Welcome to the first day of SmartBrief’s roundup of financial news coming out of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch a selection of Wednesday’s panel discussions related to finance.

Somehow … banks have survived: After years of lamenting the onslaught of post-crisis regulations, bankers in Davos still appear to be breathing. Some are even making a profit. According to DealBook, some are even lauding all that regulation. “The bulk of the regulatory reform was much needed,” said Deutsche Bank co-CEO Anshu Jain. “Our own management would have taken us on the same journey.”

What about the 99%?: The over-arching theme of last year’s coverage of Davos seemed to be the schism between the 1% and the 99%. The tone is not as palpable in this year’s coverage. But that is not to say no one is talking about income inequality. (read more…)

People who suffer from an emotional hesitation toward prospecting can overcome their “sales-call reluctance” with an awareness of the issue and strong coaching to help them change their mindset, says coach, trainer and speaker Connie Kadansky.

An e-mail to Kadansky from an employee of a major financial-services firm described a struggle with call reluctance. The person had doubts about ever finding success in a financial-services career because of being “wired the wrong way,” not because of laziness or a lack of knowledge, she says.

Those who experience call reluctance may be worried about seeming too self-promotional or pushy toward prospects — “they’re in fear, and they’re actually holding themselves back,” Kadansky says. This inner conflict prevents them from acting on their feelings of responsibility to talk about the value they can provide to prospects, she says. (read more…)

Swiss Franc-enstein: As if Switzerland wasn’t already expensive enough, the Swiss National Bank’s currency move just made it crazy costly. The Telegraph explains why the SNB did it … The Guardian weighs what a Swiss vacation will now cost tourists … and Bloomberg goes high-brow to dissect what it will mean for bar tabs at the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos.

NYT explains who is that attacking Dodd-Frank: Legislation proposed in the House would reduce transparency in derivatives trading, allow large banks to keep certain risky securities two years longer than now permitted and prevent the Securities and Exchange Commission from regulating private equity firms involved in some securities transactions, writes Gretchen Morgenson.

And Jack Lew says Dodd-Frank should be protected: The Dodd-Frank Act needs protecting, not dismantling, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew writes in the Washington Post. He notes the progress the U.S. economy has made since the financial crisis and credits a substantial part of that to regulatory changes. (read more…)

A collection of stories from SmartBrief publications and around the web…

Politico sheds light on the “real” bank of America: Federal credit programs, including student loans, mortgage guarantees and transportation programs, have expanded over the past decade from $1.3 trillion to $3.2 trillion in outstanding loans. The fast-growing programs lack oversight, regulation and management expertise. “The government is a gigantic financial institution, operating in a black box,” says Deborah Lucas, who runs MIT’s Center for Finance and Policy and previously worked for the Congressional Budget Office.

WSJ goes all FOIA on the NY Fed: The Wall Street Journal issued a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain a copy of the Fed’s Office of Inspector General’s report on its oversight of JPMorgan Chase in the lead up to the London Whale trading fiasco. The report details how the Fed’s overreliance on the bank’s reputation played a role in how it missed the “tempest in a teapot” that was brewing in London. (read more…)

“If we fail to make the investment in our aging transportation infrastructure, our economy will suffer. Our transportation system is the backbone of the economy, and it drives growth in sectors beyond construction.” — Robert Stevens, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers

The amount of money the federal government currently invests each year in state highway, bridge and public transit infrastructure programs — about $50 billion — contributes to the country’s economy in ways that may not be obvious. Each dollar of federal investment in transportation infrastructure adds between $1.82 and $2.00 to the annual gross domestic product in the U.S., according to a report released by IHS Global on Wednesday. It also contributes to about 614,000 jobs and increases household income by an average of $410.

The report was commissioned by the Transportation Construction Coalition – a group of 31 national associations and labor unions that is co-chaired by the Associated General Contractors of America and the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. (read more…)