Does the Bilderberg Group secretly run the world? No. But that sure doesn't mean they're not trying.

The Bilderberg Group is one of the most influential organizations in the world. Similar to the Davos economic forum and G8 summit, the annual Bilderberg meeting brings together royalty, politicians, high-level government bureaucrats, heads of major corporations, elite journalists and other major players to "discuss" the future.

The economist Adam Smith summed it up perfectly a long time ago saying:

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.

It hardly shocking to say that large corporations will work to create cartels in order to gain/maintain market domination. Nor should it shock anyone to say that these companies lobby the government in order to create laws and regulations that effectively crush their competition too. Since advocating purely for their own benefit won't get them very far, it only makes sense that they fund various public interest groups, "think tanks," forums, and other various fronts to provide intellectual merit and grassroots advocacy for whatever it is they want to achieve.

One only needs to look at the guest list of this year's meeting to realize how much influence the Bilderberg Group has on the decision making processes and institutions in the United States and beyond. Yet, despite heavy media coverage of the other major forums where big corporate players and politicians meet, like the Davos economic forum and G8 summit, there is a virtual conspiracy of silence regarding the most secretive forum of them all - the annual Bilderberg conference.

Wouldn't it be nice to know what these makers and shakers of world finance and government policy are up to? Don't you think it might just be important to us?

Zero Hedge recently reported that the Federal Reserve is still bailing out foreign banks.

The Fed's $600 Billion Stealth Bailout Of Foreign Banks Continues At The Expense Of The Domestic Economy

Courtesy of the recently declassified Fed discount window documents, we now know that the biggest beneficiaries of the Fed's generosity during the peak of the credit crisis were foreign banks ... Having been thus exposed, many speculated that going forward the US central bank would primarily focus its "rescue" efforts on US banks, not US-based (or local branches) of foreign (read European) banks ... we present that not only has the Fed's bailout of foreign banks not terminated with the drop in discount window borrowings or the unwind of the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, but that the only beneficiary of the reserves generated were US-based branches of foreign banks (which in turn turned around and funnelled the cash back to their domestic branches) ...

[C]ash held by foreign banks jumps from $308 billion on November 3, or the official start of QE2, to $940 billion as of June 1: an almost dollar for dollar increase with the increase in Fed reserve balances. In other words ... one can argue that the whole point of QE2 was not so much to spike equity markets, or the proverbial "third mandate" of Ben Bernanke, but solely to rescue European banks!

What this observation also means, is that the bulk of risk asset purchasing by dealer desks (if any), has not been performed by US-based primary dealers, as has been widely speculated, but by foreign dealers, which have the designation of "Primary" with the Federal Reserve.

Notice the names representing foreign "Primary" dealers and other interest groups here on the Bilderberg guest list. Take a look at the private equity underwriters who attended this year's Bilderberg conference too. Interestingly, a number of high-profile names from the internet industry attended this year.

Are the Bilderbergs Plotting to Control the Internet?

After a quick glance at this year's Bilderberg attendee list, it is not difficult to surmise that a key focus of the elitists is the internet. PEU Report has pulled the names of those directly tied to the internet industry that were invited to the conference this year:

Kroes, Neelie, Vice President, European Commission; Commissioner for Digital Agenda

Bernabè, Franco, CEO, Telecom Italia SpA

Reisman, Heather, Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc. Center, Brookings Institution

Alexander, Keith B., Commander, USCYBERCOM; Director, National Security Agency

Bezos, Jeff, Founder and CEO, Amazon.comHoffman, Reid, Co-founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn

Hughes, Chris R., Co-founder, Facebook

Mundie, Craig J., Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Microsoft Corporation

Schmidt, Eric, Executive Chairman, Google Inc.

Lévy, Maurice, Chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe S.A.

Löscher, Peter, President and CEO, Siemens AG

Cebrián, Juan Luis, CEO, PRISA

PEU dug deep and found that Varney was on the board of Ryder Systems. According to Ryder, when she was a private sector attorney with the heavy-hitter law firm of Hogan & Hartson, she lead, guess what, "the Internet Law practice group for the firm."

