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How Bilderberg boss Henri de Castries sees the future.....

 
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:52 am    Post subject: How Bilderberg boss Henri de Castries sees the future..... Reply with quote

Axa boss Henri de Castries on coal: 'Do you really want to be the last investor?'
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/aug/07/axa-boss-henri-de-castries-on-coal-do-you-really-want-to-be-the-last-investor

Head of giant insurer, and chair of the shadowy Bilderberg group, talks about selling off fossil fuel investments, China’s stock market crash and Brexit
The private sector has a decisive role to play in tackling climate change, according to Henri de Castries. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

Graham Ruddick

Friday 7 August 2015 16.13 BST
Last modified on Saturday 8 August 2015 00.02 BST
Henri de Castries might just be the most powerful man in the world. He is chief executive and chairman of one of the world’s biggest insurers, Axa, and a member of France’s illustrious noble house of Castries. But De Castries is also chairman of the Bilderberg group, a collection of political and business leaders from Europe and North America that meets in private every year to debate “megatrends and major issues facing the world” – or which is secretly running the world if you are a conspiracy theorist.

With this in mind, De Castries’s penchant for making dramatic comparisons is worth taking seriously. The charismatic Axa boss compares investing in fossil fuels to investing in asbestos-related companies in the 50s or 60s, the rise of the internet to the advent of electricity at the end of the 19th century and, perhaps most alarmingly, the recent fall in Chinese share prices with the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

If the cost of non-clean technologies rises because fewer people are willing to invest, it will lead to a reorientation
Henri de Castries

De Castries says the stock market slump in China is “more worrying” than the Greek debt crisis. An estimated 100m Chinese households have invested in shares, he explains, meaning there could be an impact on consumer spending. This would hurt western companies that have become reliant on Chinese consumers for growth, such as carmakers and luxury brands.

“Of course there are parallels [with 1929],” De Castries adds. “In any strongly emerging economy you have these sort of behaviours. One of the very interesting things was that the US economy was doing pretty well, but the stock market was inflated. When it started to collapse, Norman [Montagu Norman, then governor of the Bank of England] organised a consortium of banks to try to stop the bleeding – exactly the way, at the very same point of the curve, the Chinese authorities tried to rally the brokers to try to stop the decline. The impact on the real economy was only a couple of quarters later, because you need to have people feel the pain, understand that you have lost money.”

More on this topic
Axa to divest from high-risk coal funds due to threat of climate change

However, the Frenchman believes that policy makers have learnt from the mistakes of 1929, and from how the 2008 financial crisis was handled.

“The Chinese economy of 2015 is not the US economy of ‘29,” he adds. “A lot of decision makers are much more aware of what the consequences of monetary policies are, and the efficiency of the Chinese government in 2015 and its grip on the civil society is probably higher than the grip the US authorities had on their own public opinion at the time. So we will see. It is interesting. History in the making.”

Despite concerns about the Chinese stock market, Axa continues to run two joint ventures in China, including one with the biggest bank in the world, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). In total, Axa now controls €1.4tn (£990bn) through its asset management business, making the company one of the biggest institutional investors in the word, and De Castries ideally placed to comment on the shape of the global economy.

De Castries, 60, is speaking from Axa’s offices in the City of London after the insurance group posted a 12% rise in first-half underlying profits to a record €3.1bn, helped in part by a weakening of the euro and the fact there were fewer natural catastrophes during the period. Profits in the UK rose 27% to £150m.
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Chinese investors look at share prices of shares at a stock brokerage house in Hangzhou city. Photograph: Imaginechina/Corbis

“If you look at the key business lines of the group – life and savings, health and protection, property and casualty, and asset management – both revenues and earnings are progressing on all fronts,” says De Castries, who has worked for Axa for 26 years and led the insurer since 2000.

There are rumours in the City that the company, which is the second-biggest insurer in the world behind Allianz, could make a rival bid for RSA after Zurich revealed it was considering a deal worth potentially more than £5bn.

“We never comment on these sorts of things,” De Castries says. “We always look on them with great interest, but we never comment. I won’t surprise you in giving you this answer.”

However, De Castries admits that the insurance industry could be ripe for more deals. “The industry is not very concentrated worldwide,” he says. “The two biggest players in the world are Allianz and us, and we barely have 3% of the market each. Does it mean that from a corporate standpoint it is the right thing to do at this stage? Hmm, not sure.”

One surprise strategic move that De Castries has made in recent weeks was to announce that Axa would sell off coal investments held by its fund management arm, which are worth €500m, and treble investments in green technology to €3bn.

More on this topic
Bilderberg looks to the future but is stuck in the past

The private sector has a decisive role to play in tackling climate change, says De Castries.

“The private sector is important because it is the place where investments are taking place. If the cost of investing in non-clean technologies goes up because there are less people willing to invest, then it is going to lead to a natural reorientation of the investments.
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“I haven’t noticed one negative reaction from the shareholders. Look back and would you have been a conscious investor in the 50s or in the 60s in asbestos-related companies, had you known what would come afterwards? Probably not. I am not saying it is the same thing, but there are some techniques, some sectors, some products where the case is now very clear – everything shows that it is not sustainable. Do you really want to be the last investor?”

However, De Castries is reluctant to go a step further and sell off oil investments, claiming it is a different case to coal.

“It is way too early to say,” De Castries says. “It is clear that oil is a different case, shale gas is a different case. What we say today, and it is a relatively new approach – I think we are the first very large financial institution – is that for us the coal case is clear.”

