal between the United States and the European Union would be reached. Scholz, who is now the country's chancellor, said at the time: "In the end, we know that trade is more successful if there are not too many obstacles."

Both sides of the Atlantic have resolved several trade disputes since US President Joe Biden took office in 2021, but they still appear far from a comprehensive trade deal.

In fact, European countries have raised concerns about Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, arguing that it discriminates against European companies and does not follow international trade rules.

Bitcoin going to zero?

In 2019, Jeff Schumacher, founder of BCG Digital Ventures, said during a panel organized by CNBC in Davos that the price of bitcoin could fall to zero.

Bitcoin has had a volatile run, but in 2021 and 2022 it reached much higher levels than those seen in 2019. It has since come down from all-time highs, but its trading levels this week are still above those of four years ago.