GLOBAL ELITES!

01.23.13

Reporting From Davos

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev delivers a speech during a session of the World Economic Forum annual meeting Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland. The world’s political and business elite kicked off their annual Davos meeting in a spirit of guarded optimism that the worst of the financial crisis might finally be over. ()

The Huffington Post scored quite a coup, persuading Ian Bremmer to write a daily blog from Davos. Bremmer is one of the sharpest observers of the 21st-century economy. Here's his curtain-raiser from the Swiss forum:

[T]he key risk is the increasing vulnerability of elites. We're seeing leaders of all kinds, in the developed and developing world, in politics as well as business and media, answering to constituents who grow more dissatisfied... and information-rich. Look at the riots in India over the recent rape scandal, the US Congress' abysmal approval ratings, or the phone hacking scandal at News Corp. Corruption, special interests, or a lack of transparency will spell trouble for leaders. The same goes for a widening gap between rich and poor. The threat to elites of all kinds comes in multiple forms: leaders who are battling for legitimacy will struggle to pursue long-term objectives rather than resort to reactive, 'quick fix' approaches. And in some instances, it could destabilize the very institutions--or even governments-- that these elites represent.