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Dour Davos

The World Economic Forum, which brings together CEOs, political leaders, the occasional rock star, and other movers and shakers in the Swiss resort town of Davos, got underway today. It goes through February 1. You can follow the event-and indulge in some schadenfreude-at the New York Times Davos Diary...


The World Economic Forum, which brings together CEOs, political leaders, the occasional rock star, and other movers and shakers in the Swiss resort town of Davos, got underway today. It goes through February 1.You can follow the event-and indulge in some schadenfreude-at the New York Times Davos Diary. One early dispatch kind of sums it up: "On the first day of the World Economic Forum, Davos Man and Woman comfortably settled into an almost masochistic sense of gloom." The famous Goldman Sachs party was canceled, bankers are generally staying home, and the gift bags, well, they're probably still pretty opulent, actually.While the conference has supported some worthy social entrepreneurs and initiatives over the years, it's always seemed more like a magnificently rarefied networking opportunity than anything else, with attendeeds more interested in advancing their own business interests, meeting celebrities, and clawing their way onto the Google jet, than solving the world's problems.So this year, while it's nice that the partying is toned town, and there's some talk about accountability on Wall Street, you can't help but wonder what these leaders were doing at the conference over the past five years while our current crisis was brewing.Image of Rupert Murdoch taking responsibility for the crappy state of the media in 2008 from Flickr user World Economic Forum.