Category Archives: Global Elite

Russell Brand on the recent Bilderberg Group meeting

Rupert Murdoch Among The Most Corrupt Oligarchs in the World: Interview with Bill Black

William K. Black is a lawyer, academic, author, and a former bank regulator. Black played a central role in exposing Congressional corruption during the Savings and Loan Crisis. He is the author of several books including ‘The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One‘ and also writes regularly at New Economic Perspectives.

The Bankers of Bilderberg: The hills are alive with the sound of money

Charlie Skelton write for International Business Times:

Henry de CastriesThe dust has settled on another Bilderberg summit. George Osborne is safely back in Westminster, his mind a whirl from three solid days of seminars and discussions about European strategy, globalisation and Greece.

The attention-dodging three-day meeting was held in a luxury Tyrolean hotel, tucked up an alp in Austria. There were no singing nuns being chased around by evil Nazis to be seen; instead, it was the master race of big finance – dressed in a camouflage baseball caps and beige slacks – aka the Talent, the rain-makers, the big-hitters and “the smartest guys (and a gal) in the room”.

It was the usual heady mix of politicians and venture capitalists, senior policymakers and some extremely powerful investment bankers. Each year, the heads of some gigantic asset management companies find the time for Bilderberg, including this year the CEO of the world’s 6thlargest: JPMorgan Asset Management.

JPMorgan was also represented at the Austrian summit by four members of its International Council, including Henry Kissinger and Turkish billionaire Mustafa Koç. HSBC had three people at the summit, including group chairman Douglas Flint. Goldman Sachs flew in four.’


Bilderberg looks to the future but is stuck in the past

Charlie Skelton writes for The Guardian:

An armoured personnel carrier sits in the woods during the Bilderberg conference.Disturbing news has emerged that a bullet was fired at a police helicopter during this year’s Bilderberg conference. Who would do such a thing? It turns out, the people who would do it are the police. The bullet was fired accidentally, admits a government spokesperson, by a member of Austria’s elite EKO Cobra counter-terrorism squad: the rifle went off when the officer was climbing into the helicopter.

Luckily, no one was hurt. One helicopter was slightly injured. That’s a relief, although it begs the question: what on earth is a crack anti-terror unit doing flying helicopter patrols around Telfs with live ammo and the safety off? Last time I looked we’re in the Tyrol, not Vietnam.

It seems appropriate that the single act of violence perpetrated towards police at Bilderberg 2015 was the direct result of their crazily heavy policing. In fact, the only injury the police received the entire time was when an officer sprained his lips from going “brrrm brrrm brrrm” while sitting in their redundant armoured personnel carrier and pretending to drive it.

The police won’t spend money on a much-needed press accreditation centre here, but they’re happy to splash out on an armour-plated snowplough. What a joke.’


Bilderberg 2015: TTIP and a travesty of transparency

Charlie Skelton writes for The Guardian:

Jessica T Mathews travels on a coach at the Bilderberg summit. She is on the steering committee of the summit and also on the advisory council of Transparency International USA.Weaving down the alp came the Bilderbus, taking delegates on a whistlestop tour of the Tyrol. Buzzing along above it, at a crazy height, was its helicopter escort. I swear I could have bounced a euro off the roof of the coach and into the blades. If I’d wanted to have been dropped by an NSA sniper.

In the coach below it must have been like being in a washing machine. No wonder the delegates on board looked grumpy. Sitting up front, Jessica T Mathews had a face like thunder. Although maybe the cause of her headache wasn’t the helicopter, but rather the howling contradiction of being on the steering committee of the world’s most secretive policy summit and also on the advisory council of Transparency International USA.

Also on the bus was James Wolfensohn. A fellow member of TI-USA’s advisory council, Wolfensohn was the joint winner of their 2014 “integrity award”, an honour he shared with that other famous transparency campaigner, and the world’s fourth-biggest arms company, Raytheon. Previous winners of the integrity award include (and I kid you not) Coca-Cola, General Electric and the then secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton. The great email deleter herself. I think someone should tell TI-USA what “transparency” means. There may have been a mix-up somewhere down the line.

When it comes to transparency, this year’s Bilderberg summit fails in every way imaginable. Three prime ministers, two foreign ministers, one president, no press conference. No public oversight. Just a bunch of senior policymakers locked away for three days with some incredibly powerful corporate lobbyists, discussing subjects intimately related to public policy. Subjects such as “globalisation” and “current economic issues”, which in practical terms mean the giant trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).’


