Davos: The blob’s big day out

Patrick Young
Patrick L Young is CEO of niche crowdfunding platform HanzaTrade and an advisor to fund managers throughout the world. Born in Ireland, he is an active investor in the “New Europe” amongst other emerging markets and is an active Co Founder of grassroots startup group "Mission ToRun." Home Page: http://patricklyoung.net Twitter: @FrontierFinance
Reuters / Ruben Sprich
Spending $40,000 to rub shoulders with Al Gore, bunches of politicians, a herd of CEOs, and a tribe of consultants? Davos sounds as appealing as a 5-star weekend in Guantanamo Bay.

Davos represents the triumph of the blob - stasis and hot air surrounded by inaction. All hyped by a dismal media avoiding hard questions while enjoying the ‘bling’ and ‘glamour’ of being atop a Swiss mountain with thousands of bureaucrats.

Read the delegate list: this isn’t so much a 1 percent great elite gathering as the AGM of the blob itself. Politicians addicted to spending other people’s money meet pen pushers administering multinationals in a bid not to make progress but to resist it, as change challenges the blob. Amidst this race for mutually beneficial economic stasis sit a horde of consultants coveting identikit presentations. In the background live TV beams vanity interviews into corporate foyers throughout the world. If you are a big investor it makes sense: Pay to assess which blob members may be worth backing.

However for the rest, well put it this way: who other than an ‘elite wally’ spends $40,000 for imprisonment in a gilded cage atop a snowy mountain with Al Gore, several hundred frothing PowerPoint wielding bores and a ton of CEOs, who, speaking from experience - are mostly rather dull too. This isn’t a global elite meeting solving the world’s problems; it’s the world’s most massively overhyped festival of the bland making small talk.

Then there is the rank hypocrisy. 1700 private jet flights in and out of Davos (the rest mostly take helicopters from Zurich airport - oh the ignominy of only flying ‘scheduled’). Then everybody consumes imported champagne and caviar while fretting about global warming.

If global warming actually existed, I might get worried. Hilariously, most of the linear minded ‘C-suiters’ and ‘PowerPoint pussies’ quaffing their money’s worth of booze, actually believe in the great environmental scam. Indeed they believe in it so much, many lobby assiduously to increase tax breaks for their useless wind farms.

“Davos is at best a distraction but it is worse, it perpetuates this myth that somehow the world economy is made better by the elite gathering together and controlling and planning the world economy.” - Philip Booth, Institute of Economic Affairs

The media divides into the pure gushers running fawning breakfast TV shows where CEOs trumpet the meeting’s success because they have to justify their expenses. Oh, and their business is going from strength to strength. Naturally some don’t achieve their Q1 results, and the board then sacks them for indulgent boondoggles when they ought to have concentrated on their day job. A second media approach discusses the 1 percent and a massive conspiracy to keep the rest of us downtrodden. After they finish another lavish dinner with three oligarchs and a hundred consultants - they will tell us just how awful the whole thing is.

Into this milieu of ghastly government, big business blob and ‘PowerPoint pillocks’ is the final ingredient which makes a trip to Davos sound like a spell in Guantanamo Bay - albeit with much more expensive canapés - the NGOs. Once called charities and run by earnest old people, they raised money for good causes. Nowadays the same organizations employ highly paid zealots who produce headline grabbing drivel masquerading as analysis. Said reports underline the sheer mediocrity of the c-suite classes who intone seriously about the latest paper when it is misleading tosh. The nebulous specter of wealth inequality becomes ‘topic du jour’ without anybody considering the integrity of the underlying data. If the blob wasn’t a morass of linear process bereft of thinking power, they would champion the vast decline in global poverty during the past 30 years.

Davos exemplifies the hideous blob of corporate socialism stifling progress with red tape. The aim is not to solve problems, nor is it even to get a selfie with Pharrell Williams so you can embarrass your children. Rather - this is the blob AGM after all - the point is to exercise self-interest. The blob must perpetuate itself. That means excluding the agents of innovation who help dynamic economies expand jobs and prosperity within smaller/startup enterprises.

Davos is centered upon the ultimate bureaucratic canard: “the blob represents progress.” Cluster 2500 people influencing large lumbering bureaucracies on one mountain for a few days to improve the world is central planning revisited. You know the process that worked so well it bankrupted the USSR and North Korea.

Executive summary for “Davos Man:” Growth comes from the bottom up...as a delegate you are part of the ‘top down’ problem.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.