Is Davos a serious event?

I was interested in assessing the international coverage of Tony Abbott’s speech at Davos (sounded pretty good, by the way – but does he really mean any of it?).  Davos is the ski resort in Switzerland where the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum takes place.

So I have been stooging around various sites and incidentally picked up some of the goss from Davos (going once was enough for a lifetime).

OK, the bottom line is that there was virtually nothing in the world press about Tony Abbott’s speech apart from a reasonably lengthy and serious piece in the FT.

But I have learnt other little gems, such as Matt Damon being awarded some sort of gong for his humanitarian and environmental work at Davos.  And – wait for it – South Korean singer/rappster Psy is attending Davos and will perform.  That must make it a serious event?

In one sense, I take my hat off to Klaus Schwab – a rent-seeking statist from way back. He gets a few well-heeled private sector rent-seekers together using a pile of money he has extracted from various government and international agencies and the whole event grows like Topsy.  The private WEF is now a well-oiled machine churning out huge surpluses. In the meantime, Klaus can feel good about himself while leading the life of Riley.

Here is photographic proof of the presence of Psy:

psy_2798432c

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46 Responses to Is Davos a serious event?

  1. Petros

    Why is our prime minister attending a private function in Switzerland? Did he pay for the trip himself? How can that be official business?

  2. It is an event with 2500 people, 40 of them world leaders. Others are business leaders, entertainers and activists of some cause.

    Abbott was there because of the G20 presidency. There is some kind of custom that the president of the G20 makes a presentation at Davos. And he gets to meet the Japan PM to talk about the Free Trade deal.

    Abbott’s “Open for Business” theme does not match the WEF when most activists are only after wealth re-distribution and barracking for some victim minority. He will only gain international coverage if he says something stupid that attracts mockery.

  3. H B Bear

    I’m getting all my Davos coverage from Alex. Seems OK so far.

  4. Gab

    most activists are only after wealth re-distribution

    Eat The Rich! It’s not just about redistribution of wealth (euphemism for gimme gimme gimme) they want the wealthy to stop being wealthy becuase theat’s just unequal or something. Everyone must be equal is all aspects especially wealth. So they’re not about growing the pie, they’re all about eating the pie someone else created but no one is allowed to create the pie. That would be unequal. That’s how deranged they are in their futile quest for da equaliddy. How dare anyone create a pie, sell it and makes themselves wealthy! Where’s the equality in that!

  5. Pyrmonter

    Each country should renew its resolve to undo any protectionist measures put in place since the crisis.

    Waiting to see some moves in that direction locally. Still plenty of protectionism here, not least on the coalition back-bench: Sharman Stone’s shilling for the food processors is lamentable. The position on the Labor side harks from the late 50s.

  6. brc

    It’s not uncommon for conferences of any size to have a well known act. The yearly oracle conference in sanfrancisco has recently had U2 and Pearl Jam providing the entertainment for the social evening. Don’t know that I personally would have picked a Korean pop rapper best known for inspiring dance moves in 12 yo girls, but, whatever.

    Point being it can be a serious event and still have entertainment. Not everything has to be po-faced boardrooms all the time. It’s a good chance for world leaders to talk in the leads to things like the g20.

  7. That’s how deranged they are in their futile quest for da equaliddy.

    Where’s the ‘like’ button?

  8. Token

    Nothing says “In touch with the Poor” like a meeting of the worlds elite on how to expand statism at a Swiss mountain resort town.

    The morally delusional sorts who attend really do believe they are “in touch”.

  9. Token

    I see PSY has had some botox. He has moved into the group of men who look like old lezzo’s.

  10. The Pugilist

    I see PSY has had some botox. He has moved into the group of men who look like old lezzo’s.

    Tony Windsor is still the most natural at carrying off that look. He just screams ‘twisted bitterness inside’. He always looks like he’s just had a hot cup of bile. Psy, on the other hand looks much happier…like he’s just swallowed a handful of acid trips…

  11. stackja

    If it helps Australia, money well spent.

  12. H B Bear

    I see PSY has had some botox. He has moved into the group of men who look like old lezzo’s.

    Bert Newton by Samsung.

  13. Andrew of Randwick

    No coverage of Abbott speech in Asian Wall Street Journal – but a handy listDavos Attendees
    Tony Hyams Chairman, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation
    Thomas Gorman Chief Executive Officer Brambles Limited
    Ian McLeod Managing Director, Coles Coles Group Limited
    Andrew Forrest Chairman Fortescue Metals Group Limited
    Nev Power Chief Executive Officer Fortescue Metals Group Limited
    Patrick Brothers Chief Development Officer Leighton Holdings Ltd
    Janet Payne Group Manager, Investor Relations Leighton Holdings Ltd
    Hamish Tyrwhitt Chief Executive Officer Leighton Holdings Ltd
    Nicholas A. Curtis Chairman Lynas Corporation Limited
    David Thodey Chief Executive Officer Telstra Corporation Ltd
    Richard Goyder Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Wesfarmers Limited
    Gail Kelly Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Westpac Banking Corporation
    Rob Whitfield Chief Executive, Westpac Institutional Bank Westpac Banking Corporation
    Brian Schmidt Professor Australian National University
    Robert Milliner Sherpa B20 Australia
    Jane Hunt Chief Executive Officer Fitted for Work
    Jeremy Balkin Founder Give While You Live
    David Christian Professor of History Macquarie University
    Anthony Jones Journalist Australian Broadcasting Corporation – ABC Television
    Tony Abbott Prime Minister of Australia; 2014 Chair of G20 Government and Policy

