Jun 06

Related info:

Bilderberg 2013: Full List Of Attendees

British Taxpayers To Pay ‘MILLIONS’ Towards Secretive BILDERBERG Meeting Security

Conspiracy theorists claim it is a shadow world government. Former leading members tell the Telegraph it was the most useful meeting they ever went to and it was crucial in forming the European Union. Today, the Bilderberg Group meets in Britain.

Bilderberg Group? No conspiracy, just the most influential group in the world (Telegraph, June 6, 2013):

“The abuse is terrible,” said Peter Mandelson, leading the walking party through the throng of protesters and carrying the group’s uniform orange ski jacket under his arm.

Amid the din, Peer Steinbruck, the former German Finance Minister, pointedly refused to break off his conversation with Thomas Enders, the head of defence giant EADS. Behind him, Eric Schmidt, the Google chairman, picked up the pace along the narrow road and kept his eyes fixed on the Suvretta hotel ahead. Franco Bernabe, the vice chairman of Rothschild Europe, grinned through the chorus of booing and chanting in German down megaphones, before ducking under the police tape and into the safety of the hotel’s grounds.

It was June 2011. Demonstrations were sweeping through the stricken eurozone, China and North Africa. And in tranquil St Moritz, high in the Swiss alps, half a dozen of the most powerful men in the West had taken a break from a weekend of intensive and strictly confidential debate to walk in the woods, when their paths crossed with the protesters who had come from around the world to keep an eye on them.

The gathering was entirely innocent, the walking party would insist. But what were they doing there?

No such encounters will take place in Watford this week, as the Bilderberg, the annual conference for 140 of the world’s most powerful, meet for four days at The Grove, a £300-a-night golf hotel close to the M25. The entire hotel has been booked out, and a high fence erected around the exclusion zone. Armed checkpoints have been set up on local roads, and locals must show their passports to enter their own driveways. The Home Office may foot the bill. A US news site dedicated to uncovering conspiracies had booked a room for last week but were told by phone not to turn up.

Continue reading »

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Jun 03

The Full List Of 2013’s Bilderberg Attendees (ZeroHedge, June 3, 2013):

The only thing more ominous for the world than a Hindenburg Omen sighting is a Bilderberg Group meeting. The concentration of politicians and business leaders has meant the organisation, founded at the Bilderberg Hotel near Arnhem in 1954, has faced accusations of secrecy. Meetings take place behind closed doors, with a ban on journalists. We suspect the agenda (how the US and Europe can promote growth, the way ‘big data’ is changing ‘almost everything’, the challenges facing the continent of Africa, and the threat of cyber warfare) has been somewhat re-arranged as market volatility picks up and the status quo begins to quake once again.  The annual gathering of the royalty, statesmen, and business leaders, conspiratorially believed to run the world (snubbing their Illuminati peers and Freemason fellows), will take place this week at the Grove Hotel in London, England.

The Telegraph provides the full list of attendees below – for those autogrpah seekers – including Britain’s George Osborne, US’ Henry Kissinger, Peter Sutherland (the chairman of Goldman Sachs), the Fed’s Kevin Warsh, Jeff Bezos?, Peter Thiel, Italy’s Mario Monti, and Spain’s de Guindos.

Bilderberg delegates in full

  • Chairman: Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO, AXA Group
  • Paul M. Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
  • Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Board, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd
  • Marcus Agius, Former Chairman, Barclays plc
  • Helen Alexander, Chairman, UBM plc Continue reading »

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Jun 05

Market rumor: Pimco and JP Morgan halt vacations to prepare for economic crash (Examiner, June 3, 2012):

On June 1, market rumors were coming out of a hedge fund luncheon stating that Pimco, JP Morgan, and other financial companies were cancelling summer vacations for employees so they could prepare for a major ‘Lehman type’ economic crash projected for the coming months.  These rumors came on a day when the markets nearly came to capitulation, with the DOW falling more than 274 points, and gold soaring over $63 as traders across the board fled stocks and moved into safer investments.

Todd Harrison tweet: Hearing (not confirmed) @PIMCO asked employees to cancel vacations to have “all hands on deck” for a Lehman-type tail event. Confirm?

Todd M. Schoenberger tweet: @todd_harrison @pimco I heard the same thing, but I also heard the same for “some” at JPM. Heard it today at a hedge fund luncheon.

