Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Davos Dream...Continued

Yep...I'm still dreaming about Davos

From the Wall Street Journal
JANUARY 26, 2009
World's Elite Visit Davos in Doubt

"Why are we surprised all the time, almost weekly" by bad financial news, said Victor Halberstadt, professor of economics at Leiden University in the Netherlands and a veteran of the Davos event. "Do we really understand too little about the economy? I'm afraid the answer may be 'yes,' and that is why policy makers are going to Davos."
I'm sorry but no matter how many policy makers are sent to Davos the world is still full of economic illiterates.
But let's be honest...Davos isn't really about Economics, it is about Marketing.
Over the years, Davos has become as much a marketing event, where companies look for business and polish images, as the intimate brainstorming venue of the event's early years, when a few hundred executives attended.
The five-day confab, which has signed up about 2,500 participants, will be a more sober affair than usual, organizers say. There are fewer gimmicks -- such as scents pumped into session rooms last year by a high-profile perfumer -- fewer movie stars have been invited, and fewer lavish parties are being thrown by governments and companies. Goldman Sachs won't be holding its usual party this year. "In the current environment, we didn't think it was appropriate," says spokesman Lucas van Praag.
OMG...Goldman Sachs is cutting back...oh the horror!
But there are plenty of people there ready to party...
Still, more than 1,400 chief executives and chairmen of companies are making the trip despite the deep slump in corporate revenues and stock markets.
And Davos doesn't come cheap. The annual corporate membership required in order to send executives costs 42,500 Swiss francs ($36,768), plus 18,000 francs to attend the meeting, not including accommodations, according to a Forum spokesman.
I just need to ask, in a world gone to hell, can any CEO justify $36,768 for Davos?
Just asking...
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