Koç pops up at Bilderberg: could this be the year to let it all hang out?

Charlie Skelton writes for The Guardian:

Mustafa Koç arrives at Bilderberg 2015.There was an unfortunate limo-jam outside the gates of the Interalpen-Hotel. Over to the side was a whispering huddle of police, flicking hopelessly through a list of names and shrugging, while a row of V12 Mercedes idled angrily. What was happening? Had the organisers realised they’d made a terrible mistake inviting Ed Balls and scratched his name at the last minute?

A people carrier pulled up to the back of the queue, carrying a face I knew well. It was Turkish billionaire and Bilderberg steering committee member, Mustafa Koç. He rubbed the back of his wrestler’s neck with a meaty hand and looked profoundly unamused by the Koç block. I haven’t witnessed a Koç being denied entry this embarrassingly since my university leaving ball.

After snapping a quick Koç pic I ventured a hello. “Mr Koç!” I cried, and gave a friendly wave. He nodded back. I introduced myself, and took his photo again. This suddenly felt a little rude in the middle of a more than usually human moment, so I apologised. “No problem,” he said, and smiled.

Oh my goodness, this was it: dialogue! The great I-Thou connection at the root of all human interaction. Me and Koç, two souls reaching out to each other, across the barricades. I pressed on.’


The continual police checks are ruining my Bilderberg party

Charlie Skelton writes for The Guardian:

A sign in front of a police checkpoint on a road leading to the Interalpen-Hotel Tirol, venue of the Bilderberg conference.I had three Austrian policemen in my hotel room last night. They stood there all grim faced with their fluorescent bibs, torches and sidearms. It was like the worst ever fancy dress party. I offered them a pilsner. They declined. They were too busy checking my ID that had been carefully checked 10 minutes prior at a police checkpoint. And carefully checked two minutes prior to that, at another police checkpoint.

This third check took so long, it was so late, and my patience was so thin, that eventually I took my shirt and trousers off in front of the officers. “I’m having a shower,” I explained, and went and had one. When I’d finished, I came out in my towel, thinking they might be gone. They weren’t. “Put your clothes on please and come to your car.” This party wasn’t getting any better.

Out at my car I couldn’t be bothered to get into the whole ‘probable cause’ thing so I flung open the doors and with as much good cheer as I could muster, said “help yourself”. They did. While one set of police searched my car with their torches, another lot clustered round me and asked me questions: “Where do you live? What are you doing here?” I’m a journalist and I live in a police state. What about you?’


At the G7, we journalists were pampered – at Bilderberg we’re harassed by police

Charlie Skelton writes for The Guardian:

A mobile radar station supplied to cover the Bilderberg conferenceThe clock has struck midnight. The dream is over. Back at the G7 summit, barely a day and 20 miles from here, I was treated like a prince. I was one of the chosen 3,000 journalists who were primped, pampered, fed and burped, given free T-shirts, gallons of goulash, buckets of booze, and all the cheesy footage of world leaders we could swallow. We lay back on our branded beanbags and were tickled silly by the gentle fist of the G7 PR machine. But not any more. The beanbag has burst.

“Step out of the vehicle and show me your identification!” A group of Austrian police officers took up position round my car. I pulled on the handbrake and opened the door. I swear to God one young officer shifted his hand to the butt of his sidearm, like I was about to rush them. All 12 of them. All armed. Maybe if there had only been 10 I might have taken them down using a slingshot improvised from my shoelaces, but not 12. I might be crazy but I’m not nuts.

Bear in mind, this checkpoint is all part of the same security operation, using the same police, that covered the G7. That much was admitted months ago by the Austrian authorities. It’s the exact same government-run operation that found room in its half-billion–or-so-euro budget to set up an air-conditioned accreditation centre in Garmisch and hand out branded lanyards and glossy press passes to journalists who had been duly checked out. But for some reason they can’t quite manage to do the same thing here.’


David Petraeus’ Powerful Friends Ask For Leniency on Classified Leaks

Cora Currier writes for The Intercept:

Featured photo - Leak Critics Ask Judge Not to Send Petraeus to Jail for Unauthorized DisclosuresSenators, generals, ambassadors, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the owner of The Atlantic were in the roster of powerful voices who wrote to a federal judge to ask him to go easy on former CIA director and retired general David Petraeus, who admitted to giving classified information to his mistress and biographer.

