The Year Bilderberg was Exposed Worldwide

Detractors of the secretive roundtable group saw one of their biggest wishes come true in St. Moritz, Switzerland

by Alex Newman
The New American
June 13, 2011

The amount of publicity garnered by the secretive Bilderberg conference this year in St. Moritz, Switzerland, far surpassed the coverage afforded to past gatherings of the elite cabal, with major media outlets and international news wires finally reporting on the yearly event after refusing to do so for over five decades. Protests, the alternative media, and anti-Bilderberg politicians played an important role in spreading the news.

Bilderberg, named after the Dutch hotel where members first met in 1954, brings together some of the most influential figures on Earth. More than 120 top-level officials in government, banking, media, finance, business, think-tanks, armed forces, and even European royalty attend the confab every year.

Among the confirmed 2011 European and Canadian attendees were the British Chancellor of the Exchequer (“in his official capacity,” according to the Treasury), the President of the European Central Bank, the head of Canada’s central bank, the queens of the Netherlands and Spain, the Crown Prince of Norway, a representative of the unimaginably vast Rothschild banking empire, finance ministers, heads of state, and many more.

A reporter on the scene for the U.K. Guardian said there were also individuals in attendance who were not on the official list — a regular occurrence discovered almost every year. Among them were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NATO Secretary-General Anders Rasmussen, and Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of Spain. Microsoft founder and multi-billionaire Bill Gates was reportedly spotted as well.

A handful of non-Westerners also attended, including Turkish business moguls and members of the political class in Turkey. A senior representative of the brutal Communist dictatorship ruling mainland China was there as well. So was a Russian oligarch.

More than two dozen prominent members of the American elite attended, too. An especially interesting cadre at the 2011 event included some of the masters of the internet world: The co-founder of Facebook; the executive chairman of Google; the co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn; the founder and CEO of Amazon.com; the commander of the American military’s “cyber command” (or USCYBERCOM); Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer; and others.

Representatives of the non-digital American elite were out in force as well. Among them were former Ghaddafi adviser and Bush-era neo-con extraordinaire Richard Perle; billionaire David Rockefeller, who openly boasted in his autobiography of conspiring to erect a global political and economic system; Robert Rubin, former Treasury Secretary and current co-chairman of the immensely powerful, world-government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations; the vice-chairman of Citigroup; TV personality Charlie Rose; former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who frequently and publicly calls for what he refers to as a “New World Order”; the president of the World Bank; and others.

Top officials in the Obama administration were also there including — quite ironically — the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) Keith Alexander were also on the official list, as were former Federal Reserve and military chiefs. Not on the public list but spotted at the conference, according to unconfirmed reports from correspondents in St. Moritz, was Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

By any objective standard, a meeting of over 120 of the world’s most powerful individuals would seem to be extraordinarily newsworthy. But until recently, the confab rarely attracted even a passing mention in the establishment press. The eerie silence fueled deep suspicion and innumerable theories about what the group may be plotting in secret. This year, however, was different,  at least in terms of media coverage.

In a story picked up by numerous large-circulation U.S. newspapers including the Washington Post, for example, the Associated Press wire service described the June 9-12 event as a “secretive gathering of senior government officials and business executives … that some liken to a shadow world government.” CNBC, Forbes, Fox News, the Baltimore Sun, Time magazine and others also ran stories about Bilderberg.

In China, the media were buzzing with news of the conference, too. One Chinese-language report by the French wire service AFP referred to the group as the “mysterious world shadow government” in a headline, according to Google Translate. Chinese media behemoth United Daily News ran a similar headline for another Bilderberg article.

European and Russian news outlets offered unprecedented levels of coverage as well, with the Guardian newspaper and the TV network Russia Today both sending correspondents to the scene. Several alternative-media outlets including the American Free Press and InfoWars sent reporters, too. And the Swiss press in particular has been overflowing with reports on Bilderberg for over a week.

