Published January 22, 2013
Landed at Zurich airport around 10 a.m. I honestly never wanted to wake up from my cozy bed on the Swiss Air flight from Kennedy, but when the muesli and coffee arrived I bolted upright. It would be my last chance to eat before the 2 ½ hour drive through the winding roads of the Swiss Alps to the tiny Alpine village that suddenly becomes the place to be for big ideas and concepts.
That’s the whole spirit of the World Economic Forum. The big guy in charge, Klaus Schwab, wants Davos to be a boiling pot of ideas that eventually become reality -- ideas that hopefully help make our world a better place to live in.
Enough people believe it works; you should see the gathering of people who schlep up the mountain every year, and I’m not just talking about CEOs of companies like Coca-Cola (KO), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), the NASDAQ (NDAQ), Indian conglomerates like Mahindra Group, Russian oligarchs and world leaders.
Every year I come, I run into the president of Yale, Richard Levin. Billionaire investor Jeff Greene is coming. He made his billions shorting sub-prime mortgages when everyone else was flipping condos. Chen Feng, the brains behind Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, which owns HNA Airlines. Oh, and by the way, Beijing International Airport is about to take the top spot away from Atlanta’s Hartsfield as the world’s busiest airport. What is Chen doing right? He’ll be on FOX Business this week.
We’ve landed an interview with him and every other news-maker you need to hear from. I’m off to finish studying my notes for our interviews with Medtronic (MDT) CEO Omar Ishrak (world’s largest pure-play medical device maker), Stanley Fischer, Israel’s ‘Ben Bernanke’, Merck (MRK) CEO Ken Frazier, Carlos Ghosn of Nissan Renault, and Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla.
Then, sleeeeeeeep. Any ideas for battling jet-lag, send ‘em my way, s’il vous plait!