Petraeus pleaded guilty in April to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information and was sentenced to two years probation and a $100,000 fine. The punishment stands in contrast to far harsher penalties sought for whistleblowers and leakers in less prominent positions.

The letters, released by a federal court in North Carolina today, attest to Petraeus’s good character, and many ask that he not face jail time.’


Forget the G7 summit – Bilderberg is where the big guns go

Charlie Skelton writes for The Guardian:

Austrian police officers check cars near the town of Telfs, prior the 2015 Bilderberg conference.As one summit closes, another opens. Thursday sees the start of the influential Bilderberg policy conference, which this year is being held in Austria, just 16 miles south of the G7 summit, and in a similarly inaccessible luxury alpine resort.The participant list for the conference has just been released by the organisation, and some big names leap off the page.

No fewer than three serving European prime ministers will be attending, from Holland, Finland and Belgium. They will be discussing “European strategy” with the head of Nato, Jens Stoltenberg, and the president of Austria, Heinz Fisher. Two European finance ministers are on the list: one Dutch, the other George Osborne. The UK chancellor is a regular attendee of the Bilderberg summit, and this year he will be showing off his post-election glow. Unlike that other Bilderberg regular, Ed Balls, who is being invited back despite having by some considerable distance the weakest job title on the list: “former shadow chancellor of the exchequer.

Europe’s hottest financial potato, Greece, is on the conference agenda, and it’s good to know Benoît Coeuré, a member of the executive board of the European Central Bank will be there to discuss it in strictest privacy with interested parties, such as the heads of Deutsche Bank, Lazard, Banco Santander and HSBC.

The scandal-hit HSBC and everyone’s favourite vampire squid, Goldman Sachs, are both extremely well represented at this year’s conference. HSBC in particular by their chairman, their busy chief legal officer, and board member Rona Fairhead, who is also on the board of PepsiCo, and the chairman of the BBC Trust. Good to know the BBC is in such safe hands.’


The G7 media centre – a German sausage factory of news

Charlie Skelton writes for The Guardian:

The media centre at the Elmau G7 summit in Germany.[…] Now I know the buffet is amazing, but the truth is there’s not a single good reason why any of us are here. It would be far quicker, and involve fewer taxpayer-funded cocktail bars, simply to email all the clips, photos and information to whoever wanted them.

That’s what I find so surreal about this amazing press centre. It doesn’t need to be here. No one needs to be here. I don’t need to be here.

In fact, I’m leaving now to head 26km south to the Bilderberg policy summit, where the head of Nato, the prime ministers of Holland, Finland and Belgium, the president of Austria, and the chancellor of the exchequer will be meeting for three days with the heads of HSBC, Shell, BP and Deutsche Bank.

It’s every bit as important as the G7. Some would say more so. But because it’s a little bit tricky to report on, with nothing except a skeletal agenda handed out, no footage or photos given to the press, the number of mainstream journalists reporting from the event will drop from 3,000 to about 11.

Go figure.’


Bilderberg Participant Profile: Peter Sutherland


‘The businessman and barrister, Peter Sutherland, is the Chairman of Goldman Sachs International, the former Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, and a longtime Bilderberg attendee.

He sits on the board of directors of Koç Holding, the largest industrial conglomerate in Turkey, whose Chairman is Mustafa Koç, a member of the Bilderberg Steering Committee.

Sutherland’s career spans the public and corporate worlds: he is, for example, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary- General (SRSG) for International Migration, and is on the Supervisory Board of Allianz SE, the German multinational financial services company. Until 2009, Sutherland was Chairman of BP and the vice chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists.

Sutherland is one of the “high priests of globalisation” to quote former Observer editor and one-time conference attendee, Will Hutton. The co-founders of Spinwatch have described Sutherland as “truly one of the global elite” and “one of the most influential global political figures in the last 30 years.” They added that: “No public figure has ever elected Peter Sutherland, yet he has had a far greater political impact in the past two decades than almost all of the democratically elected leaders in the world.”’


Bilderberg 2015 Press Release and Participants List

63rd Bilderberg conference to take place from 11 – 14 June 2015 in Telfs-Buchen, Austria.

Telfs-Buchen, 8 June 2015 – The 63rd  Bilderberg conference is set to take place from 11 – 14 June 2015 in Telfs-Buchen, Austria. A total of around 140 participants from 22 countries have confirmed their attendance. As ever, a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media have been invited.

