World’s elite meet at annual “off the record” Bilderberg Conference in UK – met by jeers from protesters.

// June 10th, 2013 // News

Tight security outside the 2013 Bilderberg Conference

Seems like the secretive “off the record” Bilderberg group has finally caught the eye of the general public as more than 140 of the world’s most powerful leaders and richest businessmen met at the luxurious Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire, UK for the four-day Bilderberg Conference, sparking protests around the hotel as spectators gathered to jeer the blacked-out limos as they entered the compound. The elite guest list for the Bilderberg meeting includes Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The forum for prominent politicians, royalty, thinkers, business leaders and other power elites, has been held annually at a series of secluded venues in Europe and North America since 1954 – and what happens at Bilderberg, stays at Bilderberg. No records are kept of the event and the public is kept away by a large security contingent.

Many have expressed concerns with the secrecy surrounding the event.  A British lawmaker noted:

“When 130 of the leaders from all across the West get together, and many of these are billionaires, they are people who are immensely wealthy and immensely powerful. And when they all get together, it’s not just to have a chat about the latest problem, it is to concert plans for the future of capitalism in the West that is on a very different scale.”

Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke leaving the 2008 Bilderberg ConferenceThe Bilderberg Group (or Bilderberg Conference) is an annual private four-day conference of about 150 invited guests from over 20 countries around the world, nearly all of whom are people of influence. About one-third of the attendees are from government and politics with the remaining two-thirds hailing from leaders in finance, industry, labor, education and communications. The groups name derives from the original conference held on May 29, 1954 at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands.

The group describes the conference as “a forum for informal, off-the-record discussions about megatrends and the major issues facing the world” and states that the private nature of the meeting allows participants to “listen, reflect and gather insights” without being bound by the conventions of office or by pre-agreed public positions. There is no detailed agenda, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued – or so they say…

Dr. J.H. Retinger, Bilderberg’s permanent secretary, explained that regardless of what is discussed behind the closed doors, participants are free to act as they see best.

“We do not contemplate taking any direct action. We draw the attention of existing organizations to the points in question; what those organizations do remains their own responsibility.”

Regardless of Bilderberg members’ claims that decisions are not made at the meeting, that they have an open website, and that the proposed “agenda” is made public, detractors say that anytime one hundred of the world’s most influential people gather for a secretive meeting where everything that is discussed is considered “off the record”, it is a threat to society and the democratic process.  And that the meetings are highly secretive goes without question. As an example, after the conclusion of this year’s conference, UK Senior Minister Ken Clarke was “summoned to the Commons” to answer questions about the secret Bilderberg group meeting. Clarke promptly refused to answer any questions about what was discussed behind the group’s closed doors.

American radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones met with the media outside the conferenceAccording to UK’s Daily Mail:

“In a dismissive statement to MPs, Clarke said this was a ‘first occasion for me as I have never previously answered a question in the House of Commons about a private organization for which the government has no responsibility’. Clarke insisted that everyone who attended the conference did so as an individual and not representing any organization.”

When asked about what occurred at the conference and how Clarke participated in the discussions, an official spokesman told reporters:

“It was a private meeting. He attended Bilderberg on Friday. I don’t have any more to add to that.”

Meanwhile, during the conference, protesters gathered on roads leading into the compound and on barges floating along a canal near the conference in order to protest the cars with blacked-out windows as they entered the gates of the Grove Hotel.

Below is believed to be the official list of 2013 attendees:

 

BILDERBERG CONFERENCE 2013: FULL LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

Castries, Henri de (chairman)
Chairman and CEO, AXA Group

Achleitner, Paul M.
Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG

Ackermann, Josef
Chairman of the Board, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd

Agius, Marcus
Former Chairman, Barclays plc

Alexander, Helen
Chairman, UBM plc

Altman, Roger C.
Executive Chairman, Evercore Partners

Apunen, Matti
Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA

Athey, Susan
Professor of Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Aydıntaşbaş, Aslı
Columnist, Milliyet Newspaper

Babacan, Ali
Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs

Balls, Edward M.
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

Balsemão, Francisco Pinto
Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA

Barré, Nicolas
Managing Editor, Les Echos

Barroso, José M. Durão
President, European Commission

Baverez, Nicolas
Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Bavinchove, Olivier de
Commander, Eurocorps

Bell, John
Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford

Bernabè, Franco
Chairman and CEO, Telecom Italia S.p.A.

Bezos, Jeff
Founder and CEO, Amazon.com

Bildt, Carl
Minister for Foreign Affairs

Borg, Anders
Minister for Finance

Boxmeer, Jean François van
Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO, Heineken N.V.

Brandtzæg, Svein Richard
President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA

Bronner, Oscar
Publisher, Der Standard Medienwelt

Carrington, Peter
Former Honorary Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings

Cebrián, Juan Luis
Executive Chairman, Grupo PRISA

Clark, W. Edmund
President and CEO, TD Bank Group

Clarke, Kenneth
Member of Parliament

Corydon, Bjarne
Minister of Finance

Cowper-Coles, Sherard
Business Development Director, International, BAE Systems plc

Cucchiani, Enrico Tommaso
CEO, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA

Davignon, Etienne
Minister of State; Former Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings

Davis, Ian
Senior Partner Emeritus, McKinsey & Company

Dijkgraaf, Robbert H.
Director and Leon Levy Professor, Institute for Advanced Study

Dinçer, Haluk
President, Retail and Insurance Group, Sabancı Holding A.S.

Dudley, Robert
Group Chief Executive, BP plc

Eberstadt, Nicholas N.
Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute

Eide, Espen Barth
Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ekholm, Börje
President and CEO, Investor AB

Enders, Thomas
CEO, EADS

Evans, J. Michael
Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co.