Todd Harrison is the CEO of the award winning internet media company Minyanville, while Todd Shoenberger is a managing principal at the Blackbay Group, and an adjunct professor of Finance at Cecil College.

Pimco and JP Morgan Chase are not the only financial institutions worried about a potential repeat of the 2008 credit crisis.  On May 31, one day before Pinco rumors began to spread around the markets, World Bank President Robert Zoellick issued the same warnings of a potential ‘rerun of the great panic of 2008’. Continue reading »

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Jun 10

Bilderberg Group 2011: Full Official Attendee List:

“Thanks to the fantastic work of Bilderberg activists, journalists and the Swiss media, we have now been able to obtain the full official list of 2011 Bilderberg attendees. Routinely, some members request that their names be kept off the roster so there will be additional Bilderbergers in attendance.


  • Coene, Luc, Governor, National Bank of Belgium
  • Davignon, Etienne, Minister of State
  • Leysen, Thomas, Chairman, Umicore


  • Fu, Ying, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Huang, Yiping, Professor of Economics, China Center for Economic Research, Peking University


  • Eldrup, Anders, CEO, DONG Energy
  • Federspiel, Ulrik, Vice President, Global Affairs, Haldor Topsøe A/S
  • Schütze, Peter, Member of the Executive Management, Nordea Bank AB


  • Ackermann, Josef, Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank
  • Enders, Thomas, CEO, Airbus SAS
  • Löscher, Peter, President and CEO, Siemens AG
  • Nass, Matthias, Chief International Correspondent, Die Zeit
  • Steinbrück, Peer, Member of the Bundestag; Former Minister of Finance Continue reading »

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Apr 27

Libya: It’s Not About Oil, It’s About Currency and Loans

John Perkins

World Bank’s Zoellick: Hopes Bank Will Have Role In Libya (Dow Jones):

April 26, 2011 – WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- World Bank President Robert Zoellick Thursday said he hopes the institution will have a role rebuilding Libya as it emerges from current unrest.

Zoellick at a panel discussion noted the bank’s early role in the reconstruction of France, Japan and other nations after World War II.

“Reconstruction now means (Ivory Coast), it means southern Sudan, it means Liberia, it means Sri Lanka, I hope it will mean Libya,” Zoellick said.

On Ivory Coast, Zoellick said he hoped that within “a couple weeks” the bank would move forward with “some hundred millions of dollars of emergency support.”

We listen to U.S. spokespeople try to explain why we’re suddenly now entangled in another Middle East war. Many of us find ourselves questioning the official justifications. We are aware that the true causes of our engagement are rarely discussed in the media or by our government.

While many of the rationalizations describe resources, especially oil, as the reasons why we should be in that country, there are also an increasing number of dissenting voices. For the most part, these revolve around Libya’s financial relationship with the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and multinational corporations.

Continue reading »

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Apr 17

Exactly as planned by the elitists.

Apr. 17 (Bloomberg) — World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the global economy is “one shock away” from a crisis in food supplies and prices.

Zoellick estimated 44 million people have fallen into poverty due to rising food prices in the past year, and a 10 percent increase in the food price index would send 10 million more people into poverty. The United Nations FAO Food Price index jumped 25 percent last year, the second-steepest increase since at least 1991, and surged to a record in February.

Food price inflation is “the biggest threat today to the world’s poor,” Zoellick said at a press conference following meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. “We are one shock away from a full-blown crisis.”

“For most commodities, stocks are relatively low,” he said. “You have one other weather event in some of these areas and you really take a danger zone and start to push people over the edge.”

Continue reading »

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Feb 20

LONDON (Reuters) – World Bank chief Robert Zoellick urged big economies on Friday to modernise the global monetary system to be able to handle multiple major currencies.

In a guest column for the Financial Times, Zoellick said China’s yuan should be given a bigger role within a restructured system, echoing remarks made last week by the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Many officials support the idea in principle of the yuan becoming part of the Special Drawing Rights (SDR), a basket of currencies administered by the IMF, but say that is unlikely to happen unless it becomes fully convertible.

“The U.S. dollar will remain the predominant reserve currency (ROFL!), but over time the world economy will need to manage a system of multiple major currencies,” Zoellick wrote ahead of Friday’s meeting in Paris of finance chiefs from the Group of 20 rich and developing nations.

