Davos

 


In 2008, during the Credit Crunch, the investment bank Goldman Sachs was referred to as  'the vampire squid'. 

Vampire Squids exist. Their home is the deepest and most oxygen-poor parts of the oceans, where others don't care to swim. Their life style is relaxed and in fact they are rather weedy. When attacked they try to look more imposing than they actually are. But they also have a superpower; bioluminescent organs which not only help to attract mates in the dark, but can  squirt bioluminescent, sticky gunk into the water to scare off predators. 

Guess what!?!

A good analogy then! No doubt Goldman's finest will be present at Davos, joining others in the the low-oxygen mountain environment and puffing themselves up with colourful displays. Being Lords of the Universe and probably 'open-source' when it comes to mating, odds on there will be some of that too.  

My interest here is Davos, the ultimate jacuzzi of waffle and bullshit. There would perhaps be a point if, maybe, Sauron, Voldemort or Vadar turned up. Or God. Or if it was Lourdes for the Illuminati and did any of the attendees any good. As it is, the event seems to have absorbed a place that would otherwise only appear on the radar of skiing fanatics. As far as the residents are concerned, the event must be the physical embodiment of the Vampire Squid.

I am reproducing here a column by Bryce Elder in the Financial Times, reproduced for his wonderfully acidic turn of phrase. I wish I could write that well.   

It’s easy to make fun of the World Economic Forum, which is no reason to stop. An open-goal opportunity to take the rise out of platitudinous guff and hypocritical virtue signalling is Davos’s only reliable source of worth.

The challenge is to find new jokes, because nothing about Davos ever changes. Everyone knows already that it’s a Global Elite cosplay convention for Quango bosses, Twitter-famous academics and corporate types with expensive dental work. Everyone knows that the only power in evidence is the performative suppression of imposter syndrome. 

There are only so many times we can count the private jets. Springtime WEF means more Patagonia gilets and fewer Arc’teryx jackets but that aside, the 2022 agenda offers a comfortingly familiarity. Want to hear from Salesforce’s CFO on Rebuilding Societal Trust? Or from Shell’s upstream boss on Unlocking Digital Innovation for Net Zero? Of course you don’t. No-one does. Yet Globalisation Groundhog Day still manages to trap 2,500 of the world's most deserving people within its vortex of tedium, which is the best joke of all.

Davos







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