Davos, as it is commonly called, provides a valuable opportunity for some of the 2,500 delegates to meet at the numerous 'black tie' parties and other lavish events laid on so that they can agree business deals that will add to their personal fortunes. For political leaders it is a chance to hobnob with the 'great and good' and, perhaps, to agree on policies that will garner some votes at the next election.
In the past 30 years, if we look at a country like the US, which can be considered the most visible democracy on earth, about 50% of the country's GDP was transferred from the bottom 90% of the taxpayers to the richest 1% of the Americans. This happened in front of everyone's eyes, in popularly elected governments and freedom of speech.
It's hard to answer why flicking through a giant book that is essentially 'what amount of paper people who are shinier than you have' is so wildly addictive. You can lose a good few hours furiously looking up how much Victoria added to the Beckham pile through her fashion business this year (£30m), or exclaiming with surprise that the latest woman to marry Paul McCartney is independently wealthy (£150m to be exact, who knew?).
The thing about politicians is - if they're not talking, or furiously thinking of a way out of their latest web of deceit, or maybe sleeping (a swift forty winks on the backbenches, the ultimate power nap), then they're most likely at some or other official function, stuffing their faces with the finest of freebie food and drink.