Continue reading »

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Feb 16

We give Robert Zoellick 4 to 6 weeks before he follows Axel Weber, Kevin Warsh and the COO of one of the bankrupt GSEs (we forget his name) into the sunset. The reason? After breaking ranks with the Criminal Bank Cartel last year and calling for a return to the gold standard, the president of the World Bank has dared to be the first among the institutional elite to point out that the cotton in the emperor’s clothes, were he to be clothed in the first place, would have surged by 100% in less than a year.

According to AP: “World Bank President Robert Zoellick says global food prices have hit “dangerous levels” that could contribute to political instability, push millions of people into poverty and raise the cost of groceries.

Not to worry. According to Fed VP Christine Cumming who spoke earlier somewhere, rising commodity costs merely indicate “stronger global demand.” Oddly enough, it is this supposed demand for products that has forced 44 million people to enter “extreme poverty”… out of their own volition. We are  not sure, but something tells us the Fed’s Cumming has a Ph.D.

From AP:

The bank says in a new report that global food prices have jumped 29 percent in the past year, and are just 3 percent below the all-time peak hit in 2008. Zoellick says the rising prices have hit people hardest in the developing world because they spend as much as half their income on food.

The World Bank estimates higher prices for corn, wheat and oil have pushed 44 million people into extreme poverty since last June.

Continue reading »

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Jun 11

Bilderberg 2010: Final (Official) List of Participants:

Henry Kissinger, Larry Summers, Robert Rubin and Paul Volcker at Bilderberg 2010.

Change we can believe in! (Kissinger: Obama Will Create A New World Order)

Henry Kissinger, diplomat, strategist, Nobel laureate, wanted for questioning in Spain over war crimes

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, major stakeholder in Royal Dutch Shell

Viscount Etienne Davignon, former vice-president of the European commission, president of the Bilderberg steering committee

Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve and chairman of Barack Obama’s economic recovery board (centre); James Johnson, vice-chairman of Perseus (right)

Robert Zoellick, head of the World Bank (centre); John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of the Economist (left)

Nout Wellink, president of the Bank of the Netherlands

From left to right: in background, Jyrki Katainen, Finnish minister of finance; in centre, with moustache, Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler AG, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars; to right of pillar, Jorma Ollila, chairman of Nokia, member of the board of directors of Ford and non-executive chairman of Royal Dutch Shell

Neelie Kroes, Dutch politician. Former European commissioner for competition, current European commissioner for digital agenda

Olaf Scholz, vice-chairman of the German Social Democrat party (left); Craig Mundie, chief research officer of Microsoft (right)

Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, the ‘founding father’ of the EU and ‘intellectual impetus’ behind the euro, president of the thinktank Notre Europe, member of the ‘Group of 30’ (chairman, Paul Volcker)

Joaquín Almunia, European commissioner (right)

Gustavo Cisneros, Cisneros Group, richest man in Latin America (beige suit)

Peter Voser, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell

Jacob Wallenburg, director of Coca-Cola, banker, industrialist, from Sweden’s billionaire Wallenburg family

Mustafa Koç, billionaire heir to Turkish corporation Koç Holdings

Francisco Pinto Balsemão, former prime minister of Portugal and CEO of Impresa, farewells an unknown delegate

Victor Halberstadt, Bilderberg steering committee, professor of public economics at Leiden University, Netherlands, and international adviser for Goldman Sachs

Javier Solana, secretary general of Nato from 1995 to 1999, and high representative for common foreign and security policy of the European Union from 1999 until 2009. He is a Knight of the Order of St Michael and St George, and a member of the Club of Rome

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Jun 06

Bilderberg Meetings
Sitges, Spain 3-6 June 2010

Final List of Participants

Honorary Chairman BEL Davignon, Etienne Vice Chairman, Suez-Tractebel

DEU Ackermann, Josef Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank AG
GBR Agius, Marcus Chairman, Barclays Bank PLC
ESP Alierta, César Chairman and CEO, Telefónica
INT Almunia, Joaquín Commissioner, European Commission
USA Altman, Roger C. Chairman, Evercore Partners Inc.
USA Arrison, Sonia Author and policy analyst
SWE Bäckström, Urban Director General, Confederation of Swedish Enterprise
PRT Balsemão, Francisco Pinto Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA, S.G.P.S.; Former Prime Minister
ITA Bernabè, Franco CEO, Telecom Italia S.p.A.
SWE Bildt, Carl Minister of Foreign Affairs
FIN Blåfield, Antti Senior Editorial Writer, Helsingin Sanomat
ESP Botín, Ana P. Executive Chairman, Banesto
NOR Brandtzæg, Svein Richard CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
AUT Bronner, Oscar Publisher and Editor, Der Standard
TUR Çakir, Ruşen Journalist
CAN Campbell, Gordon Premier of British Columbia
ESP Carvajal Urquijo, Jaime Managing Director, Advent International
FRA Castries, Henri de Chairman of the Management Board and CEO, AXA
ESP Cebrián, Juan Luis CEO, PRISA
ESP Cisneros, Gustavo A. Chairman and CEO, Cisneros Group of Companies
CAN Clark, W. Edmund President and CEO, TD Bank Financial Group
USA Collins, Timothy C. Senior Managing Director and CEO, Ripplewood Holdings, LLC
ITA Conti, Fulvio CEO and General Manager, Enel SpA
GRC David, George A. Chairman, Coca-Cola H.B.C. S.A.
DNK Eldrup, Anders CEO, DONG Energy
ITA Elkann, John Chairman, Fiat S.p.A.
DEU Enders, Thomas CEO, Airbus SAS
ESP Entrecanales, José M. Chairman, Acciona
DNK Federspiel, Ulrik Vice President Global Affairs, Haldor Topsøe A/S
USA Feldstein, Martin S. George F. Baker Professor of Economics, Harvard University
USA Ferguson, Niall Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University
AUT Fischer, Heinz Federal President
IRL Gallagher, Paul Attorney General
USA Gates, William H. Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Chairman, Microsoft Corporation
USA Gordon, Philip H. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
USA Graham, Donald E. Chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company
INT Gucht, Karel de Commissioner, European Commission
TUR Gürel, Z. Damla Special Adviser to the President on EU Affairs
NLD Halberstadt, Victor Professor of Economics, Leiden University; Former Honorary Secretary General of Bilderberg Meetings
USA Holbrooke, Richard C. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
NLD Hommen, Jan H.M. Chairman, ING Group
USA Hormats, Robert D. Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs
BEL Huyghebaert, Jan Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group
USA Johnson, James A. Vice Chairman, Perseus, LLC
FIN Katainen, Jyrki Minister of Finance
USA Keane, John M. Senior Partner, SCP Partners
GBR Kerr, John Member, House of Lords; Deputy Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell plc.
USA Kissinger, Henry A. Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
USA Kleinfeld, Klaus Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
TUR Koç, Mustafa V. Chairman, Koç Holding A.Ş.
USA Kravis, Henry R. Founding Partner, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
USA Kravis, Marie-Josée Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Inc.
INT Kroes, Neelie Commissioner, European Commission
USA Lander, Eric S. President and Director, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
FRA Lauvergeon, Anne Chairman of the Executive Board, AREVA
ESP León Gross, Bernardino Secretary General, Office of the Prime Minister
DEU Löscher, Peter Chairman of the Board of Management, Siemens AG
NOR Magnus, Birger Chairman, Storebrand ASA
CAN Mansbridge, Peter Chief Correspondent, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
USA Mathews, Jessica T. President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
CAN McKenna, Frank Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group
GBR Micklethwait, John Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
FRA Montbrial, Thierry de President, French Institute for International Relations
ITA Monti, Mario President, Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
INT Moyo, Dambisa F. Economist and Author
USA Mundie, Craig J. Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Microsoft Corporation
NOR Myklebust, Egil Former Chairman of the Board of Directors SAS, Norsk Hydro ASA
USA Naím, Moisés Editor-in-Chief, Foreign Policy
NLD Netherlands, H.M. the Queen of the
ESP Nin Génova, Juan María President and CEO, La Caixa
DNK Nyrup Rasmussen, Poul Former Prime Minister
GBR Oldham, John National Clinical Lead for Quality and Productivity
FIN Ollila, Jorma Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell plc
USA Orszag, Peter R. Director, Office of Management and Budget
TUR Özilhan, Tuncay Chairman, Anadolu Group
ITA Padoa-Schioppa, Tommaso Former Minister of Finance; President of Notre Europe
GRC Papaconstantinou, George Minister of Finance
USA Parker, Sean Managing Partner, Founders Fund
USA Pearl, Frank H. Chairman and CEO, Perseus, LLC
USA Perle, Richard N. Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
ESP Polanco, Ignacio Chairman, Grupo PRISA
CAN Prichard, J. Robert S. President and CEO, Metrolinx
FRA Ramanantsoa, Bernard Dean, HEC Paris Group
PRT Rangel, Paulo Member, European Parliament
CAN Reisman, Heather M. Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
SWE Renström, Lars President and CEO, Alfa Laval
NLD Rinnooy Kan, Alexander H.G. Chairman, Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER)
ITA Rocca, Gianfelice Chairman, Techint
ESP Rodriguez Inciarte, Matías Executive Vice Chairman, Grupo Santander
USA Rose, Charlie Producer, Rose Communications
USA Rubin, Robert E. Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury
TUR Sabanci Dinçer, Suzan Chairman, Akbank
ITA Scaroni, Paolo CEO, Eni S.p.A.
USA Schmidt, Eric CEO and Chairman of the Board, Google
AUT Scholten, Rudolf Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
DEU Scholz, Olaf Vice Chairman, SPD
INT Sheeran, Josette Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme
INT Solana Madariaga, Javier Former Secretary General, Council of the European Union
ESP Spain, H.M. the Queen of
USA Steinberg, James B. Deputy Secretary of State
INT Stigson, Björn President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
USA Summers, Lawrence H. Director, National Economic Council
IRL Sutherland, Peter D. Chairman, Goldman Sachs International
GBR Taylor, J. Martin Chairman, Syngenta International AG
PRT Teixeira dos Santos, Fernando Minister of State and Finance
USA Thiel, Peter A. President, Clarium Capital Management, LLC
GRC Tsoukalis, Loukas President, ELIAMEP
INT Tumpel-Gugerell, Gertrude Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank
USA Varney, Christine A. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust
CHE Vasella, Daniel L. Chairman, Novartis AG
USA Volcker, Paul A. Chairman, Economic Recovery Advisory Board
CHE Voser, Peter CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
FIN Wahlroos, Björn Chairman, Sampo plc
CHE Waldvogel, Francis A. Chairman, Novartis Venture Fund
SWE Wallenberg, Jacob Chairman, Investor AB
NLD Wellink, Nout President, De Nederlandsche Bank
USA West, F.J. Bing Author
GBR Williams, Shirley Member, House of Lords
USA Wolfensohn, James D. Chairman, Wolfensohn & Company, LLC
ESP Zapatero, José Luis Rodríguez Prime Minister
DEU Zetsche, Dieter Chairman, Daimler AG
INT Zoellick, Robert B. President, The World Bank Group

