Scoop: The grandees headed to Saudi Arabia's "Davos in the Desert"

Axios Finance 3 weeks ago

Never mind the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi — there's money to be made. That's the clear message sent by the list of grandees scheduled to attend the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia later this month.

Axios has obtained a "Draft Narrative Program" for the conference, marked "Not Final — Subject to Change." Any of the names on the program could therefore still pull out. Those names include heads of state, including Narendra Modi of India and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.

  • The Trump administration is represented by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner. Former Treasury undersecretary David Malpass, now the president of the World Bank, is also on the list, as is former White House communications chief Anthony Scaramucci.
  • Top financiers scheduled to attend include Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup, Tidjane Thiam, CEO of Credit Suisse, and Noel Quinn, CEO of HSBC. Fund managers include Ray Dalio of Bridgewater, Robert Smith of Vista, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone, Larry Fink of BlackRock, Daniel Loeb of Third Point, and Barry Sternlicht of Starwood.
  • Nine of the panels are moderated by journalists from Bloomberg.
  • Masayoshi Son of Softbank is on the program; he's still trying to raise some $100 billion for Vision Fund 2, largely from Saudi Arabia.
  • Also in attendance, for some reason: will.i.am.

See the whole program here:


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Business Insider › Politics › 3 weeks ago
Key members of Donald Trump's inner circle will attend the Saudi economic forum known as "Davos in the Desert" one year after shunning it in the aftermath of Jamal Khashoggi's murder. US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Trump's son-in-law Jared...
CNN › 1 week ago
Despite the glitz and optics of Davos in the Desert, Saudi Arabia will be hard pressed to gain significant inward investment from it, unless its economic fundamentals and governance improve, writes Varsha Koduvayur, a senior research analyst at the...
Business Insider › Finance › 2 weeks ago
Almost no one attended a panel that included Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank Corp, at Saudi Arabia's Future Investment Initiative conference Wednesday, Bloomberg reported. Son's chilly reception at the conference likely reflects declining interest in...
Washington Post › Opinions › 1 week ago
Saudi Arabia remains not only a rogue state by most international standards-- it also makes an unstable strategic partner for the United States and others.
The Week › 4 days ago
The smartest insight and analysis, from all perspectives, rounded up from around the web: The Saudi conference nicknamed "Davos in the Desert" returned last week — and so did many of the Wall Street A-listers who boycotted it a year ago, said Mohamad...
The Sydney Morning Herald › Finance › 3 weeks ago
Saudi Arabia was seen as an investors' paradise, but the murder of a journalist and the stop-start IPO of an oil giant has taken its toll.
Newsweek › Opinions › 2 weeks ago
A year ago the ruling class—along with many business leaders—largely stayed away from "Davos in the Desert". Not so today.
Al Jazeera › 2 weeks ago
Last year saw top CEOs boycott the event over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by 'rogue agents'.
NBC News › Opinions › 2 weeks ago
The Saudis have made every effort to buy back the world's good will. And to a degree, it seems to be working.
The Guardian › Opinions › 2 weeks ago
Saudi Arabia’s dismal record isn’t deterring Mnuchin, Kushner and a flock of executives from attending ‘Davos in the desert’
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