Sun Valley's epitaph

July 15, 2009: 3:14 PM ET

gorillasThere were no big deals. There weren't even very many interesting conversations. The frustration of the media who cover the event was palpable. There was so little information and activity, in fact, that there wasn't even much for them to make up. They hate that.

The two biggest items to emerge were that everybody liked to talk about Twitter but nobody could figure out whether it had a business model, including the guy who runs it... and that Warren Buffett looks terrific on the golf course, where he was paired with Bill Gates.

That's what the business universe has come to at this point. Gates and Buffett playing golf. Nobody doing anything much else.

One final aspect of the conference is most intriguing, however. A pal of mine who was there made this observation: "You know," he said, "about half of the people there were out of a job."  He then rattled off the names of about half a dozen megalithic players who dominated the Jurrasic era before our current ice age descended. You know them. You read about them for decades. None of them are working. All of them were present just as if they were still masters of their various universes. 

I'm not going to mention their names because even in limbo they are more powerful than actual, working executives, far fewer of whom, it appears, now have the time to attend this particular once-seminal event.

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