blog advertising is good for you

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Media-Whore D'oeuvres


Embedded image permalink

"Davos is the spiritual home of homo economicus, where human behavior can generally be explained in terms of the perpetual war between greed and fear. That’s one reason why the World Economic Forum is such a hot ticket. If you’re a student of the men (and they’re overwhelmingly men) who control the world’s money and power, being in Davos can help you gauge just how nervous or covetous they seem. This year, my highly-unscientific first impression is that fear is very much on the ascendant. A lot of people seem to feel the need to explain to me, on an entirely unsolicited basis, just how powerful and important they are – much more so than in previous years. What that says to me is that they’re not on the lookout for new opportunities, in the way that they have been in previous years, so much as they’re trying to consolidate whatever gains they have made since the end of the financial crisis. Signs of fear are particularly noticeable in Switzerland, which recently felt forced to let its currency, the Swiss franc, appreciate by 20% — essentially, the central bank gave in to overwhelming pressure from the wall of international money which was looking to this small Alpine nation as a safe haven in a world of great uncertainty. To give you an idea of just how scared people are: if you place your money in the safety of five-year German bonds, or even ten-year Swiss bonds, then the yield you’re going to get on your money is negative. In other words, you can tie up your money for 10 years in Swiss francs, and be guaranteed to get back less than you first invested. Why would anybody do that? Because they’re worried that other places for their money are going to do even worse." (FelixSalmon)





"The World Economic Forum says it’s trying to encourage more of its members to bring women to Davos. Its members aren’t doing a great job. This year, only 17% of participants at the annual invitation-only conference are women. The gender imbalance underscores how women are often left out of discussions debating and shaping policy. WEF members have an incentive to bring women. Businesses at the highest level of membership get four tickets to Davos and can distribute them to top employees at the company’s discretion. If one of those tickets go to a woman who is an executive or board member, the company is rewarded with a fifth ticket. Saadia Zahidi, who heads the Gender Parity Programme at the WEF, says that more members are taking advantage of this opportunity in 2015 than five years ago. Still, the numbers aren’t budging. Last year, 15% of participants were women; the year before, 17%. WEF has told Quartz for the past two years that the gender disparity at Davos is a result of the current state of global leadership. This year is no different. Zahidi told Quartz, “Unfortunately, the gender ratio here in Davos is a reflection of global leadership as a whole.' Some invitees are asked to attend solely based on their job function, such as the president of Harvard University, who is currently Drew Faust, a woman."  (QZ)

Click to order "Killers of the King."

"I’ve been Mr. Stay-At-Home many of these cold/grey day and nights this month, except maybe to go out to dinner with a friend or friends. A lot of the New York social scene has been exported elsewhere – like, where it’s warm. I hear Palm Beach is jampacked with New Yorkers (and Euros and Brits and Canadians and Latin Americans). They just can’t keep their socks on. And they can’t stay home unless they’re giving a dinner party (also no socks). Or out in snowy Aspen which I hear has been quieter this year. This is just hearsay. Jack Nicholson musta stayed home. Or down in St. Barts where the yachts come a-callin’. However, that aspect of the social calendar may be just about over. My own calendar certainly is. Last night was an example. Over at Christie’s Lord Charles Spencer9th Earl Spencerhad a booksigning of his latest: 'Killers of the King; The Men Who Dared To Execute Charles I.' The title sounds almost quaint considering the world these days. However, I don’t doubt that it is interesting because that world was interesting and actually led us to this world which is ... what? Fill in the blank. Lord Charles is famous to the world because of his sister, the late, still bereaved Diana the Princess of Wales. The Spencers have an illustrious lineage (which is one way of putting it) in European history. According to Wikipedia, they are direct descendents, 'albeit illegitimate,' of the House of Stuart (Charles I), by five direct lines. Through the Stuart line they can trace their ancestry to other royal houses including the Bourbons, the Medicis, the Wittlesbachs, the Hanovers, the Sforzas, the Hapburgs, and the houses of Howard and Boleyn through Mary Boleyn, who had been the mistress of Henry The EighthThey are also related to the Churchills through Henrietta, the second Duchess of Marlborough who married a Spencer (which is how the hyphenated names got together). It seems only natural that Lord Charles Spencer as a historian lives in a cornucopia of it. And all a drama, as we know." (NYSD)

No comments: