The Fascinating and Clandestine Bilderbergers 2005, plus Attendees

The Fascinating and Clandestine Bilderbergers 2005, plus Attendees
In life, consistency counts. The Bilderberg Group, the only private international organization that Time magazine rated 10 for secrecy on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being most secret) gathered again May 5 through 8, 2005, with little notice from the U.S. press. Encased in its usual tourniquet of protection, including sniffer dogs and private and state security toting automatic rifles, the group held its annual clandestine meeting at the 5-star Dorint Sofitel Seehotel Überfahrt in Rottach-Egern, Germany.

As the gray Bavarian sky rained, the conference rooms were allegedly warm and cozy, hosting today’s top powerbroking financiers, industrialists, and politicians. This is a very different group of movers and shakers from when the Bilderbergers first met officially in 1954.

In those days, the task at hand was not only to rebuild Europe from the ashes of World War II, but to make it so strong that no future Kaiser Wilhelm or Adolf Hitler could go to war with the excuse of uniting Europe. The attendees were statesmen and generals and bankers — the Gray Eminences or “wise old men” of America and Europe. They were mostly politicians with vision, plus generals who were sick of war and a few bankers who would provide the cash and loans to finance a new Europe.

Today, industrialists, corporate leaders, and financiers dominate. Their twining with politicians behind closed doors at a highly secure conclave where an invitation is the hottest ticket of the year is fascinating. The Bilderbergers are about money. A great deal of it. And about power. Of that there’s never enough.

Unfortunately, those who attend — including journalists and media magnates — must sign pledges to never reveal what they see and hear. At the same time, records of the seminars and talks are never released.

Still, word has leaked out that the Europeans were in a forgiving mood, their discontent with U.S. President George Bush’s activities in Iraq having largely melted away. The bi-continental group also discussed NAFTA, the potential trade pact between North and South America, costs and payoffs in the Middle East, Asia’s economic future, global economic problems, Russia’s shaky finances, and, of course, oil.

Among the regulars and invited guests were Josef Ackermann of the immensely influential Deutsche Bank, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands whose personal fortune and landholdings are said to exceed those of Bill Gates of Microsoft, Donald Graham who inherited the reins of The Washington Post from his mother Katherine Graham, Jorma Ollila of multinational Nokia, Richard Perle who advised President George W. Bush to invade Iraq and then saw his companies profit from it, Washington insider and attorney Vernon Jordan, Jürgen Schrempp of sprawling multinational DaimlerChrysler, Peter Sutherland of Goldman Sachs International which funds many of the deals of those who attend the meeting, and James Wolfensohn who is a former investment banker and head of the World Bank.

And of course there were the usual prime ministers, EU commissioners, and U.S. government officials:

2005 Regulars and Guests:

  • Honorary Chairman — Etienne Davignon, Vice Chairman, Suez-Tractebel, Belgium
  • Honorary Secretary General — J. Martin Taylor, International Advisor, Goldman Sachs International, Great Britain
  • Jozias J. van Aartsen, Parliamentary Leader, Liberal Party (VVD), Netherlands
  • Ziad Abu-Amr, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council; President of the Palestinian Council on Foreign Relations; Professor of Political Science, Birzeit University
  • Josef Ackermann, Chairman, Group Executive Committee. Deutsche Bank AG, Germany
  • Joaquin Almunia Amann, Commissioner, European Commission
  • George Alogoskoufis, Minister of Economy and Finance, Greece
  • Ali Babacan, Minister of Economic Affairs, Turkey
  • Francisco Pinto Balsemno, Francisco Pinto, Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA, S.G.P.S.; Former Prime Minister, Portugal
  • José M. Durno Barroso, President, European Commission, Portugal
  • Erik Belfrage, Senior Vice President, SEB, Sweden
  • Franco Bernabe, Vice Chairman, Rothschild Europe, Italy
  • Nicolas Beytout, Editor-in-Chief, Le Figaro, France
  • Oscar Bronner, Publisher and Editor, Der Standard, Austria
  • John Browne, Group Chief Executive, British Petroleum, Great Britain
  • Hubert Burda, Chairman of the Board of Management, Hubert Burda Media, Germany
  • David Byrne, WHO Special Envoy on Global Cornmunicable Diseases; Former Commissioner, European Commission, Ireland
  • Philippe Camus, Philippe, CEO, EADS, France
  • Henri de Castries, Chairman of the Board, AXA, France
  • Juan Luis Cebrián. Juan Luis, CEO, PRISA media company, Spain
  • Timothy C. Collins, Senior Managing Director and CEO, Ripplewood Holdings, LLC, U.S.A.
  • Bertrand Collomb, Bertrand, Chairman, Lafarge, France
  • Pascal Couchepin, Head, Department of Home Affairs, Switzerland
  • George A. David, Chairman, Coca-Cola H.b.c. S.A., Greece
  • Thérese Delpech, Director for Strategic Affairs, Atomic Energy Commission, France
  • Anna Diamantopoulou, Member of Parliament, Greece
  • Arthur W.H. van Leeuwen, Arthur W.H., Chairman of the Executive Board, Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets, Netherlands
  • Thomas E. Donilon, Partner, O’Melveny & Myers, U.S.A.
  • Mathias Döpfner, CEO, Axel Springer AG, Germany
  • Anders Eldrup, President, DONG A/S, Denmark
  • John Elkann, Vice Chairman, Fiat S.p.A., Italy
  • Martin S. Feldstein, President and CEO, National Bureau of Economic Research, U.S.A.
  • William C. Ford, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Company, U.S.A.
  • Timothy F. Geithner, President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, U.S.A
  • Imregul Gencer, Member of the Board, Global Investment Holding, Turkey
  • Eival Gilady, Strategic Advisor to Prime Minister Sharon, Ireland
  • Dermot Gleeson, Chairman, AIB Group, Ireland
  • Donald E. Graham, Chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company, U.S.A.
  • Bjrrn T. Grydeland, Ambassador to the EU, Netherlands
  • António Guterres, Former Prime Minister; President, Socialist International, Portugal
  • Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations, U.S.A.
  • Victor Halberstadt, Professor of Economics, Leiden University, Netherlands
  • Jean-Pierre Hansen, CEO, Suez-Tractebel S.A., France
  • Hans Peter Haselsteiner, CEO, Bauholding Strabag SE (Societas Europea), Austria
  • Connie Hedegaard, Minister for the Environment, Denmark
  • Richard C. Holbrooke, Vice Chairman, Perseus, U.S.A.
  • Jaap Hoop de Scheffer, Secretary General, NATO, Netherlands
  • Allan B. Hubbard, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council, U.S.A.
  • Jan Huyghebaert, Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group, Belgium
  • James A. Johnson, Vice Chairman, Perseus LLC, U.S.A.
  • James L. Jones, Supreme Allied Commander Euope, SHAPE, U.S.A.
  • Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Senior Managing Director, Lazard FrPres & Co. LLC, U.S.A.
  • John M. Keane, President, GSI, LLC; General, US Army, Retired, U.S.A.
  • John Kerr, Director, Shell, Rio Tinto, Scottish Americal Investment Trust, Great Britain
  • Henry A. Kissinger, Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc., U.S.A.
  • Klaus Kleinfeld, President and CEO, Siemens AG, Germany
  • Mustafa V. Koç, Chairman, Koç Holding A.S., TR
  • Hilmar Kopper, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, DaimlerChrysler AG, Germany
  • Bernard Kouchner, Director, “Santé et développement”, CNAM, France
  • Henry R. Kravis, Founding Partner, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., U.S.A.
  • Marie-Josée Kravis, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Inc., U.S.A.
  • Neelie Kroes, Commissioner, European Commission
  • André Kudelski, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Kudelski Group, CH
  • Pascal Lamy, President, Notre Europe; Former Commissioner, European Commission, France
  • Michael A.Ledeen, American Enterprise Institute, U.S.A.
  • Erkki Liikanen, Govemor and Chairman of the Board, Bank of Finland, Finland
  • Geir Lundestad, Director, Norwegian Nobel Institute; Secretary, Norwegian Nobel Committee, Norway
  • William J. Luti, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Near Eastern & South Asian Affairs, U.S.A.
  • Mogens Lykketoft, Chairman, Social Democratic Party, DK
  • Irshad Manji, Author/Founder of “Project Ijtihad,” Canada
  • Jessica T. Mathews, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, U.S.A.
  • Bruce Mau, Bruce Mau Design, Canada
  • Frank McKenna, Ambasssador to the U.S.A., Canada
  • Mark C. Medish, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, U.S.A.
  • Kenneth B. Mehlman, Chairman, Republican National Committee, U.S.A.
  • Angela Merkel, Chairman, CDU; Chairman CDU/CSU-Fraction
  • Ivan Miklos, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, SVK
  • Thierry de Montbrial, President, French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), France
  • Mario Monti, President, Bocconi University; Former Commissioner for Competition, European Commission
  • Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice Chancellor, McGill University, Canada
  • Egil Myklebust, Chairman of the Board of Directors, SAS, Norway
  • Matthias Nass, Deputy Editor, Die Zeit, Germany
  • Elena Nemirovskaya, Founder and Director, Moscow School of Political Studies, Russia
  • Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
  • Andrzej Olechowski, Leader Civic Platform, Poland
  • Jorma Ollila, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Nokia Corporation, Finland
  • Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank
  • Loyola de Palacio, President, Council on Foreign Relations, Partido Popular, E.
  • George A. Papandreou, President, Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), Greece
  • Frank H. Pearl, Chairman and CEO, Perseus, LLC, U.S.A.
  • Norman Pearlstine, Editor-in-Chief, Time Inc., U.S.A.
  • Mikael Pentikäinen, President, Sanoma Corporation, Finland
  • Richard N. Perle, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, U.S.A.
  • Friedbert Pflüger, Member of Parliament, CDU/CSU Fraktion, Germany
  • H.R.H. Prince Philippe, Belgium
  • J. Robert S. Prichard, J. Robert S., President. Torstar Media Group & CEO, Torstar Corporation, CDN
  • Rato y Figaredo, Rodrigo de, Managing Director, IMF
  • Heather Reisman, President and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc., CDN
  • David Rockefeller, Member, JP Morgan International Council, U.S.A.
  • Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation, U.S.A.
  • Matias Rodriguez Inciarte, Executive Vice Chairman, Grupo Santander, E.
  • Dennis B. Ross, Director, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, U.S.A.
  • Olivier Roy, Senior Researcher, CNRS, France
  • Nuno Morais Sarmento, Nuno Morais, Former Minister of State and of Presidency; Member of Parliament, Portugal
  • Paolo Scaroni, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Enel S.p.A., Italy
  • Otto Schily, Minister of the Interior, Germany
  • Rudolf Scholten, Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG, Austria
  • Jürgen E. Schrempp, Chairman of the Board of Management, DaimlerChrysler AG, Germany
  • Ekkehard D. Schulz, Chairman of the Executive Board, ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany
  • Sebastián Gascón, Miguel, Chief Economic Adviser to Prime Minister, E.
  • Natan Sharansky, Former Minister for Jerusalem & Diaspora Affairs, Israel
  • Domenico Siniscalco, Minister for Economy and Finance, Italy
  • Robert Skidelsky, Professor of Political Economy, Warwick University, Great Britain
  • H.M. the Queen of Spain
  • Peter D. Sutherland, Chairman, Goldman Sachs International; Chairman, BP p.1.c., Ireland
  • Jacek Szwajcowski, CEO, Polska Grupa Farmaceutyczna, Poland
  • Teija H. Tiilikainen, Director, University of Helsinki, Network for European Studies, Finland
  • Michel Tilmant, Chairman, ING N.V., Netherlands
  • Jean-Claude Trichet, Governor, European Central Bank
  • Cüneyt Ülsever, Columnist, Hürriyet
  • Daniel L. Vasella, Chairman and CEO, Novartis AG, CH
  • Jeroen van der Veer, Chairman Committee of.Managing Directors, Royal Dutch Shell Group, Netherlands
  • John Vanocur, Senior Correspondent, International Herald Tribune, U.S.A.
  • Jacob Wallenberg, Chairman of the Board, Investor AB; Vice-Chairman, SEB, Sweden
  • Mark R. Warner, Governor of Virginia, U.S.A.
  • Peter Weinberg, CEO, Goldman Sachs International, U.S.A.
  • Matthias Wissmann, Member of Parliament, CDU/CSU Fraktion, Germany
  • Martin H. Wolf, Asscociate Editor and Economics Commentator, The Financial Times, Great Britain
  • James D. Wolfensohn, President, The World Bank, U.S.A.
  • Paul Wolfowitz, President designate, The World Bank, U.S.A.
  • Fareed Zakaria, Editor, Newsweek International, U.S.A.
  • Klaus Zumwinkel, Chairman of the Board of Management, Deutsche Post AG, Germany


  • John Micklethwait, United States Editor, The Economist, U.S.A.
  • Adrian D. Wooldridge, Foreign Correspondent, The Economist, Great Britain

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