GBR Bredow, Vendeline von Business Correspondent, The Economist
GBR Wooldridge, Adrian D. Business Correspondent, The Economist

Source: Bilderberg Meetings

See also:

Spanish PM to Open Secretive Bilderberg Club Meeting in Sitges

Bilderberg 2010: The Shadowy Global Elite Is Meeting In Sitges

Bilderberg investigation revealed to European Parliament

The Elitist Takeover of Poland: IMF’s Marek Belka, Polish Ex-PM and Bilderberg Member Proposed as Polish Central Bank Head

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Oct 05

The World Bank is close to ‘running out of money’, its president, Robert Zoellick, has disclosed.

World Bank president Robert Zoellick has launched a major campaign secure more funding from rich nations (REUTERS)

The Bank, whose job it is to support low-income countries, has had to hand out so much cash in the wake of the financial crisis that it faces a shortfall in what it can spare for new projects within 12 months.

“By the middle of next year we will face serious constraints,” said its president Robert Zoellick, as he launched a major campaign to persuade rich nations to pour more money into the Washington-based institution.

He conceded that such a task was likely to be extremely difficult, given the difficulties facing countries in the wake of the developed world’s biggest recession since the Second World War.

Continue reading »

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Sep 28


Iran Replaces The US Dollar With The Euro

HSBC bids farewell to US dollar supremacy

Putin says US dollar issuance ‘uncontrolled’, calls for diversified reserves

Hedge Funds’ ATM Moves From Tokyo to Washington

World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick attends a news conference in Beijing (REUTERS)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the United States should not take the dollar’s status as the world’s key reserve currency for granted because other options are emerging.

In excerpts released on Sunday from a speech that he is to deliver on Monday, Zoellick said global economic forces were shifting and it was time now to prepare for the fact that growth will come from multiple sources.