Analysts speculated that the so-called “mainstream media” establishment — which is rapidly losing its market share as news consumers increasingly turn to alternative sources — was essentially forced to cover the conference in an attempt to salvage what remains of its credibility. But despite the increased attention, in one segment of the establishment press, news of the event was conspicuously missing.

Among the confirmed 2011 Bilderberg attendees were representatives of more than a few major media firms: the editor-in-chief and two correspondents of the Economist magazine; the chief international correspondent of Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper; the editor-in-chief of Helsingin Sanomat, Scandinavia’s largest daily subscription publication; a political columnist for the Dutch paper NRC Handelsblad; the CEO of Portuguese media giant Impresa; and more. None of those “news” outlets had covered the Bilderberg conference by press time on June 12.

There was, however, at least one notable exception. The CEO and publisher of Standard Medien AG, an Austrian media conglomerate, was also among those present at the Bilderberg summit. And one of his firm’s online portals, derstandard.at, reported the fact that Austria’s head of government, Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann, was in attendance.

A rival political party was apparently upset about the nation‘s Chancellor attending the meeting, even demanding an “intelligence” report about the conference from Faymann upon his return. So, not covering the growing scandal might have been raised serious questions about the integrity of Standard Medien among Austrian news consumers.

But even with the burgeoning Bilderberg coverage, critics still complained that the amount of media surrounding the conference was insufficient — especially considering the magnitude of the news. Other analysts noted that much of the “mainstream” coverage focused on downplaying the significance of the event or attempting to demonize critics.

But progress is certainly being made. While it would be impossible to calculate exactly how many people around the globe learned of Bilderberg’s existence over the past week, it’s safe to assume the number is in the millions — possibly tens or even hundreds of millions.

In recent years, authors, researchers, and the so-called “alternative media” have increasingly been spreading information and news about the cabal through the Internet. And not even including the new-found press coverage, the online exposure appears to have dramatically increased awareness about the confab.

Hundreds of protesters and critics from all across the political spectrum descended on St. Moritz to lambaste the elite attendees. They held up anti-Bilderberg signs and blasted their opposition through bull horns around the perimeter of the luxury Suvretta House hotel throughout the whole four-day gathering.

On the first day of the conference, along with a bogus “bomb” scare, a giant wall of curtains was erected around the edge of the Bilderberg compound. Presumably it was designed to keep protesters from looking in and conference attendees from being forced to see the growing crowd outside.

But at one point, angry protesters did get a chance to shout at some heavily guarded members of the elite in a face-to-face confrontation. During a “nature walk” outside the hotel, one activist even had a brief exchange with Thomas Enders, the CEO of Airbus. “We are just making our agendas,” Enders responded to a question about what was being discussed behind closed doors with politicians. “I don’t have to tell you, and you don’t need to know,” he arrogantly explained with a smile on his face.

Several lower-ranking members of the political class made a fuss about the event as well. Italian member of the European Parliament Mario Borghezio, for example, attempted to force his way into the conference on the first day. He was reportedly detained and roughed up by police, prompting the Italian embassy in Switzerland to demand answers.

Prominent Swiss politicians were furious about the gathering, too. Center-right Parliamentarian Dominique Baettig of the nation’s largest political party, for example, asked prosecutors to consider arresting attendees such as former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for war crimes, suggesting that Swiss officials at the event should be charged with treason. Baettig, too, tried unsuccessfully to barge in on the conference in what the Guardian‘s Charlie Skelton called a “historic moment.”

Some Bilderberg opponents have also suggested arresting U.S. attendees, citing the Logan Act. That law prohibits Americans from negotiating policy with foreign officials.

Regular Bilderberg attendee and former International Monetary Fund (IMF) boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, another socialist, was recently arrested in New York on unrelated sex charges. But calls to prosecute various Bilderbergers for a wide range of criminal offenses are only growing louder.

