'Cancel Davos', blasts anti-elite author




  • In Business
  • 2019-01-22 02:35:10Z
  • By Alex PIGMAN
Anand Giridharadas speaks at the WIRED25 Festival in California in October 2018
Anand Giridharadas speaks at the WIRED25 Festival in California in October 2018  

Davos (Switzerland) (AFP) - This year's World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos is taking place under a cloud of popular anger that has destabilised major democracies from the US to Europe and Brazil.

AFP spoke to one of the event's most trenchant critics, Anand Giridharadas, a former McKinsey consultant and ex-columnist for The New York Times.

His book "Winners Take All" torches what he calls the hypocrisy of an out-of-touch elite. Here are excerpts from the interview.

- What is Davos? -

It's basically lobbying under the guise of an ideas conference. You get to party together, you get to know each other and sit on panels together.

It becomes this perfect way in which the rich and powerful are able to take their parochial interests and values and launder them into common values. When that is the company you keep, it is difficult to think your way out of sharing its values and assumptions.

Davos conversations are not about how do you increase market share in China. I would actually respect that conference more. This whole thing has become so exhausting because we have now asked the Davos elite to take care of the common good for which they are not qualified and of which they have no interest.

- Is it about doing good? -

There's a spectrum from the naive to the shrewd at Davos. I don't think anybody at Goldman Sachs thinks that Goldman Sachs is really in the business of making the world a better place for the least among us.

I think they understand that they are a bank and are here to make money for their owners and that a certain amount of giving and public responsibility is necessary to buy goodwill and avoid having executives put in prison after a financial crisis.

And in a way I kind of respect that because at least they know who they are.

Then you go to Silicon Valley and you really do have these guys like Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg who are not cynical and really believe they are lucky enough to have alighted upon certain tools of emancipation, and if they are able to share them far and wide they'll be able to change the world for everybody. Their self-delusion comes from not at all understanding that they have become the problem rather than in any way representing the solution.

- What next for Davos? -

I believe that Davos should be cancelled. I think the only way forward for the plutocracy and for the Davos class in this age of rage is for a real period of reckoning and self-reflection and self-correction.

Davos is a celebration and kind of carnival for those who have rigged so many countries around the world.

And then as the working and middle classes of many societies have revolted against being stiffed by the plutocracy, the plutocrats have benefited yet again from demagogues -- and sometime plutocrats themselves like Donald Trump -- channelling that correct anger, but then diverting it so that the revolters punch down at the most vulnerable people in society, instead of punch up to people who stole the future.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Pinterest confidentially files for IPO: WSJ
Pinterest confidentially files for IPO: WSJ

Online image search site Pinterest Inc has confidentially filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. The company and its underwriters, led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co are planning for a late-June listing and is seeking a valuation of at least $12 billion, the newspaper reported. Pinterest could raise around $1.5 billion in the IPO, Reuters had reported in January, citing sources.

Philadelphia sues seven big banks, alleges municipal bond collusion
Philadelphia sues seven big banks, alleges municipal bond collusion
  • US
  • 2019-02-21 16:41:17Z

The city of Philadelphia has filed an antitrust lawsuit accusing seven major banks of conspiring to inflate interest rates for a type of bond used by cities, towns and other public entities, costing them potentially billions of dollars. In a complaint filed on Wednesday night, Philadelphia accused Bank of America Corp, Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Royal Bank of Canada and Wells Fargo & Co of secretly manipulating rates for tax-exempt bonds known as VRDOs, or variable-rate demand obligations.

Apple
Apple's next big product might be a credit card

Apple is reportedly working closely with Goldman Sachs on a new financial product targeting iPhone buyers, a credit card that would be available directly on the iPhone through Goldman's consumer bank Marcus. Unlike regular credit card support on the iPhone that allows users to add cards that can then be used for mobile payments via Apple Pay, the new product will apparently also offer buyers access to smart analytics features similar to the what the Activity app does on iOS devices, meant to help iPhone users better manage their finances.The joint card will be released to employees in the coming weeks The Wall Street Journal reports, and will be released to the public later this year.Both...

Southwest probes cancellations, says shutdown cost $60 million
Southwest probes cancellations, says shutdown cost $60 million

Southwest Airlines Co added a $60 million hit from the recent U.S. government shutdown to its list of headaches on Wednesday as it investigated whether a conflict with its mechanics union was adding to a rise in flight cancellations. The United States' fourth-largest airline also cut its forecast for first-quarter revenue per seat mile on Wednesday, citing weak passenger demand and the impact of the shutdown. Shares of the company, which has been cancelling flights in recent days due to bad weather and a large number of unscheduled maintenance issues, fell more than 6 percent, dragging down other airlines.

Ex-Goldman banker to finish Malaysia legal process before US extradition
Ex-Goldman banker to finish Malaysia legal process before US extradition
  • World
  • 2019-02-20 03:53:25Z

A former Goldman Sachs banker accused of involvement in the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal will only be extradited to the United States after legal proceedings against him in Malaysia are completed, a minister said. Huge sums of public money were purportedly stolen from Malaysian state fund 1MDB

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.