Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by Perkins

John Perkins. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2004. Hardcover, 250 pp.

As Perkins explains, “Economic hit men are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars.” He should know, because for many years he was one of them between 1971 and 1981. The tragedy of September 11, 2001, convinced him to spill the beans, even though he feared for his life.

Under the pretext of advising foreign nations of the Third World on their developmental strategies, economic hit men assess the situation and essentially persuade those nations to overspend on building projects and infrastructures they do not need. The idea is to make profit for the already wealthy and, moreover, get Third World nations so deeply into debt that they can be more readily manipulated politically. Wherever the economic hit men fail, a still more nasty breed of people moves in and sees to it that the political leaders of those countries change their mind, if need be by assassinations, scandals, or instigating insurgencies—all in the name of profit and the global world order.

As a young man, Perkins was readily lured into this clandestine job by money and other perks. Because he was good at convincing his clients and falsifying data, he quickly rose to the top of the line. But increasingly he was feeling ill at ease in his lucrative but nefarious role and finally dropped out, which he had been warned at the beginning would never be possible. Since 1981, he has made amends by writing and teaching in the field of personal transformation.

This book is an absolute eye-opener and shows how the power brokers implement their imperialist goals and profiteering at the ground level. While I am not surprised at Perkins’s disclosures, they are discouraging nonetheless but help one get a sense of the behind-the-scenes economic and political machinations worldwide.

Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
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