“The United States would be mistaken to take for granted the dollar’s place as the world’s predominant reserve currency,” he said. “Looking forward, there will increasingly be other options.”

Zoellick said that a meeting of Group of 20 rich and developing countries in Pittsburgh on Thursday and Friday had made “a good start” toward increased global cooperation but they will have accept global monitoring of their activities.

Continue reading »

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Dec 11

Pedestrians walk past the abandoned San Martin grain silos in San Salvador, on July 22, 2008. Photographer: Alejandra Parra/Bloomberg News

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) — Inside and out, the rusted towers of El Salvador’s biggest grain silo show how the World Bank helped push developing countries into the global food crisis.

Inside, the silo, which once held thousands of tons of beans and cereals, is now empty. It was abandoned in 1991, after the bank told Salvadoran leaders to privatize grain storage, import staples such as corn and rice, and export crops including cocoa, coffee and palm oil.

Outside, where Rosa Maria Chavez’s food stand is propped against a tower wall, price increases for basic grains this year whittled business down to 16 customers a day from 80.

“It’s a monument to the mess we are in now,” says Chavez, 63.

About 40 million people joined the ranks of the undernourished this year, bringing the estimate of the world’s hungry to 963 million of its 6.8 billion people, the Rome-based United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said yesterday. The growth didn’t come just from natural causes.

Continue reading »

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Aug 27

DON’T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA SAVE YOUR TEARS FOR YOURSELF – While bankers do control the issuance of credit, they cannot control themselves. Bankers are the fatal flaw in their deviously opaque system that has substituted credit for money and debt for savings. The bankers have spread their credit-based system across the world by catering to basic human needs and ambition and greed; and while human needs can be satisfied, ambition and greed cannot-and the bankers’ least of all.

I have a bad feeling about what’s about to happen. The Great Depression is the closest that comes to mind. I, like most, was not alive during the 1930s when it happened. Nonetheless, what once was feared in private is now being discussed in public. It’s going to be bad. It’s going to make high school seem like fun.


This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises by University of Maryland‘s Carmen Reinhart and Harvard’s Kenneth Rogoff makes for perfect reading when flying between the US and Argentina.

There is perhaps no better analysis than Reinhart and Rogoff’s on the history of sovereign defaults; and, as such, Reinhart and Rogoff’s paper was ideal reading material when traveling between the US and Argentina , for the sovereign defaults that happened in the past to Argentina will soon be happening to the US .

Continue reading »

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Jun 07

The 2008 Bilderberg Meeting is now in full swing at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia, USA but you wouldn’t know it from the media blackout of this event by virtually all mainstream media outlets in the United States. Each year, Bilderberg hosts some of the most powerful people in North America and Europe where these individuals set and shape policies for the world. The 2008 Bilderberg Meeting is slated to run from June 5th through June 8th. Since 1954, Bilderberg has met in secrecy primarily thanks to the intentional lack of media attention paid to it. One would think that an event where over 100 of the most high profile and powerful people from North America and Europe are meeting would receive a great deal of mainstream media attention, but there is virtually none. As a result of the media blackout, only independent journalists and alternative researchers have been covering this event on a year to year basis. Due to a greater amount of attention being paid to this event, a press release on the Bilderberg Meeting was issued from a group that identified themselves as the American Friends of Bilderberg. The press release provides spin on how wonderful Bilderberg is and even provides a contact number that can be used to obtain a list of attendees. The Logan Act states that it is illegal for those holding public office in the United States to attend secret meetings like Bilderberg where policy is set. Regardless, that has not stopped people like Rick Perry from attending the 2007 Bilderberg Meeting as the sitting Texas governor. Jim Tucker, who has covered the Bilderberg meeting for over 30 years, has accurately made future predictions based upon information he has received from moles within Bilderberg. There is no doubt that policy is set at this meeting and quite frankly if you think that some of the most powerful people in the world are getting together just for laughs, you are sorely mistaken.

Below is taken directly from the press release on the Bilderberg Meeting issued by the American Friends of Bilderberg which provides positive spin for the Bilderberg Meeting. Continue reading »

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Jun 05

Pledges of almost three billion dollars of emergency aid were made at a food price crisis summit on Wednesday but UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned up to 20 billion dollars a year would be needed to avoid disaster.

“We simply cannot afford to fail,” the UN secretary general said at the food security summit. “Hundreds of millions of people expect no less.”

The extra resources that might be as required will cost between 15 billion and 20 billion dollars (10-13 billion euros) a year, Ban told a news conference.

New funding totalling some 2.7 billion dollars was announced on the second day of the summit in Rome, where Ban has already demanded a 50 percent increase in food production by 2030.

The UN World Food Programme announced 1.2 billion dollars in new food aid to help “the tens of millions of people … hardest hit by the crisis.” Continue reading »

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May 24

Riots, protests and political unrest could multiply in the developing world as soaring inflation widens the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots”, an investment bank predicted yesterday.

Economists at Merrill Lynch view inflation as an “accident waiting to happen”. As prices for food and commodities surge, the bank expects global inflation to rise from 3.5% to 4.9% this year. In emerging markets, the average rate is to be 7.3%.

The cost of food and fuel has already been cited as a factor leading to violence in Haiti, protests by Argentinian farmers and riots in sub-Saharan Africa, including attacks on immigrants in South African townships.

Merrill’s chief international economist, Alex Patelis, said this could be the tip of the iceberg, warning of more trouble “between nations and within nations” as people struggle to pay for everyday goods. “Inflation has distributional effects. If everyone’s income moved by the same rate, you wouldn’t care – but it doesn’t,” said Patelis. “You have pensioners on fixed pensions. Some people produce rice that triples in price, while others consume it.”

A report by Merrill urges governments to crack down on inflation, describing the phenomenon as the primary driver of macroeconomic trends. The problem has emerged from poor food harvests, sluggish supplies of energy and soaring demand in rapidly industrialising countries such as China, where wage inflation has reached 18%.

Unless policymakers take action to dampen prices and wages, Merrill says sudden shortages could become more frequent. The bank cited power cuts in South Africa and a run on rice in Californian supermarkets as recent examples.

“You’re going to see tension between nations and within nations,” said Patelis.

The UN recently set up a taskforce to examine food shortages and price rises. It has expressed alarm that its world food programme is struggling to pay for food for those most at need.

Last month, the World Bank’s president, Robert Zoellick, suggested that 33 countries could erupt in social unrest following a rise of as much as 80% in food prices over three years.

Merrill’s report said the credit crunch has contributed to a global re-balancing, drawing to a close an era in which American consumers have been the primary drivers of the world’s economy.

In a gloomy set of forecasts, Merrill said it believes the US is in a recession – and that American house prices, which are among the root causes of the downturn, could fall by 15% over the next 18 months. Continue reading »

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May 12

There is a time for food, and a time for ethical appraisals. This was the case even before Bertolt Brecht gave life to that expression in Die Driegroschen Oper. The time for a reasoned, coherent understanding for the growing food crisis is not just overdue, but seemingly past. Robert Zoellick of the World Bank, an organization often dedicated to flouting, rather than achieving its claimed goal of poverty reduction, stated the problem in Davos in January this year. ‘Hunger and malnutrition are the forgotten Millennium Development Goal.’

Global food prices have gone through the roof, terrifying the 3 billion or so people who live off less than $2 a day. This should terrify everybody else. In November, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization reported that food prices had suffered a 18 percent inflation in China, 13 percent in Indonesia and Pakistan, and 10 percent or more in Latin America, Russia and India. The devil in the detail is even more distressing: a doubling in the price of wheat, a twenty percent increase in the price of rice, an increase by half in maize prices. Continue reading »

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May 05

We need to overturn food policy, now!


For some time now the rising cost of food all over the world has taken households, governments and the media by storm. The price of wheat has gone up by 130% over the last year.[1] Rice has doubled in price in Asia in the first three months of 2008 alone,[2] and just last week it hit record highs on the Chicago futures market.[3] For most of 2007 the spiralling cost of cooking oil, fruit and vegetables, as well as of dairy and meat, led to a fall in the consumption of these items. From Haiti to Cameroon to Bangladesh, people have been taking to the streets in anger at being unable to afford the food they need. In fear of political turmoil, world leaders have been calling for more food aid, as well as for more funds and technology to boost agricultural production. Cereal exporting countries, meanwhile, are closing their borders to protect their domestic markets, while other countries have been forced into panic buying. Is this a price blip? No. A food shortage? Not that either. We are in a structural meltdown, the direct result of three decades of neoliberal globalisation.