The key topics for discussion this year include:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity
  • Chemical Weapons Threats
  • Current Economic Issues
  • European Strategy
  • Globalisation
  • Greece
  • Iran
  • Middle East
  • NATO
  • Russia
  • Terrorism
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • US Elections

Founded in 1954, the Bilderberg conference is an annual meeting designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America. Every year, between 120-150 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media are invited to take part in the conference. About two thirds of the participants come from Europe and the rest from North America; approximately one third from politics and government and the rest from other fields.

The conference is a forum for informal discussions about major issues facing the world. The meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule, which states that participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s) nor of any other participant may be revealed.

Thanks to the private nature of the conference, the participants are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions. As such, they can take time to listen, reflect and gather insights. There is no desired outcome, no minutes are taken and no report is written. Furthermore, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.

Final list of Participants


Castries, Henri de Chairman and CEO, AXA Group FRA
Achleitner, Paul M. Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG DEU
Agius, Marcus Non-Executive Chairman, PA Consulting Group GBR
Ahrenkiel, Thomas Director, Danish Intelligence Service (DDIS) DNK
Allen, John R. Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, US Department of State USA
Altman, Roger C. Executive Chairman, Evercore USA
Applebaum, Anne Director of Transitions Forum, Legatum Institute POL
Apunen, Matti Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA FIN
Baird, Zoë CEO and President, Markle Foundation USA
Balls, Edward M. Former Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer GBR
Balsemão, Francisco Pinto Chairman, Impresa SGPS PRT
Barroso, José M. Durão Former President of the European Commission PRT
Baverez, Nicolas Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP FRA
Benko, René Founder, SIGNA Holding GmbH AUT
Bernabè, Franco Chairman, FB Group SRL ITA
Beurden, Ben van CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc NLD
Bigorgne, Laurent Director, Institut Montaigne FRA
Boone, Laurence Special Adviser on Financial and Economic Affairs to the President FRA
Botín, Ana P. Chairman, Banco Santander ESP
Brandtzæg, Svein Richard President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA NOR
Bronner, Oscar Publisher, Standard Verlagsgesellschaft AUT
Burns, William President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace USA
Calvar, Patrick Director General, DGSI FRA
Castries, Henri de Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings; Chairman and CEO, AXA Group FRA
Cebrián, Juan Luis Executive Chairman, Grupo PRISA ESP
Clark, W. Edmund Retired Executive, TD Bank Group CAN
Coeuré, Benoît Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank INT
Coyne, Andrew Editor, Editorials and Comment, National Post CAN
Damberg, Mikael L. Minister for Enterprise and Innovation SWE
De Gucht, Karel Former EU Trade Commissioner, State Minister BEL
Dijsselbloem, Jeroen Minister of Finance NLD
Donilon, Thomas E. Former U.S. National Security Advisor; Partner and Vice Chair, O’Melveny & Myers LLP USA
Döpfner, Mathias CEO, Axel Springer SE DEU
Dowling, Ann President, Royal Academy of Engineering GBR
Dugan, Regina Vice President for Engineering, Advanced Technology and Projects, Google USA
Eilertsen, Trine Political Editor, Aftenposten NOR
Eldrup, Merete CEO, TV 2 Danmark A/S DNK
Elkann, John Chairman and CEO, EXOR; Chairman, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ITA
Enders, Thomas CEO, Airbus Group DEU
Erdoes, Mary CEO, JP Morgan Asset Management USA
Fairhead, Rona Chairman, BBC Trust GBR
Federspiel, Ulrik Executive Vice President, Haldor Topsøe A/S DNK
Feldstein, Martin S. President Emeritus, NBER;  Professor of Economics, Harvard University USA
Ferguson, Niall Professor of History, Harvard University, Gunzberg Center for European Studies USA
Fischer, Heinz Federal President AUT
Flint, Douglas J. Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc GBR
Franz, Christoph Chairman of the Board, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd CHE
Fresco, Louise O. President and Chairman Executive Board, Wageningen University and Research Centre NLD
Griffin, Kenneth Founder and CEO, Citadel Investment Group, LLC USA
Gruber, Lilli Executive Editor and Anchor “Otto e mezzo”, La7 TV ITA
Guriev, Sergei Professor of Economics, Sciences Po RUS
Gürkaynak, Gönenç Managing Partner, ELIG Law Firm TUR
Gusenbauer, Alfred Former Chancellor of the Republic of Austria AUT
Halberstadt, Victor Professor of Economics, Leiden University NLD
Hampel, Erich Chairman, UniCredit Bank Austria AG AUT
