Every year it comes around, and like the daffodils, out come the tin foil hats. If it is late spring, then it must be spring-time for Bilderberg. Which, to some, is proof certain of a sinister illuminate influenced secret society that controls the world, a Skull and Bones for the globe.
As if. The sad and sorry (albeit expensive) story of Bilderberg is more gravy train than Satan’s feast.
It started off well enough I suppose in the Bilderberg Hotel near the resurrecting ruins of Arnhem way back in 1954. Concern had been noted of the rising tide of Anti-Americanism that was growing in Europe at that time. The answer was a conference, (isn’t a conference the answer to every-thing and every problem?) and a cast list was drawn up to foster dialogue, and change the attitude of Europe to one more conducive to America.
If so it hasn’t exactly been a storming success then has it?
To give the group a bit of space to speak their minds, and talk off record there was no set published agenda and no publically released press release. Naturally this has always raised suspicions that the great and the good are conspiring against the interests of the common man.
Perhaps but one feels they have plenty of other fora to do the working man down without swanning off to a posh hotel once a year.
This year’s bash is at The Grove Hotel, Watford near London, England. So are “the most powerful men in world” here? Is this a list of the “Who’s Who of the world’s power elite”?
Um, no hardly. They are being said to deal with growth, big data, cyber warfare and Africa. Nothing supremely earth shattering there, these are subjects that we chat about down the pub most weeks.
And the invitees? Burnt out second rate has-been’s and no-hopers for the most part. No seriously. Look at the British contingent, Cuddly Ken Clark, an aging pro-Europe Conservative politician from the 1980’s, Ed Balls the hopeless shadow chancellor, whose schemes last time round when on the Labour bench ploughed the economy into the floor, and George Osborne our present lacklustre chancellor. Oh and Peter Mandelson is going too. God help them all. The only good thing is they haven’t invited Tony Blair.
Oh yes there is some bloke from a Swiss canton another bloke who is making a pigs ear of running an oil company, and Peter Carrington who must be eighty and got the shove for almost losing the Falklands. Yep winners all.
Kissinger still gives it a bit of class, a hint of the power blue safari suit and white cat but he is burnt out fires.
Still, for what it is worth here is a list of those going. What frightens me is that this bunch of nondescripts might actually come to a decision!
If you want to see the real power brokers in the world, as always keep looking at the US Congress
Bilderberg 2013 delegates in full
Chairman: Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO, AXA Group
Paul M. Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Board, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd
Marcus Agius, Former Chairman, Barclays plc
Helen Alexander, Chairman, UBM plc
Roger C. Altman, Executive Chairman, Evercore Partners
Matti Apunen, Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA
Susan Athey, Professor of Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business
Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, Columnist, Milliyet Newspaper
Ali Babacan, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs
Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Francisco Pinto Balsemão, Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA
Nicolas Barré, Managing Editor, Les Echos
José Manuel Barroso, President, European Commission
Nicolas Baverez, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Olivier de Bavinchove, Commander, Eurocorps
John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford
Franco Bernabè, Chairman and CEO, Telecom Italia S.p.A.
Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon.com
Carl Bildt, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs
Anders Borg, Swedish Minister for Finance
Jean François van Boxmeer, CEO, Heineken
Svein Richard Brandtzæg, President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
Oscar Bronner, Publisher, Der Standard Medienwelt
Peter Carrington, Former Honorary Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings
Juan Luis Cebrián, Executive Chairman, Grupo PRISA
Edmund Clark, President and CEO, TD Bank Group
Kenneth Clarke, Cabinet Minister
Bjarne Corydon, Danish Minister of Finance
Sherard Cowper-Coles, Business Development Director, International, BAE Systems plc
Enrico Cucchiani, CEO, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA
Etienne Davignon, Belgian Minister of State; Former Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings
Ian Davis, Senior Partner Emeritus, McKinsey & Company
Robbert H. Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor, Institute for Advanced Study
Haluk Dinçer, President, Retail and Insurance Group, Sabancı Holding A.S.
