The world isn't run by a clever cabal. It's run by about 5,000 bickering, sometimes charming, usually arrogant, mostly male people who are accustomed to living in either phenomenal wealth, or great personal power. A few have both. Many of them turn out to be remarkably naive—especially about science and technology. All of them are financially wise, though their ranks have thinned due to unwise tech-stock investing. They pay close heed to politics, though most would be happy if the global political system behaved far more rationally—better for the bottom line. They work very hard, attending sessions from dawn to nearly midnight, but expect the standards of intelligence and analysis to be the best available in the entire world. They are impatient. They have a hard time reconciling long term issues (global wearming, AIDS pandemic, resource scarcity) with their daily bottomline foci. They are comfortable working across languages, cultures and gender, though white caucasian males still outnumber all other categories. They adore hi-tech gadgets and are glued to their cell phones.
Welcome to Earth: meet the leaders.
The big brou-haha over this is that Laurie Garrett never intended her email to reach a global audience and is quite upset over it. But the letter itself is that rare glimpse into the upper eschelons of world power and since the traditional news media (at least here in the United States) does not cover such events (really, how many here have even heard of the World Economic Forum? Or of Davos?) that this was a natural thing to forward on to friends and friends of friends and so on, because news of this world is so hard to come by.
Perhaps if the traditional media had done their job and covered such unsexy (and even downright scary) stories like this (and the fact that even our ruling jaunta is afraid of a global enomonic meltdown) then Ms. Garrett's email might never had made the rounds to global conversation.