June 6, 2013
Publicly, the group says it is still merely a debating society – a
forum for leaders to “listen, reflect and gather insights” unbound by
official policy positions.
But while they rankle at the conspiracy theorists, former leaders of
the Bilderberg confences says they were the most important events they
ever went to, and the freedom of speaking away from the ears of
Whitehall officials meant the discussions that took place decisively
shaped modern Europe.
It is above all a club for life’s winners. George Osborne, Ed Balls
and Ken Clarke, the Cabinet Minister who also serves on the group’s
steering committee, will arrive this afternoon, as will Mr Mandelson.
They will be joined by Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the
European Commission; Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF; Francois
Fillon, the former French Prime Minister; Robert Rubin and Timothy
Geithner, the former secretaries to the US Treasury; and serving prime
ministers, foreign ministers and finance ministers from across north
The chairmen and chief executives of some of the world’s biggest
businesses will attend, with a combined wealth running into hundreds of
millions of pounds – from Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Amazon, Google,
Shell, HSBC, Lazard, Prudential and Alcoa. Henri de Castries, the
chairman of the Bilderberg, is the head of AXA, the insurance giant.
Peter Thiel, the billionaire founder of PayPal, is also on the guest
list. Goldman Sachs and BP have in recent years been donors to the
British committee organising this week’s gathering.
Full article here