Wary of Image, Financial A-Listers Ditch Glitzy Davos

Top bankers, Obama advisers to skip Swiss summit
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 26, 2009 8:01 AM CST
Members of the Swiss army place barbed wire on a fence to secure the area at the helicopter landing place in Davos-Dorf, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009.    (AP Photo/Arno Balzarini)
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(Newser) – The swanky Davos economic summit was once a top destination for financial and economic power players, but many are skipping the glitz this year for fear of sending the wrong message in a tanking economic climate, Reuters reports. Treasury secretary-designate Timothy Geithner is sitting out the resort event, as are other top appointees, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, and recently ousted Bank of America chief John Thain.

"Banking officials have to be concerned with appearances more than ever," said a PR expert. "They should avoid anything that appears super fancy or super-rich, or thumbing their noses at taxpayers during a time of austerity.” Even on the slopes, Davos will be different this year—amid the crisis, attendees should expect a “very hard-working, roll-up-your-sleeves” kind of meeting, said organizers.