AFR business summit
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce at the AFR Business Summit in Sydney. (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

For people interested in how public policy is shaped, and how power is used in Australia, the Financial Review's "business summit" has proved illuminating, albeit not exactly in the way either Nine's management or business leaders might have intended.

Nine's newspaper arm relies on business events to drum up revenue (attending the "summit" to hear the wisdom of our corporate elite costs between $1200 and $2000), attract sponsorship (BHP sponsored the event, and has sponsored other AFR events, which raises an interesting question about how the AFR covers that company), as well as generate copy and burnish its credentials in a fragmenting market place. But, this year, it has also served to illustrate how profoundly out of touch senior business figures remain in Australia.