January 29th, 2009
12:29 PM GMT
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DAVOS, Switzerland – If Angelina or Brad had been at Davos this year, they would have been given the treatment ‘Royal celebs' deserve. But they are not here, so in the absence of glitz we have to find other ‘stars' to hang onto.

Thankfully there are plenty of alternative delegates worthy of our attention. For instance, economists like Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley Asia and Joseph Stiglitz formerly of the World Bank. Not heard of them? Not hanging on to their every utterance? Tut tut. No wonder you're in this mess!

These men may not have the good looks or dashing manner of Hollywood stars, but here at Davos this year they are ‘rock stars' in their own right.

When they walk through the hallways they are feted. Crowds gather to hear the words from their lips. A private chat with one or the other is economic nirvana.

Just this morning as I walked through the lobby, there was Roach holding court; cameras recording his words, journalists jostling to hear his view on how bad things would get.

For some time both men have been forecasting the horrible financial disaster we now face and were sneered at. They said it was going to get worse...and it did. And now at Davos both men can look us in the face and say "told you so". Neither is actually saying that of course. Instead they are putting forward ideas and solutions to get us out of the mess.

What worries me is Roach and Stiglitz are saying the plans on the table won't work, from stimulus packages, to co-ordination, to regulatory reform, they claim more needs to be done. We have ignored these economic rock stars before, to our cost. Let's not make THAT mistake again.

Tune in to CNN International each evening at 1900 GMT to catch my new show, ‘Quest Means Business.'

For more coverage of this year’s World Economic Forum, go to our special Davos page.



soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Mustafa B. AVCI

    Turkish primeminister Tayyip Erdogan was the man of the forum, or the "rock star" you might say.

    January 29, 2009 at 8:11 pm |
  2. George

    The world is in real crisis requiring implementation of real hard solutions so don't expect anything from hollywood stars except their absence.

    January 29, 2009 at 9:52 pm |
  3. moje

    the problem is that all decisions are based on political considerations and party politics. when will our lawmakers and government bigwigs ever think of THE PEOPLE? when will our leaders think, act and talk like real leaders? when will businessmen consider benefits for customers? when will people reject materialism for higher values and real happiness?

    January 30, 2009 at 1:29 am |
  4. Andreas Evans

    It is deeply saddening that Richard Quest (and, to be fair, most of the mainstream media) still puts business leaders on such a pedestal. The media continue to brown-nose these "rock stars" whose incompetence got hardworking people into this mes. They are still in control. The media never questions why.

    January 30, 2009 at 9:20 pm |
  5. roy adams

    hey am i mad as heck.the people that dumped us all in this mess are celebrating their avarice and greed in a style none of us will ever experience.we are all right jack,sod the proleteriat.time to cancel davos and get back to helping people,not helping themselves

    January 31, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  6. Adam

    Yup I second that. Mr Erdogan most certainly rocked.

    February 3, 2009 at 4:31 am |
  7. Richmond Asomaning

    I agree with one of the commenters on the irony of davos. The world economy is in shambles they say but these our leaders can take a few days off their elected or appointed positions of responsibility and accountability toward the people who they represent and really need assistance in some cases urgently and engage in a talk-shop that we have seen one time too many. If we have our own rock stars in our number-filled world of business and economics then they should be seen shining in that capacity by engaging them on some practical immediate short to medium term solution-oriented deliberations with the right people in authority whether it be the World Bank or the IMF than engage people more skilled in the art of speech and vote-amassing.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  8. Jessica Taylor

    stimulus packages are very helpful for kickstarting the economy:-*

    October 6, 2010 at 9:34 am |

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About Quest Means Business

Quest Means Business airs Monday to Friday, 1600 New York and 2100 London, and is hosted by Richard Quest.

 

 

 
 
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