Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. John Perkins. CONTENTS. Preface ix Prologue xvi. PART I: 1 An Economic Hit Man Is Born 3 "In for Life" 12 . LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CA'TALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA. Perkins, John, -. Confessions of an economic hit man by John Perkins. p. cm. Includes. Reason and Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul. “Perkins One is intent on preserving systems The New Confessions The New Confessions of an Economic.

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Page 2. An Excerpt From. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins. Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Page 3. @ vii. CONTENTS. Preface ix. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man reveals a game that, according to John Perkins, is as old as Empire but has taken on new and terrifying. A Book Review THE CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HITMAN Kudus Adsiteo [email protected]+ Assignment in Sociology of.

Had he been caught, we would have been in a lot of trouble. It would have been very embarrassing. So, at that point, the decision was made to use organizations like the C.

Data by the World Bank itself shows that the decline slowed somewhat in the 70s He also disputes Perkins' claim that 51 of the top world economies belong to companies. Other sources, including articles in The New York Times and Boston Magazine as well as a press release issued by the United States Department of State , have referred to a lack of documentary or testimonial evidence to corroborate the claim that the NSA was involved in his hiring to Chas T.

In addition, the author of the State Department release states that the NSA "is a cryptological codemaking and codebreaking organization, not an economic organization" and that its missions do not involve "anything remotely resembling placing economists at private companies in order to increase the debt of foreign countries".

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According to Ferguson, those "do not seem like figures worth killing for". Main who first offered Perkins a job there, at first affirmed the overall validity of the book, saying "basically his story is true What John's book says is, there was a conspiracy to put all these countries on the hook, and that happened.

Whether or not it was some sinister plot or not is up to interpretation, but many of these countries are still over the barrel and have never been able to repay the loans. Interestingly enough he comments that those countries that enjoy international power and those whose citizens live in general ease are the same countries with the highest rates of suicide, violet crime, drug abuse, divorce, and crime.

The wealthiest societies are also the least happy societies throughout history and all over the world. Perkins ponders whether the framers of the Constitution would have supported what has become of their governmental experiment.

On his last night in Indonesia Perkins had a vivid dream of Jesus. Christ stood in front of him in his dream as a man with curly black hair and a dark complexion. This Jesus heaved a car axle up onto his shoulder and has a tire rim as a metallic halo. He said to Perkins, " If I were to come now, you would see me differently Perkins was intimidated by this figure, Bruno Zambotti.

He was worried about the end result of their meeting. Bruno immediately told Perkins that Howard Parker had been fired due to his lack of ability to accurately assess economic growth in any region, specifically Indonesia. Parker had predicted a growth of only about seven or eight percent a year, which displeased many people at MAIN headquarters.

His low forecast made it less likely that analysts from the World Bank would give their stamp of approval, which would detrimentally affect the possibility of a loan being granted to the Indonesian government. Thus, Parker was fired and Perkins was promoted to Chief Economist. He called, only to receive no response. He went to her apartment and a young couple answered the door.

They told him that they did not know any person by the name of Claudine, and no forwarding address by the previous tenant was left. Perkins was stunned. It was at that moment he realized how deeply he had embedded himself in a dangerous game. All of the fantastic spy stories Claudine told him about before he left for Indonesia were absolutely true. He left the apartment building in disbelief and a bit fearful for his own future. Perkins still had to present his findings to the analysts from the World Bank.

He had to win their approval or his promotion and his job would be in jeopardy. After many hours of being questioned and grilled relentlessly the analysts approved Perkins findings stating a seventeen to twenty percent growth rate of the Indonesian economy as a direct result of the electrical infrastructure loan.

After receiving approval John Perkins was sent on a whirlwind tour of major international cities to speak on behalf of the project and his companies role in it. Many powerful people from foreign government praised John and his work.

He felt powerful but his doubts about the goodness and benevolent nature of his work stayed with him constantly.

Confessions of An Economic Hit Man

He thought extensively on questions of a highly philosophic nature about power, the nature of war, and who benefits from war. Once again nervous Perkins entered the room not knowing what to expect.

Bruno looked John squarely in the eye and offered him "the opportunity of a lifetime.

He tells a brief, but fascinating history of Panama as a nation, and the rise to power of Torrijos. The famed canal was actually began by the French in the late nineteenth century. The project was riddled with obstacles and suffered tragedy after tragedy.

