Book Review: Confessions of an Economic Hitman

ConfessionsTitle: Confessions of an Economic Hitman
Author: John Perkins

The author worked for several years for consulting firms that encourage under developed (and developing) countries to accept large loans from the World Bank (and other similar institutions that provide financial aid) for large projects with the basic intent of eventually controlling the local governments and their policies to serve the needs of American Corporations. He calls it “corporatocracy”.
“Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars,”….If we falter, then a more malicious form of hitman, the jackal, steps to the plate. And if the jackal fails the job falls to the military.”

The EHMs cook up projections about the implications of these projects (often large infrastructure projects) in order to convince these countries to accept these loans. Also, a number of locals are bribed in the process if need be. The loans are then paid to US Corporations that service these projects. Ultimately, these governments are unable to pay back these loans and become proxies that serve US interests.

The book serves as a very good work of fiction. But it is highly likely that there is some truth to this book. Unfortunately, the author glosses over details of projections that he claimed to have “cooked” up as part of his job. This certainly leaves plenty of room for critics to rightfully argue the credibility of the authors story. While the underlying theme of the book is highly plausible, it is hard to say how much of it is really true vs. pure fiction. Ultimately, it is an interesting and engaging book.

The book covers the author’s first hand experiences in several countries including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Panama, Ecuador etc. The Saudi Arabian part is of particular interest in light of recent global events (the rise of Bin Laden, 9/11 etc.)

If you are a pro-environment, anti-big Corporation, and in general left leaning, and prone to alarmist tendencies, this is a book that is sure to confirm your worst fears. You are bound to have the “I told you so” moment on reading this book. In any case, a must read for anyone interested in geopolitics.

p.s: I love the cover design.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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