Hassabis, Demis Vice President of Engineering, Google DeepMind GBR
Hesoun, Wolfgang CEO, Siemens Austria AUT
Hildebrand, Philipp Vice Chairman, BlackRock Inc. CHE
Hoffman, Reid Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn USA
Ischinger, Wolfgang Chairman, Munich Security Conference INT
Jacobs, Kenneth M. Chairman and CEO, Lazard USA
Jäkel, Julia CEO, Gruner + Jahr DEU
Johnson, James A. Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners USA
Juppé, Alain Mayor of Bordeaux, Former Prime Minister FRA
Kaeser, Joe President and CEO, Siemens AG DEU
Karp, Alex CEO, Palantir Technologies USA
Kepel, Gilles University Professor, Sciences Po FRA
Kerr, John Deputy Chairman, Scottish Power GBR
Kesici, Ilhan MP, Turkish Parliament TUR
Kissinger, Henry A. Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc. USA
Kleinfeld, Klaus Chairman and CEO, Alcoa USA
Knot, Klaas H.W. President, De Nederlandsche Bank NLD
Koç, Mustafa V. Chairman, Koç Holding A.S. TUR
Kogler, Konrad Director General, Directorate General for Public Security AUT
Kravis, Henry R. Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. USA
Kravis, Marie-Josée Senior Fellow and Vice Chair, Hudson Institute USA
Kudelski, André Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group CHE
Lauk, Kurt President, Globe Capital Partners DEU
Lemne, Carola CEO, The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise SWE
Levey, Stuart Chief Legal Officer, HSBC Holdings plc USA
Leyen, Ursula von der Minister of Defence DEU
Leysen, Thomas Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group BEL
Maher, Shiraz Senior Research Fellow, ICSR, King’s College London GBR
Markus Lassen, Christina Head of Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Security Policy and Stabilisation DNK
Mathews, Jessica T. Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace USA
Mattis, James Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University USA
Maudet, Pierre Vice-President of the State Council, Department of Security, Police and the Economy of Geneva CHE
McKay, David I. President and CEO, Royal Bank of Canada CAN
Mert, Nuray Columnist, Professor of Political Science, Istanbul University TUR
Messina, Jim CEO, The Messina Group USA
Michel, Charles Prime Minister BEL
Micklethwait, John Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg LP USA
Minton Beddoes, Zanny Editor-in-Chief, The Economist GBR
Monti, Mario Senator-for-life; President, Bocconi University ITA
Mörttinen, Leena Executive Director, The Finnish Family Firms Association FIN
Mundie, Craig J. Principal, Mundie & Associates USA
Munroe-Blum, Heather Chairperson, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board CAN
Netherlands, H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of the NLD
O’Leary, Michael CEO, Ryanair Plc IRL
Osborne, George First Secretary of State and Chancellor of the Exchequer GBR
Özel, Soli Columnist, Haberturk Newspaper; Senior Lecturer, Kadir Has University TUR
Papalexopoulos, Dimitri Group CEO, Titan Cement Co. GRC
Pégard, Catherine President, Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles FRA
Perle, Richard N. Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute USA
Petraeus, David H. Chairman, KKR Global Institute USA
Pikrammenos, Panagiotis Honorary President of The Hellenic Council of State GRC
Reisman, Heather M. Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc. CAN
Rocca, Gianfelice Chairman, Techint Group ITA
Roiss, Gerhard CEO, OMV Austria AUT
Rubin, Robert E. Co Chair, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury USA
Rutte, Mark Prime Minister NLD
Sadjadpour, Karim Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace USA
Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, Pedro Leader, Partido Socialista Obrero Español PSOE ESP
Sawers, John Chairman and Partner, Macro Advisory Partners GBR
Sayek Böke, Selin Vice President, Republican People’s Party TUR
Schmidt, Eric E. Executive Chairman, Google Inc. USA
Scholten, Rudolf CEO, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG AUT
Senard, Jean-Dominique CEO, Michelin Group FRA
Sevelda, Karl CEO, Raiffeisen Bank International AG AUT
Stoltenberg, Jens Secretary General, NATO INT
Stubb, Alexander Prime Minister FIN
Suder, Katrin Deputy Minister of Defense DEU
Sutherland, Peter D. UN Special Representative; Chairman, Goldman Sachs International IRL
Svanberg, Carl-Henric Chairman, BP plc; Chairman, AB Volvo SWE
Svarva, Olaug CEO, The Government Pension Fund Norway NOR
Thiel, Peter A. President, Thiel Capital USA
Tsoukalis, Loukas President, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy GRC
Üzümcü, Ahmet Director-General, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons INT
Vitorino, António M. Partner, Cuetrecasas, Concalves Pereira, RL PRT
Wallenberg, Jacob Chairman, Investor AB SWE
Weber, Vin Partner, Mercury LLC USA
Wolf, Martin H. Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times GBR
Wolfensohn, James D. Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn and Company USA
Zoellick, Robert B. Chairman, Board of International Advisors, The Goldman Sachs Group USA