Eventually it was abandoned until Theodore Roosevelt took interest in completing it with American support and financial backing.

At the time Panama was a part of Colombia. When the government in Bogota refused to sign over the canal zone to the U. Roosevelt sent a warship down to threaten the local population.

Under much duress the Columbian government released the land and Roosevelt declared Panama "liberated" from Colombian rule. A puppet government was established and the canal zone was granted to the U.

Panama was ruled by an elite group of families for eight generations before the populist leader Torrijos rose through the military ranks of the Panamanian national guard and got elected as President.

He appealed to the poor and lower middle classes who had not been represented in government at all. Perkins makes it a point to recognize that Torrijos was neither aligned with Communist forces or the Western Anti- Communist forces. He was his own leader, bringing independence and freedom to his people. Perkins writes about the Monroe Doctrine and its ridiculous premise that the United States has special rights granted by God over all the hemisphere.

Under the doctrine, the U. He also mentions the School of the Americas, which is located in the canal zone of Panama. This establishment was designed and run by the U. Together, the two men drive through various parts of the canal zone and surrounding environs. Like Indonesia Perkins is exposed to the poorest areas of the city. He sees standing fetid water and children with distended stomachs begging for change in the streets.


Then the two pass into the canal zone, which is full of lush green landscaped lawns, country club resorts, and opulent mansions. Fidel confides in John to express his sadness that many American who visit Panama, or those that live in the canal zone, refuse to learn about the local culture.

The two men run into an American family picnicking on an old fort used to fight off English pirates many centuries ago. The father underscores Fidel's point by extolling his gratitude for being American and living in the canal zone. He was happy he didn't have to expose his family to what reality was for the people "over there".

The area is run down, dilapidated, and Fidel warns John to never return at night without an escort. As the two men walk the street toward their destination,two boys playing in the street run right into them.

Fidel and John arrive at a bar that features various women from neighboring Central American countries stripping for off duty soldiers from the Canal Zone. Fidel explains that the waitresses are Panamanian and are not to be touched by the men in the bar, however, the stripping women are foreigners with virtually no protection from the whims of the soldiers.

The room is lined with Panamanian men with sharp eyes for everything going on in the bar. John and Fidel converse about the plight of the stripping women and how they have found themselves seemingly happy in such a depraved environment. Fidel illuminates the discussion with the background information that many of the women had chosen to flee their country of origin because of ruthless and brutal dictators.

He said many of them had suffered through years of violence and had lost much, if not all, of their families.

Fidel notes that to them stripping for soldiers is not so bad and it gives them the opportunity to make some cash to start out new somewhere. Perkins describes Torrijos as a typically dressed Panamanian but extremely well informed about world events and the role of the United States and the CIA in international affairs.

The two men speak of the over throw of Mohamman Mossadegh in Iran in the early fifties that was orchestrated by the CIA. Torrijos makes it known to Perkins that he is aware of the game companies like MAIN and Bechtel are playing with poor countries around the world.

He tells a fascinating, albeit brief, history of Guatemala and United Fruit. Torrijos and his chosen subject of talk makes John feel nervous as to what the nature of his visit is, so he asks directly, "Why did you invite me here?

He is averse to giving the contract to Bechtel for reasons discussed throughout the chapter. Perkins notes at the end of the chapter that an unspoken understanding arose from that meeting that he would receive praise and large contracts if he did the bidding of Torrijos on the world stage. At the beginning of this shift in economic practices, OPEC had the upper hand. The embargo crippled the American economy and the industrial petroleum corporations.

During that time, Perkins would frequently meet with friends and debate the causes and effects that OPEC and the embargo would have on the global economy. No one, he said, could have fully understood what was really going to happen as a result of such actions.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Perkins writes how the 's was a pivotal point in global economic philosophy and practice. Robert McNamara was, in Perkin's view, the single greatest influence in that shift. McNamara rose through the ranks of the Ford Motor Company, eventually becoming the first president of the company that was not a member of the Ford family in John F.

McNamara was an economist himself and he utilized his statistically based economic theory to manage troop levels and funding for Vietnam. He promoted "aggressive leadership", which became the new popular teaching method at top business schools around the country.

To many Robert McNamara was the embodiment of the military-industrial complex. His various positions shocked many as they were an obvious breach in the separation of powers. He headed a major corporation, a government cabinet, and an international bank. Perkins notes that it did not surprise him in the least bit and he ends the chapter with a long list of notable figures that played the same game with their respective careers.

