Leadership lacking in post-crisis world

Sunday, February 1, 2009 | 10:00 a.m. CST

Loory: The World Economic Forum is now in its 39th year in the Swiss village of Davos, a luxurious Alpine ski resort. This year, thousands of the world’s financial and business leaders from 96 countries gathered with 41 heads of state or governments. Davos grew into a gathering of what author Tom Wolfe once called “the masters of the universe,” business leaders who through power, ambition and greed became super rich at the expense of all the rest of us. This year’s theme of the meeting (was) shaping the post-crisis world. The United States took a lot of heat in Davos for its role in instigating what has become the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin struck that theme in the opening meeting and so did Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. The bankruptcy of Iceland is also on the minds of most of the attendees. The major banks there failed, and the government has collapsed because it could not deal with the problems. What went wrong in Iceland, and why couldn’t the government handle it?