Prefessor Klaus Scwab set up the first World Economic Forum at Davos back in 1971. It has blossomed in to the world’s most prestigious jamboree for networking and entertaining, with over 2500 delegates from the ‘good and the great’ encompassing politics, celebs, business and bureaucracy, which gather in the Swiss mountains to put the world to right.
I must confess that I have never been known for my intellect or for my sartorial elegance. Notwithstanding those observations I can never remember any concrete resolution being put in to action globally or economically. I am told that terribly important people rub shoulders and ruminate over profoundly held views; promises are made, but rarely if ever, do they come to fruition.
The list of luminaries this year is not as great as it has been in the past. From the political jungle come Chancellor Merkel, President Hollande, Chancellor George Osborne, Al Gore, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and President Zuma of South Africa. Central bankers include Mark Carney, Axel Weber (now chairman of UBS) and Thomas Jordan from the SNB.
From the world of bureaucracy we are graced with the presence of Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-Moon Secretary General of United Nations, Mme Christine Lagarde from IMF and Abdalla Salem El-Badri, Opec’s secretary general.
George Soros, he with the very high opinion of himself, is in attendance again, no doubt dining out and pontificating on the £1 billion made out of the UK’s indecently hasty exit from the ERM in 1992. I am sure I am wrong, but maybe a ‘one-trick-pony?’
Great to see one of the all-time great inventors and philanthropist perennially present – Bill Gates and his wife Melinda. Now they put their money where their mouth is!
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world-wide-web, Eric Schmidt from Google, Satya Nadella from Microsoft, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Sir Martin Sorrell CEO of WPP, Maurice Levy of Publicis and Jack Ma of Alibaba provides a smattering of business greats gathered together for networking and discussion and debate. They filter very visibly amongst the 2500 present for this glittering occasion.
As I understand it the theme this year is poverty and the income gap between those that ‘have’ and those that ‘have-not’, which has unacceptably widened – a highly laudable theme. However, apart from rich rhetoric, I doubt much will transpire from these debates and individual ‘chin-wags.’ I suspect delegates will be more interested in Central bank activity and zero global interest rate policy, than dealing with an acute problem pragmatically.
Call me an old cynic, but surely shareholders and taxpayers money would be better spent running businesses and the political corridors of power? What a waste of money and does it really look good to the impoverished members of society and trust me I am no socialist?