I’ve finally got my hands on the preliminary speakers schedule for Camp Allen, the nickname given Allen & Co.’s annual summer investment conference for the macho mogul set in bucolic Sun Valley, Idaho. The dates for this sleepaway for plutocrats are July 11th-16th. Highlight (or is it lowlight?): the idea of Barry Diller, Rupert Murdoch and Sir Howard Stringer interviewed by Michael Eisner. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that. But I’m sure everyone will be uber-polite. My prediction is that no one but Eisner will get a word in edgewise. Interesting that it’s Eisner, too, since he’s tried to avoid attending the conference ever since he had his heart episode there. Read my secrets of Camp Allen column which ran 6/29/99 in New York magazine for a fuller understanding of this confab occurring since 1982. The Allen & Co. invitation used to be what separated the adolescents from the boys in Hollywood, a stamp of approval from Wall Street, confirmation that making feature films and sitcoms was an enviable enterprise. For so many years Camp Allen was a secretive gathering of the privileged white men who sat atop America’s entertainment conglomerates and their families, a wilderness confab replete with river-rafting, picnic-table power-lunching, and (the whole purpose of the exercise) hush-hush deal-making. Its apex came back in 1994 as a full-page Vanity Fair spread complete with pedigree-enhancing headline — “THE NEW ESTABLISHMENT” –to describe these Leaders of the Information Age. But then NYC investment banker Herbert Allen Jr.’s retreat changed subtlely in both style (there used be dildos jokingly given out as awards) and substance (its glitzy showbiz element downsized in favor of high-tech and Internet) in 1999. As a result, it’s been far less interesting ever since. Still, 50 corporate jets line the tarmac at nearby Friedman Memorial Airport year after year (see actual photo below from there during conference week 2005):
Wednesday, July 12th — 7:30 AM: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR BUSINESS FAILURE BY DON KEOUGH (ex-chairman Coca-Cola, current chairman Allen & Co); 8:45 AM: eBAY INC.
Thursday, July 13th — 7:30 AM: AMGEN INC.; 8:45 AM: PANEL DISCUSSION/CAN WE END OUR OIL ADDICTION?; 10:25 AM: PANEL DISCUSSION/SEEKING TO UNDERSTAND LATIN AMERICA
Friday, July 14th — 7:30 AM: THE IED CHALLENGE AND HOW WE ARE COUNTERING IT BY GENERAL (RET) MONTGOMERY C. MEIGS; 8:45 AM: BARRY DILLER, RUPERT MURDOCH AND SIR HOWARD STRINGER INTERVIEWED BY MICHAEL EISNER; 10:25 AM: A HEALTHCARE PRESENTATION BY ANDY GROVE (ex-chairman, Intel), WITH DR. TOBY COSGROVE, LAURA LANDRO (Wall Street Journal journalist) AND SECRETARY MICHAEL LEAVITT
Saturday, July 15th — 8:30 AM: PANEL DISCUSSION/THE FAST AND THE CURIOUS – NEW TECHNOLOGIES RACING TO MARKET; 10:15 AM: WARREN BUFFETT INTERVIEWED BY CHARLIE ROSE
Previous: Secrets of Camp Allen column, 6/29/99, in New York magazine.