January 29, 2009
Posted: 1229 GMT
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.