Tony Blair Questioned About His Attendance at Bilderberg in 1993

Bilderberg Participant Profile: John Elkann


John Elkann is the grandson of the famous Italian industrialist, Gianni Agnelli. He is the Executive Director of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a director of News Corp and the Economist Group, and a regular participant at Bilderberg meetings.

Here he is the stylish Elkann at the 2014 Bilderberg conference in Copenhagen, in conversation with Evan Greenberg (board member of Coca-Cola):


And here is trotting after Alex Karp (CEO, Palantir Technologies, described by Forbes in 2013 as “a CIA-Funded Data-Mining Juggernaut”) and Klaus Kleinfeld (CEO of Alcoa, and director of Morgan Stanley and Hewlett Packard):



Bilderberg Conference 2015: June 11-14th


interalpenThe 63rd annual Bilderberg policy summit starts on June 11 at the Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol in Austria – 3 days after the G7, and 26km from Schloss Elmau. The Austrian police have confirmed that the same security operation is covering both events.

The Bilderberg conference is an annual meeting of around 140 politicians, EU policymakers, industry leaders & European royalty.

Participants at the 2014 conference in Copenhagen included:- the head of the IMF, the head of Nato, the head of MI6, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the Swedish and Spanish foreign ministers, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Chairmen of the Greek and Canadian national banks, the Chairman & CEO of Shell, the Executive Chairman of Google, the Chairman of Deutsche Bank, the Chairman of HSBC, the Chairman & Chief Executive of BP and the CEO of Airbus.

The Bilderberg Group is governed by a Steering Committee, chaired by Henri de Castries, Chairman & CEO of AXA. Also on the Steering Committee are: James A. Johnson, a director of Goldman Sachs; Klaus Kleinfeld, a director of Morgan Stanley; Peter Thiel, a director of Facebook; Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman & CEO of Lazard; and Robert Zoellick, Chairman of Goldman Sachs’ Board of International Advisors.

The conference agenda is set to include the situation in Ukraine and Syria, and the TTIP trade agreement: senior lobbyists for TTIP from the business and financial sector will be attending.’


92% Of Hedge Fund Capital Concentrated Among Top 11% Of Fund Managers

Value Walk reports:

According to Preqin, the 570 firms that make up the $1bn Club, hedge fund managers that have amassed at least $1bn in assets, now control $2.78tn in assets out of the total $3.16tn* for the industry.

The hedge fund industry has now reached $3.16tn in assets as of the end of Q1 2015, but a growing proportion of these assets are concentrated among a small pool of large managers. The “$1bn Club”, which now includes 570 managers, represents 11% of the total 5,122 single-manager hedge fund managers across the globe. But these firms command a total of $2.78tn of industry capital, which amounts to 92% of the total assets in Hedge Funds.’

hedge funds


Bilderberg: Making a Mockery of Ministerial Transparency Data

Charlie Skelton writes for Transparency International:

Osborne“Information is power,” said David Cameron in July 2011. “It lets people hold the powerful to account”. However, not all information is of the same quality. Good information is power. But bad information is disempowering.

The annual Bilderberg Conference is a particularly acute example. At the annual conference, participants have an implicit commitment to confidentiality over their meetings, undermining the public commitments of transparency over lobbying and the value of the UK’s Ministerial lobbying and gifts & hospitality transparency data. Where information is published, it has been found to be internally inconsistent, incomplete and inaccurate.

In the Treasury’s quarterly transparency data for April-June 2014, in the list of George Osborne’s “overseas travel”, is the record of a trip made on “30 – 31 May 2014”. Destination: Switzerland. Purpose of trip: the Bilderberg conference. One tiny mistake: the 2014 Bilderberg conference wasn’t in Switzerland. It was in Denmark.

A slip of the fingers by a 19-year-old doing work experience at the Treasury, perhaps. But this error is indicative of the quality of the data published about ministers’ participation in the annual Bilderberg conference – a yearly international summit of 130 or so high-ranking politicians, bank bosses, IMF chiefs, Nato heads and corporate CEOs.’


