The Philippine Left has always insisted that
John Perkins has come out with a real page-turner and his “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” should be a must-read not only for our economic policy planners but all our political leaders. His book’s dramatic opening lines is enough to hook you:
“Economic Hit Men (or EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillion of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the
I should know; I was an EHM.”
John Perkins, is your garden variety WASP-Eastern Establishment type. He went to all the right prep schools and Ivy League institutions and counts among his ancestors some of
“Claudine told me that there were two primary objectives of my work. First, I was to justify huge international loans that would funnel money back to
My job, she said, was to forecast the effects of investing billions of dollars in a country. Specifically, I would produce studies that projected economic growth 20 to 25 years into the future and that evaluated the impacts of a variety of projects. For example, if a decision was made to lend a country $1 billion to persuade its leaders not to align with the Soviet Union, I would compare the benefits of investing that money in power plants with the benefits of investing in a new national railroad network or a telecommunications system. The project that resulted in the highest average annual growth of GNP won.
The unspoken aspect of every one of these projects was that they were intended to create large profits for the contractors, and to make a handful of wealthy and influential families in the receiving countries very happy, while assuring the long term financial dependence and therefore the political loyalty of governments around the world. The larger the loan, the better. The fact that the debt burden placed on a country would deprive its poorest citizens of health, education, and other social services for decades to come was not taken into consideration.”
After a short stint in Ecuador working as a Peace Corps volunteer helping indigenous tribes living in the Amazon, John Perkins returned to the States and landed a high-paying job as an economist at MAIN, an international consulting firm (both jobs he got thru Uncle Frank’s “facilitation”). Like its more famous rivals Halliburton, Bechtel, Stone & Webster, etc., MAIN’s main business is with foreign governments. In 1971, Perkins was given his first assignment as part of an eleven-man team that will design the master energy plan for the
John Perkins published his “Confessions of an EHM” only in 2004 and he had allocated a chapter in his book explaining why it took him so long to come out. Now, Perkins is back where he first started – in
“They have brought us to a point where our global culture is a monstrous machine that requires exponentially increasing amounts of fuel and maintenance, so much so that in the end it will have consumed everything in sight and will be left with no choice but to devour itself.”
“Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” is a fascinating read and John Perkins should be congratulated for his courage.