Never accuse Serbia’s head of debt management of being celebrity-illiterate. When OOTW met him in DC, he launched into a tale about spotting raw-beef-loving popstress Lady Gaga in a Belgrade restaurant — then rushing over to grab a selfie. The DMO is clearly quite the hanger-on, having once ambushed Daniel Craig — James Bond himself — in a London limousine. Larks!
Do as I say, not as I do
Tobias Adrian found himself on a sticky wicket after warning about rising risks in the financial system — before claiming the threat of secession in Catalonia presented zero threat to Spain’s brittle banking system. The audience scented blood. One delegate accused the IMF’s financial stability head of being “guilty of the same complacency” by refusing to engage in the debate. Adrian squirmed in his chair, but remained staunchly silent.
To be, or Knot to be
The tall, bespectacled figure of Klaas Knot is hard to miss, but IMF chief Christine Lagarde gave it a go yesterday. Introducing the esteemed Dutchman at a fintech panel, she paused at his side and asked if he was head of the Nederlandsche Bank. “Yes of course”, Knot said, eyebrows jiggling in surprise. “Good, sometimes you wonder,” Lagarde shot back, to widespread mirth — and confusion.
Delegates attending the IIF conference in the Ronald Reagan building enjoyed listening to banter between panellists as they wandered to the green room after a debate — totally unaware that their microphones remained fully on. Surely it’s only a matter of time before something truly juicy is uttered. The Reagan building would be an apt place for it to happen — remember dear old Ronnie in 1984 announcing during a sound check that he had signed legislation outlawing Russia and that bombing would start in five minutes?
You are number one
Speaking of colourful banter — and no, we aren’t talking about Signore Numero Uno, the debonair Italian super-hack, yet to make an appearance at this year’s event. German minister Wolfgang Schäuble earned a standing ovation for a speech urging the audience to commit to multilateralism. It’s not clear though whether the happy clappers were engaging with this message, or with him calling them members of a global “elite”.
Man with a tan
How wonderful it is to live in a free country. The US has its flaws to be sure — but how many nations would allow a bemuscled chap to stand outside the president’s abode in a vest bearing the legend: “Impeach 45”. What did he have against The Donald, OOTW wondered. “He’s too orange. I don’t like his tan,” came the colourful reply.