Jose Manuel Barroso, Austerity Politics and the European Future

Andrew Gavin Marshall wrote in February:

In June of 2009, the European Parliament held elections – the only aspect of the European Union requiring democratic participation by the people of Europe as they elect MEPs to a rubber-stamp parliament that holds virtually no power. That year, center-right parties across much of Europe “celebrated a resounding election victory.” In particular, José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, declared the election results were “an undeniable victory for those parties and candidates that support the European project.”

That same month, Barroso was campaigning to keep his position as EC president for a second term, hosting a dinner in Brussels for European leaders that “transformed into a glorified job interview” where Barroso had to “make his pitch.” The “unique and elaborate process” of achieving and maintaining top spots in the EU’s technocratic hierarchy reflected a “love of complexity,” explained the New York Times. But, more importantly, it reflected Europe’s “reliance on brutal power politics, as countries try to use their votes as leverage, seeking concessions from the next president.”

Barroso, who served as prime minister of Portugal from 2002 to 2004, has attended numerous meetings with the Bilderberg Group: in 1994, 2003, 2005 and 2013. On top of that, he has attended meetings of the Trilateral Commission, including the one that took place in Portugal in 2003 while Barroso was prime minister. He also attended the Commission’s annual meeting in 2007 that took place in Brussels while he was the European Commission president.’


Sweden “ruled by unelected policy plotters”

From The Local:

'Sweden is ruled by unelected policy plotters'[…] There are many ideas about the causes of this crisis of confidence for Swedish democracy’s central institutions. In a recently completed research project at the Institute for Future Studies (Institutet för framtidsstudier) we have chosen to investigate a largely unknown category of political powerbrokers whom we have chosen to label ‘the policy professionals’. These are people who are neither elected nor selected by the members of, for example, a large trade union, but are hired to conduct politics. They can be found virtually everywhere in the political system, for example in government and parliament offices, within the political parties, in local authorities, in trade unions and other lobby organizations as well as, not least, at PR firms and so called think tanks. They have a plethora of different titles: common ones are policial expert, press officer, political secretary, head of social policy, speech writer, communications director and so on.

It is true that people of this kind have long existed in our political system, ever since former Prime Minister Olof Palme was hired as secretary to the sitting Prime Minister at the time, Tage Erlander, in 1953. What has happened over the past two decades is that this group has grown to such an extent that one can speak of this as a qualitatively new means of political influence. To quantify the group is not easy, but according to our estimate it today includes at least 2,500 people. For the past ten years, a Swedish Prime Minister has had more political appointees in his government offices than the number of parliament MPs needed to run the country. Our investigation shows that this is a group that exerts a significant but largely invisible influence on Swedish politics. This is by no means a group that only serves its elected officials but they participate directly, and often on their own initiative, in the formulation of policies, proposals and strategies.’


Sunday Times Rich List: Britain’s richest double their wealth in 10 years

Press Association reports:

The collective wealth of Britain’s richest people has more than doubled in the last 10 years, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

This year’s list found the wealthiest 1,000 individuals and families now have a combined fortune of just over £547bn – or £547m each on average.

The figure has more than doubled since a total of just under £250bn was recorded in 2005, despite the world economy being gripped by a punishing recession over much of the last decade.

Plain old millionaires increasingly struggle to count themselves among the mega-rich, with a fortune of £100m now required to make it into the top 1,000. That is £15m higher than last year’s minimum.’


How the Rich Get Into Ivies: Behind the Scenes of Elite Admissions

Sam Biddle writes for Gawker:

How the Rich Get Into Ivies: Behind the Scenes of Elite AdmissionsA million-dollar full-ride scholarship endowment to an Ivy League school is a good deed. But it doesn’t just earn you karma—it nets you fawning emails from the school’s development officials, customized campus tours for your kids, and private meetings with the school’s president, leaked Sony emails show.

The dump of tens of thousands of emails from Sony Pictures’ upper ranks, now conveniently indexed on WikiLeaks, lays bare the inner workings of one of the world’s most powerful corporate properties. But it also shows how the rich, powerful, and connected navigate the world: with rolodexes and billfolds of equal thickness.

Newly surfaced emails from Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton provide a schematic for how millions of dollars in Adam Sandler grosses can yield immensely preferential treatment for your children, not only providing access to a college admissions process that’s out of reach for virtually all other Americans, but giving them better opportunities both in college and in internships and job opportunities afterward.’


