“DAVOS – WHAT A WASTE OF TIME, ENERGY, SPACE, TAXPAYERS’ AND SHAREHOLDERS’ MONEY!”

I am on one of my hobby horses! I won’t be writing platitudes or extolling the virtues of this ridiculous bunfight, affectionately known as the World Economic Forum, which is the 47th time this gathering of ‘the good, the great, the filthy rich and the immensely powerful’ in the Swiss Alpine town of Davos, have strutted their stuff at this annual conference. Delegates also seem to find time to quaff a few ‘flutes’ of ‘Crystal’ at the odd function, hosted by an influential ‘mover/shaker’.

As I understand it, 2800 delegates will be attending this year; most of them paying $19,000 a pop with some paying a membership fee of $232,000 to attend the WEF. 600 private aircraft have dropped down in Davos with their special cargo including a shipment of Californian wine – that’s great for carbon emissions!  The Press/media, I don’t think, pay any dues. For them this is a splendid opportunity for them to rub shoulders with world leaders and the captains of industry in one place. That is the only reason for commending the function.

I can see that PM Johnson only allowed Chancellor Sajid Javid from the Government to attend. As I understand it former PM May will be making a speech during the 4-day jamboree. Each government and businessman could surely make time to meet, talk on the phone or screen interviews during the year at their convenience and at a significantly lower cost.

I just about accept that between the inaugural meeting in 1973, at the behest of Klaus Schwab, there was some merit in these wealth creators meeting once a year, until the credit/banking crisis in 2008. However, in the advent of greatly improved and sophisticated technology and communications, the case for this gathering is flimsy at best. In fact, it is an insult to working people who, in the past dozen years, have worked tirelessly to rebuild their lives, with little to show for it. During that period the world has yet to regain its equilibrium or improve growth rates. 

This year President Trump, Chancellor Merkel and President XI’s deputy are in attendance to talk about Climate Change in response to Greta Thunberg’s criticism of world governments’ achievement. Unless Putin and Modi are present as well, as two of the main culprits, this is a meaningless escapade unless there are some clever people who want to steal a march on how collaborate to make money out of climate change practices. President Trump made his thoughts crystal clear about Climate Change today. He decried climate "prophets of doom" in a speech at the conference, where sustainability is the main theme. He called for a rejection of "predictions of the apocalypse" and said America would defend its economy. What a great start to cooperating over this incredibly important crisis. Folks, this forum is a total waste of time. Could they all get back to work PDQ. The optics and credibility of such a bunfight is truly embarrassing.

I would far rather see the gargantuan level of global debt,  government, corporate and consumer be at the top of the agenda, before the world finds itself in another banking crisis.

David Buik

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