No 2364 Posted by fw, August 31, 2018
NOTE — To access my other posts related to Prof. Phillips’ book and video, click on the Tab in the top left margin, titled Giants: The Global Power Elite by Peter Phillips ~ Links to All Posts.
“Transnational elites interact as a class of people. They know each other, often personally, they do business together, and they either know each other personally or know of each other. They have similar educational and lifestyle backgrounds. They share common global interests. They meet in non-governmental policy organizations and form new ones as needs arise to privately make decisions for global governance institutions to implement. Transnational elites hold a common ideology of being the engineers of global capitalism. A firm belief that their way of life and continuing global capitalism is best for all humankind.” —Prof. Peter Phillips
Today’s post is Part 3 in my series of transcripts of a one-hour video of Prof. Peter Phillips’ talk about his 240-page book Giants: The Global Power Elite. Peter Phillips is a professor of political sociology at Sonoma State University.
Yesterday’s post, Part 2 of the series of transcripts, presented a profile of the transnational capitalist class (TCC), including how the rising influence of transnational corporations gradually eroded the role of sovereign states in negotiating international agreements, and the influence of the TCC on the agendas of the G20, G7, and other international organizations.
Today’s post, Part 3 of the series of transcripts, presents a sketch of the 199 power elite managers that are part of the financial core of the transnational capitalist class, including: their similar background, education, nationality, and big city work locations; the global policy groups they advise, counting G20, G7, IMF, WTO and World Economic Forum; elites see themselves as the “engineers of global capitalism … best for all humankind”; they represent the interests of hundreds of thousands of investors; their clients have more capital than places to invest it; and they use 3 mechanisms for investing their “excess capital” – risky financial speculations; privatizing what is part of the public domain, such as water, roads, schools; and investing in anything related to war.
To facilitate selective access to the video’s content, my transcript, which appears below the video, is chronologically indexed, and edited, as necessary, to enhance text readability of Phillip’s talk. In addition, to enable skimming, I have added my own headings and subheadings in [square brackets] and, as well, text highlighting to bring important text to the fore.
The transcript for Part 3 starts at 17:11 and ends at 23:35.
TRANSCRIPT (From 17:11 to 23:35)
[PROFILE AND ROLE OF TCC’S 199 ELITE MANAGERS]
[TCC’s 199 elite managers have similar backgrounds, education, and big city business locations]
17:11 – So, there are many hundreds of transnational capitalist people inside the global empire of capital. But these are the 199 that are part of the financial core.
[Power elite members advise global policy groups, including G7, G20, IMF, WTO, and Federal Reserve Board]
18:24 – The members of the financial core take active part in global policy groups. [The] financial core serve as advisors to the International Monetary Fund [IMF], the World Trade Organization [WTO], the World Bank, the International Bank of Settlements, the Federal Reserve Board, the G7 and the G20. Most attend the World Economic Forum in Davos. Many of the 199 have been keynote speakers there.
[World Economic Forum attracts elites to hear from top investors and top policy people]
The World Economic Forum has been getting more attention – newspapers will say when it’s happening. It’s not a policymaking body. It’s in Davos, Switzerland, January of every year, two or three thousand people go. It’s at 5,000-foot elevation. They pay – this year I heard it was $50,000; it used to be $25,000. And the top 1,000 corporations in the world are invited to send people. And [each] can sit as many as 5 [people] as long as one is a woman – that’s how they keep a little gender balance there.
But it’s not a formal policymaking group. There’s an educational consensus function for these thousands of elites in the world: 3,000 attended in 2017. They get to hear from top investors and top policy people in the world. The President of China was there last year. Didn’t Trump go this year? I think he did. Personally, it’s very enlightening. A lot of feeling of “Boy, I’m really special that I’m here. I’m in Davos.”
20:12 – Kind of the same thing I saw at the Bohemian Grove [in Monte Rio, California] where 2,000 plus men meet every year. It’s just all men, they don’t even have a quota for women. But they don’t make policy either. They just get together, applaud each other, hear talks and speeches and feel good about it all.
[Transnational elites see themselves as the “engineers of global capitalism … best for all humankind”]
20:36 – Transnational elites interact as a class of people. They know each other, often personally, they do business together, and they either know each other personally or know of each other. They have similar educational and lifestyle backgrounds. They share common global interests. They meet in non-governmental policy organizations and form new ones as needs arise to privately make decisions for global governance institutions to implement. Transnational elites hold a common ideology of being the engineers of global capitalism. A firm belief that their way of life and continuing global capitalism is best for all humankind.
[TCC represents interests of hundreds of thousands of millionaires seeking investment return of 3 to 10 %]
21:20 – The transnational capitalist class represents the interests of several hundred thousand millionaires and billionaires who comprise the richest people in the top 1% of the world’s hierarchy. So you may be a multimillionaire, but most of your money you’ve allowed a management investment to hold for you and give you anywhere from a 3% to 10% return. And if you have some that’s risky, you may go with a venture capitalist company in the hopes of getting better than a 10% return.
[Investors big problem is having more capital than places to invest it with positive returns]
21:54 – Ironically, this extreme accumulation of concentrated capital creates a continuing problem for investors. They have to scour the world for new investment opportunities that will yield adequate returns on capital. So, they’ve got more capital than places to invest it with a positive return. The concentration of wealth and power at this level tends to over-accumulate in the hands of increasingly fewer elites to the point that capital has limited safe investment opportunities.
[Three mechanisms for investing excess capital]
22:30 – There are three mechanisms for investing excess capital:
END OF PART 3 OF TRANSCRIPT
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