The Tony Blair connection: from Abu Dhabi to Colombia

Edward Malnick, Robert Mendick and Harriet Alexander report for The Telegraph:

P5210987Quartet Representative Tony Blair en route to Israel from a World Economic Forum meeting at Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt (Israeli fighter aircraft were scrambled to intercept Tony Blairs jet - the two warplanes adopting an attack position  no one on board was aware of any problem at the time). May 21, 2008     Perhaps Tony Blair always had half an eye on lining his pockets once outside the confines of Downing Street. Or maybe it was simply that the commercial opportunities presented themselves as he criss-crossed the globe on one do-gooding philanthropic mission after another.

Whatever the truth, the reality is that eight years after leaving high office, business is booming for Mr Blair.

His global consultancy offers investment and strategic advice to governments, corporations and billionaires. Mr Blair, although he denies it, is reckoned to be worth between £50 million and £100 million with several houses and a country estate among his assets.

The road to riches — make that the private jet flight to a fortune – began almost the moment he stepped out of the front door of Downing Street as prime minister for the last time in June 2007.’


How America Became an Oligarchy

Ellen Brown writes for Web of Debt:

According to a new study from Princeton University, American democracy no longer exists. Using data from over 1,800 policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page concluded that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of – or even against – the will of the majority of voters. America’s political system has transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where power is wielded by wealthy elites.

“Making the world safe for democracy” was President Woodrow Wilson’s rationale for World War I, and it has been used to justify American military intervention ever since. Can we justify sending troops into other countries to spread a political system we cannot maintain at home?

The Magna Carta, considered the first Bill of Rights in the Western world, established the rights of nobles as against the king. But the doctrine that “all men are created equal” – that all people have “certain inalienable rights,” including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” – is an American original. And those rights, supposedly insured by the Bill of Rights, have the right to vote at their core. We have the right to vote but the voters’ collective will no longer prevails.’


Tony Blair Is Terrible at Promoting Human Rights, Great at Enriching Himself

Murtaza Hussein writes for The Intercept:

Featured photo - Tony Blair Is Terrible at Promoting Human Rights, Great at Enriching Himself[…] After almost a decade as envoy, it’s hard to see anything Blair has done to bring Israelis and Palestinians any closer to peace. The two parties are farther apart than ever by most accounts, with Israeli leaders publicly disavowing the “two-state solution” the Quartet on the Middle East was created to bring about. During Blair’s tenure, a Palestinian official described the group as “useless, useless, useless.” A Brookings Institution report concluded that “the Quartet’s role was usually relegated to that of a political bystander.”

But although he failed to broker peace, Blair did manage during his time as special envoy to transform himself into a well-paid and outspoken apologist for some of the most brutal autocracies in the world. The former prime minister, who once positioned himself as a principled supporter of democracy, even famously waging a war to bring democracy to Iraq, now leads a consulting firm that has reportedly received tens of millions of dollars doing advisory work for dictatorial governments in the Middle East and Central Asia.’


Mega-Mansions And Giga-Mansions: Ultra-Rich Taking Over L.A. Neighbourhoods

Editor’s Note: You can watch a shorter segment here.

Former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn To Face Trial On Pimping Charges

2015 Bilderberg Meeting Confirmed: June 11-14 reports:

interalpen‘Austrian police have confirmed the date of the 2015 Bilderberg meeting. The security for the annual conference will take place from June 9th-14th. The meeting itself will take place from the Thursday to the Sunday of that week, June 11th-14th, at the exclusive Interalpen Hotel, in the mountains near Telfs.

The police have stated that they will be undertaking just the one single security exercise for the Bilderberg conference and for the G7 summit taking place nearby at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, Germany, from the 7th-8th June.’


As inequality soars, the nervous super rich are already planning their escapes

Alec Hogg reports for The Guardian:

Private jet landing in the AlpsWith growing inequality and the civil unrest from Ferguson and the Occupy protests fresh in people’s mind, the world’s super rich are already preparing for the consequences. At a packed session in Davos, former hedge fund director Robert Johnson revealed that worried hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes. “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway,” he said.

Johnson, who heads the Institute of New Economic Thinking and was previously managing director at Soros, said societies can tolerate income inequality if the income floor is high enough. But with an existing system encouraging chief executives to take decisions solely on their profitability, even in the richest countries inequality is increasing.”‘


Who are the Davos Class? (Infographic)