Editorial: That’s where the money is

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Legend has it that when the famous bank robber John Dillinger was asked by a reporter why he always robbed banks, he replied matter-of-factly, “Because that’s where the money is!” By the same token, the answer to the question why our Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, is in Davos, Switzerland, is simple: “Because that’s where the money is!” Davos is a ski resort town in Switzerland where some of the world’s richest congregate to see if there is some way that they can pool their resources and acumen to tackle and solve many of the world’s problems. This gathering of the world’s political and business “masters of the universe,” or “the good and the great” or some of the world’s “wealthiest one percent,” the real “movers and shakers,” is known as the World Economic Forum.

Clearly, any forward-thinking leader with an eye on making the case for his or her country and attracting investment would make his or her way to Davos. Again, “Because that’s where the money is!” In this regard, we applaud the PM for his foresight in making the trek. We certainly wish him all the good fortune and hope that those meetings of the minds will reap manifold benefits for our fair state. After all, if he succeeds, then our blessed Antigua and Barbuda succeeds! We disagree with the PM on a number of matters, but on the question of Davos, we are squarely in his corner.  Some things transcend narrow parochial interests and partisanship, and the economic growth of Antigua and Barbuda is one of them.

Having said that, we cannot resist taking a few jabs at the good PM. For one thing, while there are some among us who, for reasons that are still unclear, insist on referring to him as the “World Boss,” he had better not go over to Switzerland with any of the swagger and self-regard that is sometimes his wont. It is frowned upon in circles where high finance and industry and commerce are being discussed. While some sycophants here seem to exist solely to be in the PM’s orbit, content to be reflections of his “World Bossiness,” in the rarefied air of the Swiss elevations it can be quite off-putting. Indeed, in his very own words, words pointedly aimed at one of our disgruntled entertainers a few days ago, “Attitude determines altitude!” 

Meantime, it is with some measure of relief that we note that the putative “Boss of the Free World,” Donald John Trump, will not be at Davos this year. In fact, neither will any of the ranking officials from his administration, because of the partial government shutdown. Thank God! Can you imagine two world bosses meeting in a chalet on the ski slopes? Actually, it is not difficult to think of what could transpire. Picture it: one declaring to the other that he is the original World Boss, and the other glaring at him with opprobrium; one scolding the other for copying all his words, phrases and style, and the other responding with a loud and disdainful, “Chupz!”  In the place ‘where the money is,’ both men trumpeting (pun intended) how rich they are, and proceeding to call an inventory of their yachts and other expensive toys and holdings. Good grief! Where is John Dillinger to caution these two to quit talking about their personal fortunes? But then again, Davos is the place where people with money talk about . . . well . . . money.

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