Heard in Davos 2010: Dispatches from the Conference

Plane Spotting Davos Style

Davos is starting to heat up. And aside from the topics of the day—like rethinking economic theory after the global meltdown and trying rebuild trust in governments and business—talk inevitably turns to who's here, and who's not.

The list of who's not this year includes Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase. Dimon, a former chair of the World Economic Forum, says he pulled out for other commitments.

Finding out who is here is a little trickier, because until you actually see folks on the ground, you're taking a chance by assuming the itinerary is accurate.

But some of this year's headliners include French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is giving the opening remarks, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who is set to arrive Wednesday afternoon.

The spotting begins on the plane on the way here. Direct flights to Zurich are loaded with Davos pilgrims. Last year, I spotted billionaire investor George Soros on my plane. (Yes, he actually flies commercial sometimes!) This year, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of TheNew York Times, sat behind me.

Here's the best part; he's reading "War at the Wall Street Journal: Inside the Struggle to Control an American Business Empire".