  14. The Pugilist

    Anthony Jones Journalist Australian Broadcasting Corporation – ABC Television

    Well isn’t that taxpayers’ money well spent…

  15. Ant

    Can you imagine, without gagging on your own vomit, how the self-pleasuring ‘elites’ who attend these gabfests just suck the perk dispenser as hard as they can while they don’t have to pay for it?

    Funny, too, how the events always seem to take place in some exclusive resort in the best corners of the planet. Not for them some sh1thole shanty in rural Ethiopia, where they could likely benefit from being up close and personal with some of the causes they pretend to care about.

    It’s safe to assume that they’re all “deeply concerned” about Climate Change, as well.

  16. Petros

    Ant, what about the location of the UN offices? How about setting up some offices and soirees in Rwanda? Might sort a few problems out. I’m still not convinced that our PM in Davos is of any use to us Aussies. The world doesn’t vote in the Oz elections. Private corporations can do as they wish.

  17. Rabz

    Anthony Jones Journalist ($368,242) – ALPBC Television

    Don’t forget the new identification convention, peoples!

  18. Rabz

    How about setting up some offices and soirees in Rwanda?

    Won’t do – too affluent.

    Haiti looks noice!

  19. adrian

    Thought it was overall a really great speech – people in the audience looked a little uncomfortable.

  20. H B Bear

    Snowcone would have been the poorest person there. Must be to allow him to empathize with the little people when he flies back in to Ultimo.

    It isn’t easy being a Chardonay socialist when you’re in business class and the QANTAS lounge all the time. Just ask Piggy. They are so much happier when they can discard their ALP sack cloth and get on with the business of lining their pockets like Hawkie, Keating and Richo.

  21. Squirrel

    I suspect many of them might be just as happy to stay at home – luxurious setting aside, it sounds like the creme de la creme of vacuousness and platitudes. It would surely only be someone who didn’t get out much who would truly gain any “powerful new ideas and insights” (sounding like a blurb writer here….) at such a large gabfest.

    As others have noted, it is interesting to see Anthony Jones of the ABC among the Australian contingent – I trust he will get, and fully answer, some probing questions about Davos when Q&A fires up for 2014.

  22. entropy

    You know, I believe that what goes on in Davos stays in Davos. I think that should be a maxim everyone takes to heart, whether they attended or not.

    On a related note, that is one impressive set of choppers belonging to the babe getting a selfie with PSY. Her dentist should be very proud.

  23. Rabz

    I trust he will get, and fully answer, some probing questions about Davos when Q&A fires up for 2014.

    Like what the f*ck was he doing there?

  24. Ant

    Pedros
    The great Mark Levin in the USA says they should ship the UN out to Tehran, seeing that so member of the member states vote in opposition to the US’s interests so often – particularly in regard to Israel.

    Like Rabz says, these locations can be too affluent.

    I’d suggest the intersection of the 75th S Parallel with the 45th Meridian. If they listen to their own advice, it’s going to get quite balmy down there in the near future.

  25. Andrew of Randwick

    Pulling together a couple of threads – ABC & Davos – try this one for size.
    .
    What Abbott is reported to have said:

    Mr Abbott used a keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos to criticise Labor’s response to the global financial crisis, saying the party had decided to “spend our way to prosperity”.
    “The reason for spending soon passed but the spending didn’t stop, because when it comes to spending governments can be like addicts in search of a fix,” Mr Abbott said.

    What the HSBC’s chief economist for Australia said:

    “I think the response to the global financial crisis by the previous government was actually the right response in terms of supporting growth in the short run,” Paul Bloxham said.
    “I do think they should have more quickly tried to get back to budget surplus earlier on and unwound the spending a bit earlier after the global financial crisis seemed to have passed.”

    A normal person would say those two statements are pretty much in alignment. What the ABC reporter decided to write:

    Meanwhile, HSBC’s chief economist for Australia has backed Labor’s stimulus spending after the global financial crisis

    Would it have been too hard to write:

    “Meanwhile the HSBC chief economist for Australia agreed with Mr Abbott and also criticised the former Labor government for NOT reigning in spending and NOT getting the budget back on track for surplus earlier.”

    If I noticed the contradiction in passing, then the Reporter noticed it, the Sub-Editor noticed it, the Web page editor noticed it – and yet it gets passed thru – all because of confirmation bias, or something more sinister?

  26. Andrew of Randwick

    The first Aussie at Davos seemed a bit strange, a public servant. So I did some checking…
    .

    Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation’s principal responsibility is to manage and invest the funds to maximise benefits to members. We have a fiduciary duty to act in members’ best interest. Our directors are appointed by the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, nominated for their experience and knowledge by the employer, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and/or the Chief of the Defence Force. Our Chairman is independent. Directors are responsible for all aspects of management of the schemes, including investment strategy, administration and stakeholder communication.

    Mr Tony Hyams, AM
    Appointed 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2014

    Mr Hyams was appointed as the inaugural Chairman of CSC on 1 July 2011. Mr Hyams was Chairman of the predecessor organisations, ARIA (2009 to 2011) and the Military Superannuation and Benefits Board (2009 to 2011). He was previously the Deputy Chairman of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (1999 to 2010) and a Director of the Australian Government Employees Superannuation Trust (2001 to 2010) and other companies. He is Chairman of the Board’s Governance and Remuneration Committees. Mr Hyams is an Independent Adviser to the Credit Suisse Group (since 1992) and is a Governor of WWF Australia (since 2005).

  27. Andrew of Randwick

    Just finally on Mr Hyams, I wonder why the WSJ have him listed as “Country – blank”, not like the other Aussies who were found quickly by a country search. I am sure it must have been an oversight in his registration.

  28. Bruce of Newcastle

    Davos is a good excuse to talk and meet people. Talking is good. Meeting people is good, that way you can see they don’t really have horns and tail. Its harder to declare war on someone without horns and a tail.

    Of course sometimes the horns and tail are hidden.

  29. Andrew of Randwick

    I wonder if Mr Hyams trip was paid for out of the “marketing and administration” budget of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation?
    .
    Perhaps Judith Sloan can answer?

  30. It’s safe to assume that they’re all “deeply concerned” about Climate Change, as well.

    Those that are deeply concerned about Climate Change would have gone to Antarctica to see the melting ice first hand.

  31. People in the audience looked a little uncomfortable.

    They thought Abbott’s “no one can tax and spend your way to prosperity” is referring to them

  32. Alfonso

    Tone’s full of it.
    He loves big govt, don’t be shy about it mate, come out.

  33. I’m sure there would be large savings to be made by all political and business people meeting in one place at the same time. I’m sure our PM will be busy formally introducing our businessmen to their foreign governments who get a cut of the action when any business deals are done.

    It would be cheaper to have it in Switzerland than Rwanda even though the latter could do with the money.

  34. James Hargrave

    If most of the attendees, half-pissed, could be led off-piste and be buried in an avalanche, the event might serve a useful purpose (as well as improving the human gene stock?)

  35. Andrew

    He will only gain international coverage if he says something stupid that attracts mockery.

    That’s pretty much a certainty. Either he WILL say something stupid, or he will say something indicating a preference for balanced budgets, less regulation, less unilateral CO2 self-immolation, and in favour of business (including mining) and a preference AGAINST 50,000 undocumented boaties, brainless hyperstimulus, windmills, funding new UN thought bubbles or any other future policy that SH-Y would dream up. Any one of those things would bring mockery.

  36. Andrew

    “I do think they should have more quickly tried to get back to budget surplus earlier on and unwound the spending a bit earlier after the global financial crisis seemed to have passed.”

    Bloxham is second only to Badham as a warmist communist stimulusist, but even he was critical of the R-G-R govt leaving the biggest structural deficit in the developed world behind. Next we’ll be hearing that the Kouk thought Gillard fucked it up! Nothing for the ALPBC to see though.

    BTW, the point in time the GFC “seemed to have passed” would be when the RBA announced that it was considering raising rates to COUNTERACT the stimulus. That was Sept 2009, ahead of the Oct meeting that actually did raise rates. So the statement “should have unwound the spending a bit earlier” could legitimately have been parsed as “Bloxham says stimulus after 2009 inappropriate – condemns last 4 years of R-G-R mismanagement.” Which would have been more accurate.

  37. Pyrmonter

    He will only gain international coverage if he says something stupid radical that attracts mockery.

    What about: A unilateral abolition of remaining tariffs? As a small country, that should help us, and undermine the flimsy case for holding off pending the “reciprocal” negotiation of reductions in trade barriers.

  38. Jim Rose

    what is wrong with using the phone

  39. JohnA

    The Pugilist #1165193, posted on January 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Anthony Jones Journalist Australian Broadcasting Corporation – ABC Television

    Well isn’t that taxpayers’ money well spent…

    …only if they supplied him with a one-way ticket. No need to waste money on getting him back again!

  40. sabrina

    Davos gets a serious boost to its economy every year as its population swells by almost 25% for few days. Also, this is the only place in the world where the world gets to hear that we are open for business. The next talkfest there will be 28th January 2015.

  41. Tel

    And – wait for it – South Korean singer/rappster Psy is attending Davos and will perform.  That must make it a serious event?

    It does seem necessary for a suitably selected hasbeen star from yesteryear to be selected for such events, just to prove the organizers are appropriately conservative and behind the trend by a well measured amount.

  42. Tel

    The morally delusional sorts who attend really do believe they are “in touch”.

    Hence the need to recycle an old pop star.

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