Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dreaming About Davos

Davos...oh Davos...why am I never invited?
How I've longed for an invitation to the annual World Economic Forum at Davos.

Let's start with the fact that I LOVE the Swiss Alps...in all seasons...but particularly in winter.
And no...don't ask why a California born woman (Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica) has a thing for the Alps...it's a Magic Mountain thing...it's too zauberberg to explain.

Next, everybody who is anybody gets invited to Davos.

But apparently, this year the guest list is thin...so there finally was space for me!


From the International Herald Tribune
At Davos, crisis thins the guest list

GENEVA: The Masters of the Universe no longer sit atop the magic mountain.

Let's face it...in years past we've had economic gurus Bono, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
so I want to know who's at Davos this year....


Not long ago, at the annual gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Richard Fuld Jr. of Lehman Brothers held forth on the state of the global economy before mesmerized journalists and cowering subordinates while other Wall Street stars mingled after-hours with the likes of Claudia Schiffer, the German supermodel.

Let's face it things are different

"The pendulum has swung and power has moved back to governments," said Klaus Schwab, the German-born economics professor who founded the World Economic Forum in 1971 and has been its impresario ever since. "This is the biggest economic crisis since Davos began."
The crisis, to be sure, is hurting some more than others. While Davos will draw about 2,500 participants - roughly the same as last year - it looks like there will be many fewer members of the tasseled-loafer-set strutting down the resort's snowy streets.

Yes but where is everybody?

Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, is sending his deputy. It looks like Schiffer and Angelina Jolie, accompanied by Brad Pitt during the boom's glamour years, will also be absent.
Even Bono, the rock star and social activist who has attended for the past three years, has other commitments: He and his band, U2, are promoting a new album.

Well...maybe it is more than timing.

Lehman, once a top-tier corporate "strategic partner" to the tune of 500,000 Swiss francs, or $432,000, a year, is bankrupt, and Fuld's invitation has disappeared with it. Even if he had wanted to come, Schwab said, there is no room for has-beens at Davos.


"It's like a guillotine," Schwab said, relishing his role as guardian of the velvet rope for the mover-and-shaker and position-paper crowd. "So many former CEOs and former politicians want to come. We say no. Once you lose, or you're not in an active decision-making role, you don't have the right to an invitation."


Some invitees do not want to test Schwab's hospitality. John Thain, the former chief executive of Merrill Lynch, abruptly canceled after being pushed out on Thursday from a top job at Bank of America, which acquired Merrill last year. Thain, a Davos regular who once ran the New York Stock Exchange,was to have participated in a panel on Saturday called "The Bank of the Future."

OK, there has been some scaling back but my friends at Citibank were still in attendance.
Which is good to know after they received the BAILOUT $$$.


Citigroup, which recently received a $45 billion bailout from Washington.
Citigroup, now scaling back to a smaller Citicorp, still plans to send five formal participants to the conference like others in the strategic partners circle. But the company has sharply reduced the army of other executives and support staff who accompany them.


Seriously guys...invite me to Davos
Ski all day, discuss world economic issues all night...
Sounds like my kind of fun!
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2 comments:

Karen said...

Brangelina remind me of Forest Gump. There always there, in every photo, at every event in history. Sometimes they can even be in two places at the same time. Changelings perhaps...

Belle de Ville said...

OMG Karen that is sooo funny. They are like Forest Gump! They are everywhere!
Talk about overexposure...

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