As well as trying to save the planet, De Castries is working on securing the future of the European Union. Last month, he met George Osborne, whom he counts as a friend, to discuss the prospect of a British exit from Europe – or Brexit – and the chancellor’s push for reform.

De Castries warns that it would be “like a divorce” for Britain to leave the EU, and “severely damaging” for both parties.

“I think this country has joined Europe for much more than pure economical reasons, not being part of it would clearly diminish both the status and influence of the UK,” De Castries explains. “It would make the UK a big Switzerland. Switzerland is pretty prosperous but I would say it never had the ambition of being a model for the world.

“It’s like a divorce. Of course it would be severely damaging. But rather than looking at that, I prefer to look at the half-full bottle. What I would like to see is more people explaining why it is good for the UK to stay, rather than saying why it would be bad to leave.

More on this topic
Axa IM warns that companies linked to fossil fuels risk their reputations

“Everybody recognises the fact there are things which need to change, but after all it is the Brits who invented [the saying] ‘don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater’. So don’t throw Baby Europe out with the bathwater. There are very positive reasons to think that even if the baby is still not fully satisfactory, there are things which can be improved. It is better to face the challenges of this next century together rather than being like the former Gallic tribes trying to face the Romans one by one.”

Given how strongly De Castries feels about Britain staying in the EU, did he make sure it was discussed at the latest Bilderberg meeting last month?

De Castries laughs, before a lengthy pause. “Look at the Bilderberg agenda and you will have the answer.”

Given the Bilderberg agenda is not available publicly, this reply will do little to appease critics of its secretive approach. Although its chairman hints that Britain and the future of the EU is high on the agenda.

“The only thing I can sayabout that is it’s pretty clear sensible people have that in mind and they want to try to find answers to that.”
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Last edited by TonyGosling on Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exit from EU would damage Britain and Europe, says Axa chairman
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/aug/07/exit-from-eu-would-damage-britain-and-europe-says-axa-chairman?

Henri de Castries, head of influencial Bilderberg group, says Brexit would ‘diminish both the status and influence of the UK’

Henri de Castries is boss of Axa, one of Europe’s largest companies, says a Brexit would severely damage both the EU and the UK. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Graham Ruddick Friday 7 August 2015 16.35 BST Last modified on Friday 7 August 2015 17.18 BST

A British exit from the European Union would be severely damaging for both parties and like a divorce, the head of one of the biggest insurers and chairman of the influential Bilderberg group has warned.

Henri de Castries, chairman of Axa, said a so-called Brexit would “diminish both the status and influence of the UK” and leave the country as a “big Switzerland”.

In a wide-ranging interview, de Castries also compared the recent slide in the Chinese stock market to the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and said the private sector had a decisive role to play in tackling climate change.

De Castries is a key voice in the debate about Britain’s future in the EU given Axa is one of Europe’s biggest companies and he is chairman of the secretive Bilderberg group of political and business leaders from Europe and North America. The group also includes the British chancellor, George Osborne, the Google chairman, Eric Schmidt, and Douglas Flint, chairman of HSBC.

De Castries said the EU had provided “growth, peace, social stability” over the last 70 years but that “every rational person understands that there are flaws in the model and there are shortcomings”.

He said: “Everybody recognises the fact that there are things which need to change, but after all isn’t it the Brits who invented ‘don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater’? So don’t throw baby Europe out with the bathwater.

“There are very positive reasons to think that even if the baby is still not fully satisfactory, there are things which can be improved. It is better to face the challenges of this next century together rather than being like the former Gallic tribes trying to face the Romans one by one.”

De Castries held talks with Osborne last month when the chancellor visited France as part of his push to reform the EU. The Axa boss added: “I think this country has joined Europe for much more than pure economic reasons, not being part of it would clearly at the end of the day diminish both the status and influence of the UK.

“It would make the UK a big Switzerland. Switzerland is pretty prosperous but I would say it never had the ambition of being a model for the world.

“It’s like a divorce. Of course it would be severely damaging. But rather than looking at that, I prefer to look at the half-full bottle. What I would like to see is more people explaining pretty vocally why it is good for the UK to stay, rather than saying why it would be pretty bad to leave.”

De Castries also said that a fall in Chinese share prices was “more worrying” than the Greek debt crisis and that it could hit household incomes in China.

“The number of households who have participated in the market is not insignificant,” he said. “Nobody knows exactly, but people say 100m probably. So the number of people affected by a very sharp decline [in share prices] is not an insignificant number.

“The key question for me is to what extent is this going to affect Chinese consumer spending, because a large part of the world’s growth relies on Chinese consumer spending. Are the Chinese households who are buying German cars or American cars going to stop buying them because of lost money in the stock market? I would be surprised if it had no influence. I am sure it will. The optimistic people are saying: ‘Well, not as bad as New York in ’29.’ I hope so, we all hope so.”
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an amazing post here about the bilderberg. I want to know each and everything about it now. Can you share some topics so i can read about it completely. Actually i am doing a research on it now.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bilderberg will be planning their 2016 meeting now ( Hilary Clinton on the guestlist? ) They operate in secrecy and have only divulged the location and timing of their annual event when forums like this have already discovered it.

The Guardian`s Charlie Skelton is the only mainstream journalist to report their affairs regularly - Bilderberg have the power to destroy the career of anyone who dares to expose their activities!

Daniel Estulin and Jon Ronson have written about Bilderberg but arguably the best was Jim Tucker who published his Bilderberg Diary and tried to shine a light on their secret meetings until he died.

Bilderberg have an official site http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org/index.php

Good Luck!
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