Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

The Miseries of a Davos Wife

Tao Associates | Stone | Getty Images

Last year, our favorite story from Davos explained the on-going battle involving wives, mistresses and aspiring mistresses. It was just the right combination of rumor, scandal and cutting details.

The first edition of this year's version of the Davos Wife confessional is somewhat tamer. An unnamed woman spills the beans to Anya Schiffrin, the wife of economist Joseph Stiglitz who was responsible for last year's awesomeness.

For my money, this is the best part:

The men discuss economics and the women discuss how they feel about being Davos Wives. Some swear they won’t come back but they usually do. We trade stories of snubs and panels we couldn’t get into.

Davos is a competitive place; there is always much comparing of notes so people can learn which events they didn’t get invited to. Gossip is a valuable currency — as it is everywhere — so any juicy examples of drunken midnight misdeeds are passed around pretty quickly. A lot of untoward groping goes on after hours and that is discussed quietly rather than openly.

Apparently, whatever happens in Davos doesn't quite stay in Davos.

The latest salvo from Schiffrin gets a bit steamier. Apparently, the pleasures of being a Davos Wife are inversely correlated with the importance of the relevant Davos Man.

I am starting to think that the average lily-livered man may not be able to face the vicissitudes of life at Davos and that we women are much better suited for the event’s rampant paranoia, ego smashing and petty humiliations.

Because we are Davos Wives, we know how to cope. A more important husband means more blatant snubs for the spouse and that means more hilarity. I loved the gorgeous prime minister’s wife who, after reading one of my columns last year, approached me, laughing. “Thank you so much,” she said. “This stuff happens to me all the time. Often the security people won’t even let me get into the car with my husband.”

These are the kind of brutal humiliations that ordinary people cannot even imagine.

(Hat tip: DealBreaker)

Questions? Comments? Email us at

Follow John on Twitter @

Follow NetNet on Twitter @

Facebook us @