Davos in the Desert is back, and banks and hedge fund managers are flocking to Mister Bone-Saw's side

"Davos in the Desert" is Saudi Arabia's charm offensive aimed at global financial elites, but its launch last year was marred by its close proximity to the gruesome murder and dismemberment of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, carried out at the personal behest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who styles himself a progressive reformer.

Last year, intense pressure on finance industry figures kept many attendees away from the festivities (though the bootlickers who did attend gave Mister Bone-Saw a standing ovation, banishing any doubt about the event's primary purpose, to rehabilitate the reputation of a brutal, murderous, backwards, vicious state governed by idiotic sadists who style themselves "royalty").

It's been a year, though, and Davos in the Desert is back on, and the big money men who sat out last year's event have decided that the situation has cooled off enough that they can safely attend and secure their share of Saudi Arabia's blood money.

Today, attendees at Davos in the Desert can shake hands with Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group; Tidjane Thiam, chief executive of Credit Suisse; and Larry Fink, chairman and chief executive of Blackrock, all of whom pulled out of last year's event.

Also attending: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, World Bank President David Malpass and Jared Kushner.

They are all eager to get a piece of Saudi Aramco, the royal family's oil company, which is expected to go public soon.

Saudi prosecutors have put on trial 11 people who they say were involved in the "rogue operation" that led to Khashoggi's death. They are seeking the death penalty for five of them.

But Human Rights Watch says the trial does not meet international standards and that Saudi authorities have "obstructed meaningful accountability".

Saudi woos back top bosses despite Khashoggi murder [BBC]

(Image: Nyki m, CC BY, modified)