Farmers across the world produced a record 2.3 billion tons of grain in 2007, up 4% on the previous year. Since 1961 the world’s cereal output has tripled, while the population has doubled. Stocks are at their lowest level in 30 years, it’s true,[4] but the bottom line is that there is enough food produced in the world to feed the population. The problem is that it doesn’t get to all of those who need it. Less than half of the world’s grain production is directly eaten by people. Most goes into animal feed and, increasingly, biofuels – massive inflexible industrial chains. In fact, once you look behind the cold curtain of statistics, you realise that something is fundamentally wrong with our food system. We have allowed food to be transformed from something that nourishes people and provides them with secure livelihoods into a commodity for speculation and bargaining. The perverse logic of this system has come to a head. Today it is staring us in the face that this system puts the profits of investors before the food needs of people. Continue reading »

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Apr 15

“Children will be suffering from malnutrition” … a UN peacekeeper with locals in Port-au-Prince,
where hunger-provoked protests and looting have left six dead. Photo: AP

THE poorest countries face starvation and civil unrest if global food prices keep rising, says the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Hundreds of thousands of people would starve, he said in Washington. “Children will be suffering from malnutrition, with consequences for all their lives.”

He predicted that rising food prices would push up the cost of imports for poor countries, leading to trade imbalances that might also affect developed nations.

“It is not only a humanitarian question,” he said.

Global food prices have risen sharply in recent months, driven by rising demand, poor weather and an increase in the area of land used to grow crops for biofuels.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation says 37 countries face food crisis. The president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, urged members on Sunday to provide $US500 million ($540 million) by May 1 to help alleviate the problem. Continue reading »

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Apr 13

The big problem with inflation is that people get low blood sugar when they are hungry, and soon their moods turn sour. I know this for a fact because if breakfast or brunch or lunch or coffee break or dinner or any snack is five minutes late, I involuntarily turn into a screaming monster from hell demanding to know who stole my food and vowing bloody revenge. I can only imagine the anger when hunger is caused because someone can’t afford to buy food!

This “inability to buy food” is one of the problems with inflation, and that ugliness is now here, as we read from Bloomberg.com that “The World Bank in Washington says 33 nations from Mexico to Yemen may face ‘social unrest’ after food and energy costs increased for six straight years.” Hahaha! No kidding?

World Bank chief Robert Zoellick says, “Thirty-three countries around the world face potential social unrest because of the acute hike in food and energy prices”, and that since 2005, “the prices of staples have jumped 80%”.

Like what? Like corn and wheat, which are making the news by rising like crazy, and the latest food emergency is that “Rice, the staple food for half the world,” is now double the price of a year ago, and a fivefold increase from 2001. Yikes!

100% inflation in the price of rice in one year! And 500% in seven years! Yikes again! No wonder that Jody Clarke at MoneyWeek.com reports that “Since January 2005 the average price of a loaf of bread in the US has risen 32%. Overall, US retail food prices rose 4 % last year, the biggest jump in 17 years, says the US Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile restaurant owners have been even harder hit, with wholesale price increases of 7.4%. That’s the biggest jump in nearly three decades, according to the National Restaurant Association.”

And worse yet for us alcohol-besotted worthless lushes out here, heroically keeping bartenders and comely barmaids gainfully employed year around, the price of hops, an integral ingredient in beer making, has soared from $4 a pound to $40.

The Marketbasket Survey, conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation, says a basket of things like bread, milk, eggs and pork chops will cost you $3.50, or 8.9%, more this year than last. Both a five-pound bag of flour and a dozen eggs are up over 40% since January 2007. Continue reading »

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Apr 08

Rising food prices, which have caused social unrest in several countries, are not a temporary phenomenon, but are likely to persist for several years, World Bank President Robert Zoellick says.

Strong demand, change in diet and the use of biofuels as an alternative source of energy have reduced world food stocks to a level bordering on an emergency, he says.

Speaking to reporters Monday before the bank’s spring meeting this coming weekend, Zoellick said the 185-member World Bank would work with other organizations to deal with the crisis by seeking ways to help farmers, especially in Africa, to increase productivity and improve access to food through schools or workplaces.

“This is not a this-year phenomenon,” he said, referring to the price spike. “I think it is going to continue for some time.” Continue reading »

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