Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

or How the United States Uses Globalization to Cheat Poor Countries Out of Trillions

John Perkins was a self-professed Economic Hit Man. He worked for a score and more years as chief economist at an international consulting firm in Boston called Chas. T. Main. His job was to persuade countries that are strategically important to the U.S. - such as Indonesia, Panama, Ecuador, Iran and Saudi Arabia - to accept enormous loans for infrastructure development from USAID and World Bank and then to make sure the lucrative projects were contracted out to U.S. corporations. This ensured that the principal money moved only from Washington D.C. to New York, Boston and San Francisco.

The countries which received all the infrastructure improved the lot of the top 2% of their elite and further marginalized bulk of their poorer population. Stuck with extraordinarily huge debts which they couldn't possibly repay, these countries came under the control of the U.S. government and other U.S.-dominated aid agencies. Terms of repayment were meted out and the foreign powers were forced to hand out free or cheap oil, allow U.S. military bases and other atrocious empire building actions.

As an economic hit man, chief economist John Perkins' job of persuasion entailed coming up with projected economic growth rate charts over a futuristic 25 years in the event of the country accepting the generous loans of the empire-building aid agencies. According to Perkins, when he and his ilk failed to convince the heads of state, the CIA (he calls them sharks) would move in and silently assassinate the president and instead place a puppet at the head who would agree to the terms of the loan. When this failed, U.S.A. would go to war, an Iraq would occur.

Very lucidly in his new book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins takes one through his career, from being hired as an econmic hit man to his actions in Indonesia, Equador, Panama, Saudi Arabia and Colombia. An insider's view to building an empire.

Here is a link to an interview with John Perkins with Amy Goodman on the Democracy Now website.

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