Pandit’s parallel universe of gabfests

By Felix Salmon
November 11, 2010
Vikram Pandit going to go back to Davos in January? He certainly seems to enjoy himself at well-meaning technocratic gabfests:

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Is Vikram Pandit going to go back to Davos in January? He certainly seems to enjoy himself at well-meaning technocratic gabfests:

“I kind of feel like I’m living in parallel universes,” Mr. Pandit said in a forum that included Peter Sands of Standard Chartered Bank and Stephen A. Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group. “I’m here in Korea and I feel this warmth and need and the sense of trying to have a dialogue with each other, but then when I get back to my real universe, it’s cold in that universe.”

Well yes, Vikram, places like the G-20 Business Summit can credibly be described as a parallel universe. But not in a good way. They’re little bubbles of hubris and self-regard, where everybody is admirable, no one ever asks tough personal questions, and the enemy is a faceless mass of populists who just don’t know what’s good for them. I’m sure you feel all manner of warmth when you enter that particular universe, but don’t let it distract you from cold reality.

It’s good that Pandit is cognizant of the disconnect, and is willing to call such conferences out for being divorced from reality. But still, it’s so tempting to give in to their charms. Who doesn’t love to be loved?

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