At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a monied Alpine resort town of quaintly-shingled ski chalets and regal hotels, everything is high. The elevation is high – at 1,560 metres above sea level, Davos is the highest town in Europe. The stakes are high – the global power elite gather to make decisions that can profoundly affect our everyday lives. And the price of lunch is high – a local hotel was offering an astonishingly priced C$64 burrito.

As reported by CNBC on May 26, the burrito, which came with salsa and guacamole on the side, sold at the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere for 49 Swiss francs. An order of French fries at the hotel was priced at C$28.13 or 21.50 Swiss francs. In addition, CNBC reported that an admittedly fancy hot dog – with pickles, fried onions and mustard – was for sale at the Belvedere for about C$50 or 38 Swiss francs in 2015.

Back in 2018, Global News reported the Ameron Swiss Mountain hotel in Davos, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was staying, was offering a C$75 hamburger platter. It came with barbecue sauce, grisons mountain cheese, tomato, cucumber, crispy bacon and French fries.

That hotel was also selling chocolate mousse, with a vanilla cherry compote, for about $21 or 16 Swiss francs. “Not cheap to eat in Davos,” tweeted chief political correspondent David Akin.

Another place that’s not the cheapest is Steakhouse Ochsen, which sells steak on a hot stone, rewarding you with a juicy slab of beef that you cook to your liking. Ochsen sells a Swiss black angus entrecote for about $90 or 69 Swiss francs, complete with sauces and side dishes.

From May 22 to 26, after several years of coronavirus turmoil, things were getting back to normal for the world’s most rich and powerful who attended the first in-person World Economic Forum in Davos since the start of the pandemic.

The restaurants and cafes in or around the Davos Congress Center are notorious for jacking up their prices with the arrival of well-heeled conference attendees.

However, food prices at this year’s conference, postponed to May from January because of the Omicron variant, are even higher than normal due to higher interest rates.
According to Reuters, Switzerland experienced the highest inflation rate in for 14 years in April, with prices rising by 2.5%. The Swiss inflation rate remains lower than in the United States (8.5%) and in the eurozone (7.4%).

“Global monetary policy is moving into a new phase of higher interest rates to combat resurgent inflation,” stated Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan. “It’s a new situation, for the first time since 2008, we are seeing monetary policy moving toward tightening in most currency areas.”

“We are moving into an unpleasant situation for monetary policy: inflation is already high globally and is even rising in many countries, while at the same time economic activity is weakening worldwide,” he continued.

-EB

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