Robert Dudley, Group Chief Executive, BP plc
Nicholas N. Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute
Espen Barth Eide, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs
Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Investor AB
Thomas Enders, CEO, EADS
J. Michael Evans, Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co.
Ulrik Federspiel, Executive Vice President, Haldor Topsøe A/S
Martin S.Feldstein, Professor of Economics, Harvard University; President Emeritus, NBER
François Fillon, Former French Prime Minister
Mark C. Fishman, President, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
Douglas J. Flint, Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc
Paul Gallagher, Senior Counsel
Timothy F Geithner, Former Secretary of the Treasury
Michael Gfoeller, US Political Consultant
Donald E. Graham, Chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company
Ulrich Grillo, CEO, Grillo-Werke AG
Lilli Gruber, Journalist – Anchorwoman, La 7 TV
Luis de Guindos, Spanish Minister of Economy and Competitiveness
Stuart Gulliver, Group Chief Executive, HSBC Holdings plc
Felix Gutzwiller, Member of the Swiss Council of States
Victor Halberstadt, Professor of Economics, Leiden University; Former Honorary Secretary General of Bilderberg Meetings
Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Simon Henry, CFO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
Paul Hermelin, Chairman and CEO, Capgemini Group
Pablo Isla, Chairman and CEO, Inditex Group
Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and CEO, Lazard
James A. Johnson, Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners
Thomas J. Jordan, Chairman of the Governing Board, Swiss National Bank
Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Managing Director, Lazard Freres & Co. LLC
Robert D. Kaplan, Chief Geopolitical Analyst, Stratfor
Alex Karp, Founder and CEO, Palantir Technologies
John Kerr, Independent Member, House of Lords
Henry A. Kissinger, Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
Klaas H.W. Knot, President, De Nederlandsche Bank
Mustafa V Koç,. Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.
Roland Koch, CEO, Bilfinger SE
Henry R. Kravis, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Marie-Josée Kravis, Senior Fellow and Vice Chair, Hudson Institute
André Kudelski, Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group
Ulysses Kyriacopoulos, Chairman, S&B Industrial Minerals S.A.
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
J. Kurt Lauk, Chairman of the Economic Council to the CDU, Berlin
Lawrence Lessig, Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership, Harvard Law School
Thomas Leysen, Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group
Christian Lindner, Party Leader, Free Democratic Party (FDP NRW)
Stefan Löfven, Party Leader, Social Democratic Party (SAP)
Peter Löscher, President and CEO, Siemens AG
Peter Mandelson, Chairman, Global Counsel; Chairman, Lazard International
Jessica T. Mathews, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Frank McKenna, Chair, Brookfield Asset Management
John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
Thierry de Montbrial, President, French Institute for International Relations
Mario Monti, Former Italian Prime Minister
Craig J. Mundie, Senior Advisor to the CEO, Microsoft Corporation
Alberto Nagel, CEO, Mediobanca
H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands
Andrew Y.Ng, Co-Founder, Coursera
Jorma Ollila, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell, plc
David Omand, Visiting Professor, King’s College London
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Emanuele Ottolenghi, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Soli Özel, Senior Lecturer, Kadir Has University; Columnist, Habertürk Newspaper
Alexis Papahelas, Executive Editor, Kathimerini Newspaper
Şafak Pavey, Turkish MP
Valérie Pécresse, French MP
Richard N. Perle, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
David H. Petraeus, General, U.S. Army (Retired)
Paulo Portas, Portugal Minister of State and Foreign Affairs
J. Robert S Prichard, Chair, Torys LLP
Viviane Reding, Vice President and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, European Commission
Heather M. Reisman, CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
Hélène Rey, Professor of Economics, London Business School
Simon Robertson, Partner, Robertson Robey Associates LLP; Deputy Chairman, HSBC Holdings
Gianfelice Rocca, Chairman,Techint Group
Jacek Rostowski, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister
Robert E. Rubin, Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury
Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister
Andreas Schieder, Austrian State Secretary of Finance
Eric E. Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google Inc.
Rudolf Scholten, Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
António José Seguro, Secretary General, Portuguese Socialist Party
Jean-Dominique Senard, CEO, Michelin Group
Kristin Skogen Lund, Director General, Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
Peter D. Sutherland, Chairman, Goldman Sachs International
Martin Taylor, Former Chairman, Syngenta AG
Tidjane Thiam, Group CEO, Prudential plc
Peter A. Thiel, President, Thiel Capital
Craig B. Thompson, President and CEO, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Jakob Haldor Topsøe, Partner, AMBROX Capital A/S
Jutta Urpilainen, Finnish Minister of Finance
Daniel L. Vasella, Honorary Chairman, Novartis AG
Peter R. Voser, CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan Province, Canada
Jacob Wallenberg, Chairman, Investor AB
Kevin Warsh, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Galen G.Weston, Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited
Baroness Williams of Crosby, Member, House of Lords
Martin H. Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times
James D. Wolfensohn, Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn and Company
David Wright, Vice Chairman, Barclays plc
Robert B. Zoellick, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Copyright David Macadam 2013