Powerbrokers and Power Funders behind the Secretive Bilderberg Meeting

Bilderberg

June 3, 2013; RT.com

It’s hard to find an international event that generates more scenarios of world power brokers secretly plotting the future than the annual Bilderberg gathering, named after the Dutch hotel where the international movers and shakers first gathered in 1954 to share their thoughts with each other—off the record, of course. This year’s gathering will be in Watford, England, and will most assuredly accompanied by protesters concerned about the gathering’s secret construction of a new world order.

A list of attendees has been posted on the Bilderberg Meetings website, though there is no guaranteeing that the names on the list are inclusive of everyone who will be among the world’s elitist elite. Among the well known Americans joining annual Bilderberg fixture Henry Kissinger in Watford will be Eric Schmidt (Google), Robert Rubin (listed as former Secretary of the Treasury and current co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, but otherwise known for his chairing Citigroup during its partaking of the bank bailout), retired U.S. Army General David Petraeus (and former director of the CIA, now with the Kohlberg Kravis Roberts investment firm), Richard Perle (identified as with the American Enterprise Institute, but known for his role as one of the neoconservatives in the Bush administration who pushed for the invasion of Iraq), Jessica Matthews (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), Lawrence Lessig (the Harvard University law professor with expertise in campaign finance and ethics), Martin Feldstein (the chief economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan), Vernon Jordan (former advisor to President Clinton), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), and former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. In addition, there are plenty of big financial investors in the room, including Henry Kravis of his eponymous firm and top people from the likes of TD Bank, Goldman Sachs, BP, Lazard, Thiel Capital, and Barclay’s.

Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall to hear what they have to say to each other over cigars and cognac about “megatrends and the major issues facing the world,” as the theme of the gathering is described on the sparse Bilderberg website? You would have to be a fly, because the conversations are completely off the record; there is no transcript of the presentations or discussion, and participants are even encouraged not to reveal what is said, much less who said it.

One subject they might discuss is how to pay for the gathering. According to Bridge, the Bilderberg Group has agreed to help pay for the security costs of Watford’s hosting this event through its affiliated charity arm, the Bilderberg Association. Bridge cites The Guardian’s report that two major contributors to the Bilderberg Association are BP and Goldman Sachs.

We checked the U.K. Charity Commission’s records on the Bilderberg Association and discovered that the five-figure donations that Bridge notes from BP and Goldman Sachs (for £50,000 apiece) were for the fiscal year ending March 2008; the sources of funding in the reports for 2011 and 2012 do not identify the sources of donations.

Financial year end

Bilderberg Association Income

Bilderberg Association Spending

31 Mar 2012

£100,000

£31,055

31 Mar 2011

£50,000

£30,935

31 Mar 2010

£1,358

£26,989

31 Mar 2009

£10,095

£22,658

31 Mar 2008

£59,489

£19,977

We also found a similar U.S.-based organization called American Friends of Bilderberg, which files a 990PF as a private foundation. The bipartisan governing board of American Friends includes Jordan, Kissinger, Matthews, Perle, James Wolfensohn (former World Bank CEO), David Rockefeller, Roger Altman, Marie-Josée Kravis, and former Fannie Mae boss James A. Johnson. Because American Friends is a private foundation, donations it receives are publicly disclosed:

Donors to American Friends

2011

2010

2009

2008

James Wolfensohn

$25,000

 

 

 

Marie-Josée Kravis

$25,000

 

$15,000

 

Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Foundation

$25,000

$50,000

$15,000

$50,000

Microsoft Corp.

$50,000

 

 

$75,000

Botwinick-Wolfensohn Foundation/Wolfensohn Family Foundation

 

$25,000

 

$25,000

Donald Graham (Washington Post)

 

$25,000

 

 

Peter Thiel

 

$50,000

 

$75,000

Freeport-McMoran Foundation

 

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

David Rockefeller

 

$25,000

 

$50,000

Henry Kissinger

 

$10,000

$10,000

$20,000

Washington Post

 

 

$25,000

$25,000

Ripplewood Foundation

 

 

$15,000

$75,000

Goldman Sachs

 

 

$25,000

$25,000

James A. Johnson

 

 

$10,000

 

Jennie Zoline Foundation

 

 

 

$25,000

Johnson Family Foundation

 

 

 

$25,000

Big Hen Group LLC

 

 

 

$75,000

Altman/Kazickas Foundation

 

 

 

$25,000

Lazard Freres

 

 

 

$25,000

RW Sant Revocable Trust

 

 

 

$25,000

Coca-Cola Company

 

 

 

$10,000

William S. Paley Foundation

 

 

 

$5,000

Presumably, Bilderberg has more than the charitable moneys of the Bilderberg Association and American Friends of Bilderberg to help defray its program costs.

All that said, doesn’t Bilderberg feel like a historical anachronism? Do the rich and powerful need a special conference at which they can hold private conversations? Are they really that hard up for off-the-record face time? And by the way, what is the Washington Post doing funding an off-the-record set of meetings among business and government officials who might make decisions that affect all of us?—Rick Cohen