The reasons as to why I selected this book was heavily weighted on my personal interests. The fact that I am interested in matters of economics, imperialism, capitalism and deception and corruption on a government level, made reviewing Confessions of an economic hit man an enjoyable experience.
“For them, this is a war about the survival of their children and cultures, while for us it is about power, money and natural resources. It is one part of the struggle for world domination and the dream of a few greedy men, global empire.” (prologue)
If confessions of an economic Hit man had to be summarised in a sentence, the quotation above should give you the reader briefly; a general inquest into some of the main topics of discussion in the book. The author (John Perkins) describes in great depth the conflicts of interests between the developed and the developing world whilst integrating his life journey as part of a riveting and gripping novel.
The book begins in the 1960’s and the author gives a personal account of his life, family and education threw till 1971, the year in which John Perkins became an “Economic Hit man”.
Confessions of an economic Hit man tells a tale of how John Perkins amongst others exploited oil exporting countries such as Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela and Indonesia but to name a few names, in order for them to become indebted to the United States of America. John Perkins goes into grave detail in explaining how America has become probably the most powerful political and economic force in the world.
The elements of genius and deception mixed with the strategic approaches of the so called economic hit men (“EHM’s”) gives an insight as to how these oil rich countries become indebted to the powerhouses of America such as the large engineering corporations, banks, CEO’s and politicians.
In order to explain how EHMs go about their work, the author has chosen to make references to the Mafia, through these references it can be understood just how these strategies where implemented in to helping the American economy grow according to the views, expressions and experiences of John Perkins.
“Like our counterparts in the mafia EHMs provide favors. These take the forms of loans to develop infrastrucure - electric generating plants, highways, ports airports or industrial parks.” (prolouge)
EHMs pronounce the idea of taking out large loans to the leaders of some of the countries named previously. The main intention of providing countries these inflated loans, is in the end for these countries to default on the loan payments and in turn to be indebted to the USA. An important part of the process was making sure the infrastructure that was to be built, was built by American engineering firms such as MAIN, which John Perkins initially worked for. This factor was important as a large sum of the loan was instantly injected back in to the American economy via the engineering firms. If the EHMs are completely successful and the default on the loan payments occurs (which it inevitably will) then as the author puts it so well “when this happens, then like the mafia we demand our pound of flesh” (prologue). As a result America often try to command some of the following; control over United Nations votes, the installation of military bases, or access to resources such as oil. Thus a country has been added to the “global empire”.
The author tries to diagnose what is wrong with the strategic decisions being made by the American government, himself and other economic hit men in the past by showing the consequences the strategic decisions have. Not only on the ones who reap the benefits from these decisions but of those who are affected negatively. An example of this is how the indigenous people of Ecuador were affected by the oil companies invading the very environments in which those people live and the destruction of cultures, habitats,...