David Rothkopf

The Superclass parties on

Oh, sure, the headlines say that the global downturn is bad and getting worse. And the economic indicators tell the same story. And the anecdotes from your friends or your 401(k) statements drive the message home. But did you really think that things were getting worse for the people at the top, the Superclass? (My ...

Oh, sure, the headlines say that the global downturn is bad and getting worse. And the economic indicators tell the same story. And the anecdotes from your friends or your 401(k) statements drive the message home. But did you really think that things were getting worse for the people at the top, the Superclass? (My book by the same name available at fine bookstores everywhere.) Heck no. It’s a party every day when you make the rules.

A prime illustration comes from a story about the upcoming World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos by Federico Fubini in today’s Corriere della Sera, one of Italy’s top newspapers. Fubini, one of his country’s best foreign policy commentators, sent me a note about the piece summarizing its highlights the other day. He wrote, "I doublechecked private/corporate jet movements in and out the Zurich airport during the WEF week. There are 1000 this year as opposed to 900 last year and 800 in 2007. The usual 2,500 people will attend the Forum." In short, Fubini’s reporting suggests that despite the global financial catastrophe and the PR nightmare of the visit of Detroit’s "Big Three" CEOs to Washington via private aircraft, corporate jet traffic to the big party in the Alps is up 25 percent in just two years even as the number of attendees remains flat. As Federico wrote in his note, "It’s a relief as I thought there was a financial crisis and global recession out there. I was wrong." 

Where are the corporate watchdogs? The shareholder activists? And more reporters like Fubini?

 Twitter: @djrothkopf

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