And we had the The National Cherry Blossom Festival and the Patraeus Hearings. Universal Pictures has been filming State of Play here (with Ben Affleck and Russell Crowe). And this week it’s time for the really exciting stuff, the 2008 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group aka “All you wanted to know about SAPs (Structural Adjustements Programs) and their impact om third world countries and were afraid to ask.”
If you are not like me and you do feel a certain nostalgia for the meetings of the now defunct Soviet Politburo in Moscow, this is the place for you to be this week. Seven days of non-stop press conferences (that pretend to be “seminars,” “lunches,” “briefings,” etc.) during which pompous government officials, bankers and other apparatchicks from all around the world talk for hours on hours and basically say nothing. It costs a lot of momey and causes major traffic jams in Washington, and it only provides some business for limousine, catering and escort services that are meeded to entertain battalions of American and foreign dignitaries who converge on the city. It certainly doesn’t help hard-working Americans or starving kids in Africa.
I started covering these bi-annual events about ten years ago (another set of meetings takes place in September, but for some reason — don’t ask me why — they’re not called the “Autumn Meetings”). I’m still “covering” these events in the sense that I’m writing about them. But I stopped attending them. Why waste my time during a sunny day of spring listening to this? or some other blah, blah, blah from the G-7 finance ministers. No pizzaz here. Where are Wolfowitz and Shaha when you really need them?