Federspiel, Ulrik
Executive Vice President, Haldor Topsøe A/S

Feldstein, Martin S.
Professor of Economics, Harvard University; President Emeritus, NBER

Fillon, François
Former Prime Minister

Fishman, Mark C.
President, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Flint, Douglas J.
Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc

Gallagher, Paul
Senior Counsel

Geithner, Timothy F.
Former Secretary of the Treasury

Gfoeller, Michael
Political Consultant

Graham, Donald E.
Chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company

Grillo, Ulrich
CEO, Grillo-Werke AG

Gruber, Lilli
Journalist – Anchorwoman, La 7 TV

Guindos, Luis de
Minister of Economy and Competitiveness

Gulliver, Stuart
Group Chief Executive, HSBC Holdings plc

Gutzwiller, Felix
Member of the Swiss Council of States

Halberstadt, Victor
Professor of Economics, Leiden University

Heinonen, Olli
Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs,
Harvard Kennedy School

Henry, Simon
CFO, Royal Dutch Shell plc

Hermelin, Paul
Chairman and CEO, Capgemini Group

Isla, Pablo
Chairman and CEO, Inditex Group

Jacobs, Kenneth M.
Chairman and CEO, Lazard

Johnson, James A.
Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners

Jordan, Thomas J.
Chairman of the Governing Board, Swiss National Bank

Jordan, Jr., Vernon E.
Managing Director, Lazard Freres & Co. LLC

Kaplan, Robert D.
Chief Geopolitical Analyst, Stratfor

Karp, Alex
Founder and CEO, Palantir Technologies

Kerr, John
Independent Member, House of Lords

Kissinger, Henry A.
Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.

Kleinfeld, Klaus
Chairman and CEO, Alcoa

Knot, Klaas H.W.
President, De Nederlandsche Bank

Koç, Mustafa V.
Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.

Koch, Roland
CEO, Bilfinger SE

Kravis, Henry R.
Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

Kravis, Marie-Josée
Senior Fellow and Vice Chair, Hudson Institute

Kudelski, André
Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group

Kyriacopoulos, Ulysses
Chairman, S&B Industrial Minerals S.A.

Lagarde, Christine
Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

Lauk, Kurt J.
Chairman of the Economic Council to the CDU, Berlin

Lessig, Lawrence
Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership, Harvard Law School

Leysen, Thomas
Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group

Lindner, Christian
Party Leader, Free Democratic Party (FDP NRW)

Löfven, Stefan
Party Leader, Social Democratic Party (SAP)

Löscher, Peter
President and CEO, Siemens AG

Mandelson, Peter
Chairman, Global Counsel; Chairman, Lazard International

Mathews, Jessica T.
President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

McKenna, Frank
Chair, Brookfield Asset Management

Micklethwait, John
Editor-in-Chief, The Economist

Montbrial, Thierry de
President, French Institute for International Relations

Monti, Mario
Former Prime Minister

Mundie, Craig J.
Senior Advisor to the CEO, Microsoft Corporation

Nagel, Alberto
CEO, Mediobanca

Netherlands, H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of The

Ng, Andrew Y.
Co-Founder, Coursera

Ollila, Jorma
Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell, plc

Omand, David
Visiting Professor, King’s College London

Osborne, George
Chancellor of the Exchequer

Ottolenghi, Emanuele
Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Özel, Soli
Senior Lecturer, Kadir Has University; Columnist, Habertürk Newspaper

Papahelas, Alexis
Executive Editor, Kathimerini Newspaper

Pavey, Şafak
Member of Parliament (CHP)

Pécresse, Valérie
Member of Parliament (UMP)

Perle, Richard N.
Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

Petraeus, David H.
General, U.S. Army (Retired)

Portas, Paulo
Minister of State and Foreign Affairs

Prichard, J. Robert S.
Chair, Torys LLP

Reding, Viviane
Vice President and Commissioner for Justice, European Commission

Reisman, Heather M.
CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.

Rey, Hélène
Professor of Economics, London Business School

Robertson, Simon
Partner, Robertson Robey Associates LLP; Deputy Chairman, HSBC Holdings

Rocca, Gianfelice
Chairman,Techint Group

Rostowski, Jacek
Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister

Rubin, Robert E.
Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury

Rutte, Mark
Prime Minister

Schieder, Andreas
State Secretary of Finance

Schmidt, Eric E.
Executive Chairman, Google Inc.

Scholten, Rudolf
Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG

Seguro, António José
Secretary General, Socialist Party

Senard, Jean-Dominique
CEO, Michelin Group

Skogen Lund, Kristin
Director General, Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise

Slaughter, Anne-Marie
Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs,
Princeton

Sutherland, Peter D.
Chairman, Goldman Sachs International

Taylor, Martin
Former Chairman, Syngenta AG

Thiam, Tidjane
Group CEO, Prudential plc

Thiel, Peter A.
President, Thiel Capital

Thompson, Craig B.
President and CEO, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Topsøe, Jakob Haldor
Partner, AMBROX Capital A/S

Urpilainen, Jutta
Minister of Finance

Vasella, Daniel L.
Honorary Chairman, Novartis AG

Voser, Peter R.
CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc

Wall, Brad
Premier of Saskatchewan

Wallenberg, Jacob
Chairman, Investor AB

Warsh, Kevin
Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Weston, Galen G.
Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited

Williams of Crosby, Shirley
Member, House of Lords

Wolf, Martin H.
Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times

Wolfensohn, James D.
Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn and Company

Wright, David
Vice Chairman, Barclays plc

Zoellick, Robert B.
Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

Sources: Daily Mail, Wikileaks, Bilderberg Group

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