The mystery row at the New Economy Forum
The Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore in November was quite a thing.
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger
Deliberately keeping the number of attendees low and the seniority high, the exalted few who made it in to the Capella Hotel on Sentosa found themselves mingling with the likes of Henry Kissinger, Janet Yellen, Hank Paulson and Anwar Ibrahim, most of them without entourages.
Euromoney alone managed a near-collision with former Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, who was looking for the library, and we later found ourselves between former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd and a door through which he wished to proceed.
Arriving media were told to get there early for vetting; in Euromoney’s case, at 6.45am on the Deepavali public holiday, at a different hotel, the W, from which we were shipped into a basement services level at the Capella to hang around for an hour and a half before it all got going. It felt like Homeland.
The tone was set swiftly as Mike Bloomberg name-checked Kissinger and Paulson as personal friends in his first minute on-stage. Being a friend of Mike is a powerful thing, and there was a feeling of considerable import.
Feeling of history
Kissinger’s voice is now so deep that at times it can only be detected by whales and advanced sonar.