Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Davos LQD: My dog ate the financial system

by NBBooks Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 01:36:39 AM EST

Slate's Daniel Gross reports from Davos:  

By Daniel Gross

Posted Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, at 12:23 PM ET

Ordinarily, Davos is a Great Men kind of place, as the motto of this year's gathering implies: "Shaping the post-crisis world." The people who show up here—political leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, musicians, and, above all, businesspeople—have all shown an ability to impose themselves on history. Otherwise, they wouldn't be invited. And yet in the many discussions held here about the recent global financial debacle, the question of human agency is shunted to the side.  

At a CNBC event yesterday, groups of 10 to 12 people sat at tables and mooted three questions: Which policy assumption failed? Which regulatory failure proved to be the largest systemic shock? And which market failure proved most damaging? The answers were obvious: poor regulation of the shadow banking system, mispricing of risk, the failure of models. But there was very little talk about the people who helped design and justify the systems, the mispricing, and the models. . . .

The dismissal of human agency is ironic, but also predictable. Just as financial markets in the United States privatize profits and socialize losses, Davos and other conferences like this privatize success (by chalking it up to individuals) and socialize failure (by blaming it on large systemic problems).

The preferred strategy at Davos is to simply ignore failure. By and large, screw-ups don't make the agenda. It's just not that sort of place. If you screw up, you don't get invited, and you don't show up. This explains why I couldn't see a single economist or official associated with the Bush administration on the roster, and why there are very few American bankers at Davos this year.

 


Display:
A great title ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:50:50 AM EST
i'm glad some are not coming, it's not in their interest.

the ultimate circle jerk is having erectile problems.

the great, the good and the impotent, thrill is gone...

i would think many are pricing cosmetic surgery and a new place to live.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 11:14:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a link earlier this week  saying that Plastic surgery was one of the areas that hadnt been efected by the financial downturn. just didnt thik it was for disguising financiers.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 11:48:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Witness protection ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 11:57:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like the blame has been placed:

If you screw up, you don't get invited, and you don't show up. This explains why I couldn't see a single economist or official associated with the Bush administration on the roster, and why there are very few American bankers at Davos this year.


"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 10:32:57 AM EST
Dismissal of human agency seems to me beyond ironic.  It's bloody mysterious.  Who do they suppose does all these things?  (Hmmnnn....maybe it was my dog after all.)
by arcadesproject on Wed Feb 4th, 2009 at 09:37:01 PM EST
Yes, definitely these good old boys have no mirrors in their house.

Welcome to ET, arcadesproject!

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Thu Feb 5th, 2009 at 06:45:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries