Once a year a high-powered shadowy and secretive meeting takes place that many believe has an enormous influence on how the world is run…
The 64th Bilderberg Conference is currently taking place in Dresden and from June 9th to June 12th the ‘global elite’ are meeting to discuss – well no one knows, reports The Independent.
Attendance is strictly by invite only and unlike most conferences, no minutes will be taken, no reporters are allowed in and all of the attendees will be asked not to quote each other.
And if you think that’s suspicious, it’s worth noting that when Bill Clinton attended in 1991 he was governor of Arkansas – a year later he was U.S President.
And as for a certain Mr Tony Blair, he was only a shadow minister when he got his invitation in 1993 and we all know how that turned out…
The Bilderberg organisers insist there’s no conspiracy to manoeuvre their ‘chosen ones’ into the top jobs, claiming they just have excellent talent spotters.
Topics of discussion at this year’s conference will reportedly include China, Europe, migration, the Middle East, Russia and the ‘geo-politics of energy and commodity prices’ – but we have no way of really knowing do we…
So who are these influential, rich and shadowy figures who don’t want any of us regular folk to know what they’re chatting about?
According to The Independent, senior representatives from Deutsche Bank, the European Central Bank and Lazard, as well as oil giants Shell and BP will be rubbing shoulders with this little lot…
Henri de Castries
Not only is he the chairman of the 2016 conference, he is also the Fifth Count of Castries a family whose ancestors fought in the Crusades in the 11th and 13th Century.
After working for the French Treasury, Mr de Castries joined AXA and in May 2000 became chairman and chief executive of the global insurance group, which is thought to have assets of 552 billion euros (£430 billion.)
The controversial businessman and Ryanair boss will also be in attendance at this year’s conference.
He is reportedly one of Ireland’s wealthiest men and has made headlines recently for a whole host of reasons.
He used an appearance on Question Time to repeatedly plug his budget airline – breaching BBC regulations and, having fought the EU for years, has now turned into one of its biggest defenders, even decorating his airplanes to prove it.
Sir John Sawers
Former head of MI6 and with a stint as Foreign Policy Advisor to Tony Blair under his belt, Sir John now goes under the snappy title of ‘Chairman and Partner, Macro Advisory Partners’.
According to its website, the consultancy offers corporations and governments: “Strategic insights to navigate the intersection of global markets, geopolitics and government policy.”
In May 2015, British Petroleum (BP) appointed Sir John to its board on a reported £90,000 salary…
Now going under the title ‘Chairman, KKR Global Institute’ Mr Petraeus became a household name as director of the CIA.
He was general commander of the multinational force in Iraq in 2007, leading a ‘surge’ which effectively ended the insurgency there.
He was made director of the CIA by Barack Obama in 2011 – however he resigned, in November 2012 after reportedly having an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell.
James A Johnson
Long-serving Goldman Sachs board member with massive influence in the U.S political sphere, Mr Johnson also served as chairman and chief executive to the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) between 1991 and 1998.
His salary was reported to have been $21 million (£14.5 million) when he left Fannie Mae – ten years before the global economic crisis hit and it had to be bailed out by the U.S government.
So there you have it guys – is it just an innocent little elite gathering for these people to admire how much wealth they have or is it something more sinister?
We’ll never know will we…
You can check out the full list of people who’ve been invited here.