PEU adds:

Adding to Bilderberg intrigue is the IMF's report of a serious cyber attack by a nation state. The attack occurred May 14...The computer attack attempted to install software that would provide an insider digital presence. The IMF waited until a meeting of global tamperers to reveal a "major cyber attack." Did Mark Penn or Karen Hughes craft the narrative? It vectors well with Bilderberg's apparent cyber focus. Even Bill Gates turned out for a Bilderberger.

What they were "plotting" or if they were "plotting" at all is anyone's guess. The meetings are too secret for us to get all the details. But when you consider that public officials, crony capitalists and other highly influential people gather each year in a cloak of secrecy, to not be skeptical is a fool's errand.

Is Bilderberg Building a Global Government?

Jon Ronson wrote an article for the Guardian paper in which he managed to interview key members of the Bilderberg Group for an exposé on the organization, attempting to dismantle the "conspiracy theories" surrounding the secrecy of the meetings. However, through his interviews, important information regarding the social importance of the group continued to emerge. Ronson attempted to contact David Rockefeller, but only managed to reach his press secretary who told Ronson that the "conspiracy theories" about Rockefeller and "global think-tanks such as Bilderberg in general" left David Rockefeller "thoroughly fed up." According to his press secretary, "Mr. Rockefeller's conclusion was that this was a battle between rational and irrational thought. Rational people favoured globalisation. Irrational people preferred nationalism."[53]

While dismissing "conspiracy theories" that Bilderberg "runs the world," Ronson did explain that the Bilderberg members he interviewed admitted, "that international affairs had, from time to time, been influenced by these sessions." As Denis Healey, a 30-year member of the Steering Committee, himself pointedly explained:

To say we were striving for a one-world government is exaggerated, but not wholly unfair. Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn't go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people and rendering millions homeless. So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing... Bilderberg is a way of bringing together politicians, industrialists, financiers and journalists. Politics should involve people who aren't politicians. We make a point of getting along younger politicians who are obviously rising, to bring them together with financiers and industrialists who offer them wise words. It increases the chance of having a sensible global policy.[54]

Will Hutton, the former Editor of the Observer, who had been invited to Bilderberg meetings in the past, once famously referred to the group as "the high priests of globalization."[55] Hutton has said that "people take part in these networks in order to influence the way the world works," and to create, as he put it, "the international common sense" of policy. The Chairman of the Bilderberg Group, Viscount Etienne Davignon, stated that, "I don't think (we are) a global ruling class because I don't think a global ruling class exists. I simply think it's people who have influence interested to speak to other people who have influence."[56]

G. William Domhoff is a professor of Psychology and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and has written about the Bilderberg Group. In an interview, he discounted the notion that the study of such groups is relegated to the realm of conspiracy theory, and instead explained that he studies "how elites strive to develop consensus, which is through such publicly observable organizations as corporate boards and the policy-planning network, which can be studied in detail, and which are reported on in the media in at least a halfway accurate manner."[57]

[53] Jon Ronson, Who pulls the strings? (part 2), The Guardian, 10 March 2001:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2001/mar/10/extract
[54] Ibid.
[55] Mark Oliver, The Bilderberg group, The Guardian, 4 June 2004:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2004/jun/04/netnotes.markoliver
[56] BBC, Inside the secretive Bilderberg Group, BBC News, 29 September 2005:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4290944.stm
[57] Chip Berlet, Interview: G. William Domhoff, New Internationalist, September 2004:
http://www.publiceye.org/antisemitism/nw_domhoff.html

It's doubtful that Bilderberg represents a group of secret plotters with a singular goal, which is controlled by a handful of "puppet-masters." But that said, Bilderberg does represent a group of like-minded, self-interested world leaders who meet in secret at public expense. And they certainly aren't angels meeting for a weekend of tea and crumpets.

It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is every where the parent of despotism; free government is founded in jealousy and not in confidence; it is jealousy & not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power ... in questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution . -- Thomas Jefferson, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 30: 1 January 1798 to 31 January 1799 (Princeton University Press, 2003), 536-43

Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio interviewed by Jake Kettle on the prospects and possibilities of one world government