Critics of the confab are, of course, routinely derided as conspiracy “theorists” or worse by establishment apologists. The government-funded BBC recently ran a vicious smear piece against people suspicious of Bilderberg, trying to link opposition to secret meetings of global policy makers with anti-Semitism and other unsavory associations.

But leaks and public statements by attendees over the years — reported on by the BBC, ironically — reveal that the cabal was instrumental in more than a few world-changing occurrences. The continental super-state known as the European Union and the failing regional “euro” currency, for example, are just a few of the developments in recent decades attributed to Bilderberg.

Anecdotal evidence also suggests the group plays an important part in the seemingly unexplainable rise to power of national leaders. Bill Clinton, for example, attended the conference in 1991 as a virtually unknown state governor. The following year he became President. Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was reportedly there in 2008. British Prime Minster David Cameron and former PM Tony Blair both went to Bilderberg before rising to the top as well. So did a multitude of global power brokers too long to list.

Due to the tight secrecy, speculation about what may have been on the 2011 agenda is, as always, running rampant. But a press release posted on the relatively new “official” Bilderberg website cited by the AP and others offered some generalities about the topics of discussion: the euro, challenges for the EU, social networking, “security issues,” the Middle East, “demographic challenges,” China, and more. In 2007, “The New World Order” was the top item on the agenda.

“What is unique about Bilderberg as a forum is the broad cross-section of leading citizens that are assembled for nearly three days of informal and off-the-record discussion,” the group’s public statement notes, claiming that the “privacy of the meetings … has no purpose other than to allow  participants to speak their minds openly and freely.” Critics of the shadowy cabal, however, still aren’t buying it.

IMF calls for Alternative Reserve Currency, Again

CNNMoney
February 11, 2011

The International Monetary Fund issued a report Thursday on a possible replacement for the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

The IMF said Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, could help stabilize the global financial system.

SDRs represent potential claims on the currencies of IMF members. They were created by the IMF in 1969 and can be converted into whatever currency a borrower requires at exchange rates based on a weighted basket of international currencies. The IMF typically lends countries funds denominated in SDRs

While they are not a tangible currency, some economists argue that SDRs could be used as a less volatile alternative to the U.S. dollar.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the IMF, acknowledged there are some “technical hurdles” involved with SDRs, but he believes they could help correct global imbalances and shore up the global financial system.

“Over time, there may also be a role for the SDR to contribute to a more stable international monetary system,” he said.

The goal is to have a reserve asset for central banks that better reflects the global economy since the dollar is vulnerable to swings in the domestic economy and changes in U.S. policy.

In addition to serving as a reserve currency, the IMF also proposed creating SDR-denominated bonds, which could reduce central banks’ dependence on U.S. Treasuries. The Fund also suggested that certain assets, such as oil and gold, which are traded in U.S. dollars, could be priced using SDRs.

Oil prices usually go up when the dollar depreciates. Supporters say using SDRs to price oil on the global market could help prevent spikes in energy prices that often occur when the dollar weakens significantly.

Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said at a conference in Washington that IMF member nations should agree to create $2 trillion worth of SDRs over the next few years.

SDRs, he said, “will further diversify the system.”

Dollar firms after starting 2011 weak

The dollar has been drifting lower so far this year as the global economy improves and investors regain their appetite for more risky assets such as stocks and commodities.

After rising above 81 in early January, the dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of other international currencies, eased below 77 earlier this week.

However, the dollar was higher Thursday against the euro, pound and yen as disappointing corporate results weighed on stock prices following several days of gains on Wall Street. The rally in the commodities market also cooled, with the price of oil and metals backing off recent highs.

In addition, renewed concerns about the debt problems facing troubled European economies put pressure on the euro and supported the dollar. The yield on Portugal’s benchmark bond rose to a record high Wednesday, and borrowing costs for Ireland, Spain and Greece remain elevated.

“The market is shedding risk, with equities and commodities weakening and the U.S. dollar broadly stronger” said Camilla Sutton, currency strategist at Scotia Capital.

Traders were also digesting comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who told Congress Wednesday that despite a strengthening economic recovery, the unemployment rate remains high while inflation is “still quite low.”

Those remarks reaffirmed the view that “the Fed would be very slow to tighten policy given its dual mandate of price stability and employment,” analysts at Sucden Financial wrote in a research report.

Bernanke also urged lawmakers to come up with a “credible plan” to bring down “unsustainable” federal budget deficits.

“We expect that the outlook for the U.S. fiscal position will weigh heavily on the U.S. dollar in the quarters ahead,” said Sutton. In the near-term, however, she said “a strengthening growth profile” could help provide “a temporary period of dollar strength.”

As Predicted, Spain on the Brink of Collapse

The tentacles of the international banking cartel are about to envelop the fifth most important economy of the old continent

The Independent

European leaders meet in Brussels today amid growing fears that Spain, Europe’s fifth-largest economy, is preparing to ask for a

The horns of the depression are in Spain's rearview mirror. An aid package is in the works to rescue one more failed State.

bailout which would dwarf the €110bn (£90bn) rescue plan for Greece.

The Spanish government yesterday dismissed reports that it was already in discussions with the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and the US Treasury for a rescue package worth up to €250bn.

Officials in Madrid, Brussels and Paris were forced to deny that a Spanish bailout – which would take the European debt and euro crisis into a potentially dangerous new phase – was on the Brussels summit agenda.

“Spain is a country that is solvent, solid and strong, with international credibility,” said its Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. The European Commission spokesman said: “I can firmly deny [that a Spanish rescue is under discussion]. I can say that that story is rubbish.”

Brussels diplomats have been at pains to send out feel-good signals ahead of a summit in which Europe’s leaders are supposed to take the first steps towards more disciplined and co-ordinated, control of national finances. Those reforms are meant to restore confidence in the euro and underpin the €750m EU and IMF safety-net, created last month for euroland countries that lose the confidence of the financial markets.

However, it is proving hard to shake off persistent market fears about Spain, which, if it needed a lifeline, would swallow up a large part of the emergency fund. Worryingly for the EU, the doubts about Spain – whether real or driven by speculation – are eerily similar to the gradual seeping away of confidence that sent Greece into a financial death spiral in March and April. The Spanish government’s cost of borrowing hit a new record yesterday. The interest rate gap, or spread, between 10-year Spanish bonds and their German equivalents, rose by more than 0.10 of a point to 2.23 percentage points.

A senior Spanish banker, Francisco Gonzalez, chairman of the BBVA financial services group, confirmed that foreign private banks were now refusing to provide liquidity to their Spanish counterparts. “Financial markets have withdrawn their confidence in our country,” he said. “For most Spanish companies and entities, international capital markets are closed.”

As a result, the European Central Bank is said to have provided record amounts of liquidity to Spanish banks in recent days. The closure of bank-to-bank credit to Spanish institutions recalls to some market commentators the ripple of crisis through the global financial system after the fall of Lehman Brothers in the Autumn of 2008.

The IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is expected in Madrid tomorrow to see Mr Zapatero – but brushed off speculation of a crisis. “It’s a working visit,” he told reporters in Paris. “I am in France [today] – are there such rumours about France?”

Fears over Spain’s finances checked the recovery of the euro on money markets yesterday. The single currency lost much of the gains it had made in the past seven days.

One of the proposals on the table at the Brussels summit is public “stress tests” to force banks to reveal the state of their books. The Spanish government offered yesterday to open the books of its own private banks unilaterally to prove that they were sound.

Today’s summit in Brussels was intended to be a time for the EU leaders to catch their breath and discuss ways of restoring the euro’s long-term credibility. The threatened Spanish crisis may blow all that out of the water.

Despite an apparent rapprochement between Paris and Berlin this week, President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel remain deeply divided on how to prevent the currency and debt crisis from dumping Europe back into recession. Mr Sarkozy has agreed to drop his proposals for new institutional machinery for a political “government” of the euro by its 16 member states. Ms Merkel prefers to talk of a vague “governance” of the euro, and European state spending, by all 27 EU governments.

More fundamentally, Paris is deeply concerned that the austerity plans announced by Berlin last week could – on top of budget cuts in other countries – plunge Europe into crisis.

The French fears were echoed yesterday by the billionaire investor, George Soros, who warned that Europe would almost certainly face a recession next year which might generate “social unrest” and the kind of populist nationalism seen in the 1930s. “That’s the real danger of the present situation – that by imposing fiscal discipline at a time of insufficient demand and a weak banking system… you are actually… setting in motion a downward spiral,” he said.

The collapse of Spain’s housing boom has helped fuel a deep downturn which has sent unemployment spiralling to 20 per cent, the second worst in the EU. Mr Zapatero introduced a range of measures last month, including spending cuts of €15bn over two years and reductions in public sector wages and spending. Unions have called a general strike over labour reforms.

It’s Spain’s Time to Try to Dodge the Bullet

FT

Fears that Greek debt crisis will spread to other eurozone nations intensified on Wednesday when Spain suffered a debt downgrade Spain's Economic Crisisfrom Standard & Poor’s, sending the euro to fresh lows against the dollar.

The downgrade, by one notch from AA plus to AA, dealt a blow to Spain’s frantic efforts to avoid contagion from Greece and followed S&P downgrades this week of Greece and Portugal.

As financial markets continued to gyrate and investors offloaded Spanish stocks and bonds, the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development compared the growing debt crisis to the Ebola virus.

“It’s not a question of the danger of contagion; contagion has already happened,” Angel Gurría told Bloomberg. “This is like Ebola. When you realise you have it you have to cut your leg off in order to survive.”

Credit rating agencies have been criticised for their role in the financial crisis, but their views are still closely watched by investors anxious about the deteriorating public finances of some of the world’s most heavily indebted countries.

S&P’s announcement hit Spain’s stocks and bonds. Spanish 10-year bond yields, which have an inverse relationship with prices, rose to 4.127 per cent, while the stock market tumbled 3 per cent.

Greek bond prices fell further in the wake of Tuesday’s downgrade of Greece’s credit rating to junk status by S&P. Ten-year bond yields jumped to 9.91 per cent. The euro was down 0.1 per cent at $1.3135, its lowest since April 2009.

Earlier, speculation that an International Monetary Fund and eurozone rescue package for Greece could rise to as much as €120bn ($158bn) over three years had provided some support for financial markets.

German parliamentarians said after meeting Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF managing director, and Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, that Greece would need financial aid of €100bn to €120bn over the next three years.

The €45bn currently proposed, they said, was only enough for the first year.

Mr Strauss-Kahn refused to confirm the higher figure on Wednesday, saying that details of the talks would be announced once the entire Greek standby programme had been finalised by IMF, ECB and European Commission officials meeting the Greek government in Athens.

In Brussels, the Commission told credit rating agencies weighing up risks in Greece that it expected them “to take due account of the fundamentals of the Greek economy and the support package”.

“We, of course, expect that credit rating agencies, like other financial players, and in particular during this difficult and sensitive period, act in a responsible and rigorous way,” said a spokesperson for Michel Barnier, EU internal market commissioner.

Greece is expected to conclude negotiations on its rescue this weekend. George Papandreou, prime minister, told his cabinet: “We’re determined to reverse past mistake … we have to create in the shortest possible time a viable economy with growth and jobs for everyone.”

With Spain the latest developed nation to feel the heat from growing market nervousness over high budget deficits and rising public debt, S&P said it downgraded the country’s long-term sovereign debt after revising downwards its assumptions for medium-term Spanish growth.

“We now believe that the Spanish economy’s shift away from credit-fuelled economic growth is likely to result in a more protracted period of sluggish activity than we previously assumed,” Marko Mrsnik, credit analyst, said.   More…