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Davos 2022: Leaders flag recession, cyberattack risks at WEF

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Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi joins Yahoo Finance Live from Davos, Switzerland, to discuss the latest from the 2022 World Economic Forum (WEF).

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

JARED BLIKRE: Welcome back. We continue our coverage of the World Economic Forum, taking place this week in Davos, Switzerland. And for an update, let's check in with Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi. And Brian, looking behind you, it's a little bit more rainy there today than it was yesterday. That's my big observation.

BRIAN SOZZI: Hey, Jared. Well, you're on the mark. And yes, you are correct. The conditions really bearing down on us here in Davos, Switzerland. And you got some rain. You got some cold. But nonetheless, lots of-- it's still a hotbed of activity here at the World Economic Forum. And I loved your conversation on the economy at the top. You do not even need me-- you don't even need me in the studio because I think all you guys really, really nailed it, and it really fits with what I'm starting to hear from a lot of different executives that I talked to at a breakfast meeting, with one longtime tech CEO this morning telling me that European business is slowing down and it's slowing down to a large degree.

And I think that is getting something-- that is getting lost in all this focus on a US recession-- what is in fact happening in Europe. Now, a lot of folks are stopping short of saying that Europe is, in fact, in a recession. But still, the slowdown is real in Europe. You heard that with some commentary out of the IMF at the World Economic Forum earlier this morning. Also heard it from a UBS CEO, Ralph Hamers, on another network, concern about how wealthy folks are investing in the market. Newsflash, they're not really putting new money to work on this dip.

So there's lots of concerns-- and very valid concerns about the markets and the economy. I just came back before this, having launched with a well-known hedge fund manager with billions of dollars under management, telling me that the stock market has probably not bottomed yet. So when these folks are telling you this type of info, guys, really have to take it and digest it and have to wonder if this bear market, especially in tech stocks, is not yet done. Now, I put that question and some other things to Cloudflare CEO and co-founder Matthew Prince. Caught up with him earlier today, and I asked him his thoughts about the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Take a listen.

MATTHEW PRINCE: I think one of the things that we really anticipated was that, as the war took off, that one of the things that Russia may do is strikeout against the West and see more cyberattacks against the West. So far, that hasn't happened to the extent that we expected.

BRIAN SOZZI: And why do you think that's good?

MATTHEW PRINCE: You know, I think a couple of things. One, Russia itself is quite vulnerable to cyberattacks, and so if they launch those attacks against the West, I think they are concerned that the attacks might come back at us. I think, secondly, a lot of their attention is focused inside of Ukraine and it just hasn't been focused around the rest of the world. But it's something we stay vigilant for, we're concerned about. But, so far, the concern that the Russians are coming to the rest of the world hasn't come true.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

BRIAN SOZZI: And worth mentioning here, guys, as well, is that Cloudflare is still operating in Russia. I asked Matt why that is still the case. He says if they pull out, you might see increased cyberattack risk from Russia. So that is something to keep in mind of. Now, we'll have more from that interview later on in the show. But I do want to go back to the economy real quick here, because all those companies that reported earnings this morning, they are all global businesses. Abercrombie and Fitch still has a good presence here in Europe. You look at Best Buy.

I'm sure the folks there in Minneapolis running that company think they're not a global business. Well, newsflash to them, they, in fact, are, because a lot of the products they get are from China and other parts of the region. They still have to deal with inflation. They still have to deal with an economic slowdown in Europe. So again, what you're seeing here in the markets-- pre-market, at least-- that sell-off, to me, seems valid based on what I'm hearing here over at the World Economic Forum.

JULIE HYMAN: Man, you cannot resist. Can you, Brian Sozzi? You're in Davos. You do Davos. We'll do markets. It's OK. Just quickly--

BRIAN SOZZI: I miss you guys! I miss you guys. Julie, the wind is really blowing here. You're breaking up. But again--

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

BRIAN SOZZI: --markets could be a tough session.

[LAUGHTER]

JULIE HYMAN: All right. And by the way, when you said you felt like we had it under good control here, I think that means post-Davos you should take a nice long vacation. Jet on down to the Riviera. Go sit under an umbrella. I think that's what you need to do.

BRIAN SOZZI: Hey. I'll see you the day after Memorial Day. LFG. Let's do this.

JARED BLIKRE: [CHUCKLES]

JULIE HYMAN: All right.

JARED BLIKRE: Sounds good. We're going to hear from you later on throughout the day. Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi.