Nelson Schwartz has a great piece in today's Times about the lack of star power at this year's World Economic Forum. Some of the usual suspects aren't coming because globalization-boosterism is out in this economic climate, or because they're busy fixing their own economies. (Obama isn't coming; neither is his top economic aide, Larry Summers, who was originally scheduled to attend. From what I understand, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner isn't going either.) And some are staying home because they recently got caught redecorating their offices to the tune of $1.2 million. As Schwartz notes:

John A. Thain, the former chief executive of Merrill Lynch, abruptly canceled after being pushed out on Thursday from a top job at Bank of America, which acquired Merrill last year. Mr. Thain, a Davos regular who once ran the New York Stock Exchange, was to have taken part in a panel on Jan. 31, “The Bank of the Future.”

Ah, the pathos.

--Noam Scheiber