The masters of finance and globalization plan to keep low profiles this week as the World Economic Forum celebration of capitalization promises to be a much more somber affair than previous blowouts, reflective of its 2010 "Improve the State of the World: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild" theme.
In other words, the financial geniuses who pushed the Humpty Dumpty world economy off the wall will try to figure out how to put it back together.
Davos organizers point out that this year’s session will have as many labor leaders as central bankers. Haiti relief/reconstruction is high on the agenda. The getaway day features a discussion of "Being Responsible for the Future" led by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The 40th Davos confab sounds a lot like the do-gooders over at the Clinton Global Initiative, which in today's environment is pretty good thing. A Jan. 25 survey from Weber Shandwick's Voiceboxx offering, which deals with executive speaking engagements, finds that Clinton's September meeting in New York, according to CEOs and C-level execs, has toppled Davos as the prime speaking spot.
WS believes Davos' decline is tied to the severe economic downturn that began at the beginning of 2009 when the WEF was held. Davos, in fact, now ranks behind the Chief Executives’ Club of Boston and the Wall Street Journal CEO Council.
The CGI issued its own release Jan. 26 to express pleasure with the WS survey. "We are honored that Weber Shandwick recognizes the Clinton Global Initiative’s Annual Meeting as the No. 1 conference for CEOs," said Robert S. Harrison, CEO of CGI in the statement.
The release noted that former President Bill Clinton believes the "private sector plays a critical role in solving some of the critical issues of our time, from improving global health and education, fighting climate change, and increasing economic empowerment worldwide." He's grateful "these CEOs are proving through the Clinton Global Initiative that businesses can do well by doing good.”
Clinton deserves all the kudos he gets for his work with CGI. But truth be told, he would rather be back in the Oval Office. Clinton famously told a November conference in Istanbul that if he had his druthers he would still be in the White House: "It's good that we have a (term) limit. Otherwise I would have stayed until I was carried away in a coffin. Or defeated in an election." "I loved doing the job," he said, according to Reuters.