Davos diary: the last time a Guardian hack spoke to Matt Damon it was fatal …

Remember that moment in Bourne Ultimatum when a fictional Guardian journalist fails to obey instructions from Jason Bourne to avoid CIA snipers in Waterloo station?

Remember that moment in Bourne Ultimatum when a fictional Guardian journalist refuses to obey instructions from the on-the-run Jason Bourne to avoid CIA snipers in Waterloo station? Luckily when a real and very alive Guardian journalist – economics editor Larry Elliott – encountered the actor who played Jason Bourne – Matt Damon – the outcome was not fatal. 

Damon is in Davos to promote his water charity and was fielding questions from reporters (including one from the weather channel asking about global warming) when Elliott asked him about the difficulties in getting water charities on the agenda to compete against more well-promoted causes such as AIDs. 

Adrian Monck, the head PR honcho for the World Economic Forum, couldn’t resist the quip: “We all remember the last time Matt Damon spoke to a Guardian journalist”. It wasn’t immediately clear that those assembled did. Maybe Davos man - 85% of the attendees are indeed male - has no time to go to the movies.

Psy does Davos Gangnam Style

Most of the luminaries of the financial and philanthropic world are at Davos - but who has been the biggest draw so far? Reborn former Barclays boss Bob Diamond? Bill Gates, once again the world’s richest man? Actor Matt Damon and his work for clean water?

Nope. The big buzz going round the resort on Tuesday was that Psy would be at the South Korean reception. The massed ranks of financiers and politicos naturally got ready to party Gangnam Style but Psy wasn’t there to perform his 2012 megahit.

He did, however, press the flesh and have his picture taken, including this snap with Bloomberg’s Francine Lacqua.

Gangnam Style was, in fact, a dig at the inhabitants of Seoul’s opulent Gangnam district and those who try to copy their lavish lifestyles. There wouldn’t be anyone like that at Davos would there? Of course not.

The early bird …

Davos wouldn’t be Davos without Sir Martin Sorrell, the boss of media company WPP. Nor would early morning telly. Welcomed on the early morning show on CNBC (time unclear, but early) Sorrell retorted that he was only the person willing to get up that time of day. Quite.

RBS opens mini Davos HQ

Anyone brave enough to venture out of the Davos congress centre into the cold will quickly stumble upon the blue and white banners of Royal Bank of Scotland. The 81% taxpayer-owned bank has taken a floor in a building just across the road and was handing out breakfast to visitors on Wednesday morning. The bailed out bank is coy about the cost of its mini Davos HQ – known as a chalet in WEF lingo – but defended its decision to take space in the Alpine resort.

“RBS is the biggest backer of UK businesses and plays a key role in helping corporates access international markets. That is why the bank needs to have a presence at events like Davos that are important for our clients,” it said.

RBS clients, step forward. Is it really that important? But then least RBS was open for business - unlike Barclays which was yet to open its meet and greet “chalet”.

RBS Davos HQ

A bit too big brother?

Plenty of discussions about big brother and the digital age, including one involving Marc Benioff, the founder of cloud computing company salesforce.com.

He, for one, seems unconcerned about sharing his personal data, enthusing about his "fitbit" - his favourite gadget.

Not only has he lost 30 pounds by taking 10,000 steps a day, he has also had a phone call from a rival "fitbit" wearer who noticed he hadn't exercised last week. Like others on the US west coast, Benioff had been struck by a cold and decided to take it easy in preparation for Davos. A bit too big brother surely?


Jill Treanor in Davos

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