It’s snow joke as Merkel faces Davos bookies

THE MOST important people in the world are currently packing their toothbrushes, making sure the neighbour will feed the cat and getting ready for five days discussing the global financial system in the Swiss Alps.

But The Capitalist wonders whether those attending this week’s World Economic Forum – or Davos to you and me – really have much fun. Moreover, do those world leaders ever want to skip another roundtable on reforming ratings agencies and mess about on the slopes?

Ladbrokes has been thinking along the same lines and has opened a range of markets for those whose mind instinctively drifts to less weighty matters than the financial crisis.

You can get 8/1 on Germany’s Chancellor, the never-caught-smiling-in-public Angela Merkel, being hit with a snowball at any point during the event. Alternatively, a joint sledging session involving David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne is a hefty 100/1.

And while Cameron insists his favourite band is The Smiths, there’s a good value 33/1 that the Prime Minister is spotted on a night out with U2 frontman Bono.

Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: “Should Merkel get pelted during Davos the odds on who threw the snowballs will be pretty short. As for the serious stuff it doesn’t look like there will be any immediate solution this week.”

Davos has traditionally been a mysterious event, with the real business happening well away from the prying eyes of journalists. So it’s unfortunate that the entire 2,630-strong attendance list for this year’s event has been leaked to the Quartz website. It shows Barclays is sending chief executive Antony Jenkins – but RBS’ Stephen Hester and Lloyds’ António Horta-Osório are missing out. Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and David Cameron will also be at the event. But the best job title on the list? That’s Rossanna Figuera, “Ambassador of Good Things” at food firm Wafels & Dinges.