Chapter The Saudi Arabian Money Laundering Affair In the mid 's Saudi Arabia entered the international loan game, however, the House of Saud played under different rules than countries like Indonesia and Ecuador because their country had virtually infinite wealth. They could finance their own development projects. The job of the EHM, in this circumstance, was to get leading parties in Saudi Arabia to, first, want to develop the countries infrastructure, and then, get them to grant the contracts to American firms.

Perkins explains how this all came to be and how this unlikely alliance between the United States and Saudi Arabia has endured and worked to both ignite tensions and subdue foreign power over both countries respective economies. The US essentially accepted Saudi Monies in Return for huge expensive contracts and favorable votes in all international governing bodies. Saudi Arabia also agreed to increase oil production in the event of another embargo brought on by other OPEC nations. This action basically undermines the power of OPEC because the American consumer will never again have to feel the pinch of an oil shortage.

This shelter has become an issue revisited over and over again in the subsequent years since the agreement was made. The two nations have also endured criticism for their "sweetheart" deal from countries all around the globe. Perkins gives a very interesting personal account of how these agreements came to be signed, and how the governments, international agencies, and private corporations all worked together to achieve huge payouts and political capital.

Chapter Pimping, and Financing Osama Bin Laden The House of Saud stood as a unified decision making body, which meant that all high level members of government had to be convinced to accept and sign the huge development contracts MAIN put forward. Each MAIN agent was assigned a key government figure to wine, dine, coerce, and convince. Perkins was responsible for Prince W. Perkins was asked, and was able, to locate a beautiful American women to entertain the prince during his frequent stays in Boston.

Perkins was also asked to pay for the expense which he did by coming up with creative expense accounts and huge restaurant tabs. He knew he had to have the numbers to convince the prince but supplying whatever small things he may need may have tipped the tables in his favor. Perkins also fully understood if he failed to get the prince's approval and the contracts died then he would be blamed at MAIN, and the price for failure was very high.

In the end, perhaps due to a United Airlines flight attendant, the entire package was approved by the royal family. Everybody involved breathed a sigh of relief before celebrating their impending success.

What was desolate desert kingdom became a sprawling decadent glistening modern metropolis. Also, as a result of the alliance between the US and the Saudis both countries repeatedly found themselves unable to answer for their actions when they voted again and again to protect each others interests in international bodies.

The most glaring example of this type of behavior that we are still living through today is the finding that many of the terrorists aboard the planes which crashed into the World Trade Center were Saudi nationals. Also, it was further found that Saudi Arabia although shaking the hand of the US with one arm, is and has been funding terrorist cells with the other. He had a staff which grew larger and larger and he was able to hire a Russian economist from MIT that had developed a statistical approach to economic forecasts which "proved" the righteousness of lending huge amounts of cash to countries that would never be able to pay it off.

Torrijos, in Panama, and Perkins honored their secret agreement and their relationship grew closer and more complex throughout the seventies. Perkins published an article in The Boston Globe promoting the return of the canal zone rights and property to Panama. Many of his peers were disappointed with his position but his boss, Bruno, however, knew it would please Torrijos and thus praised John for the decision to publish it.

Graham Greene, the fiction writer, had also written many articles in support of Torrijos and his mission. The two had fostered an exceptionally close relationship based on the common goal of wealth redistribution to aide the poor. Perkins met Greene one day in a Panamanian hotel lobby. This conversation was especially meaningful and important to Perkins, as he was just barely becoming aware of how insidious his work was. Chapter Iran's King of Kings This chapter focuses on the situation in Iran in the late seventies and how that country was enticed into the fold of the corporatocracy.

Iran, like Saudi Arabia, was oil rich and could finance its own development. The shah, or king, was in power because when his father was deposed of by a democratically elected president, Mohammed Mossadegh, the United States sent CIA agents to remove him from power and reinstate the shah.

This action made the Persian population angry but the truth of us involvement was not proved for many years later. The shah was friendly to US interests and Washington did its best to paint him and Iran in a favorable light and as a strong ally in the increasingly caustic Middle Eastern region.

Perkins toured all over Iran in his many visits. During one common visit he was invited to have dinner with a man he had never met before, named Yamin.

When he arrived to the destination he was escorted into a walled palace like restaurant filled with private booths. Yamin was very polite and well dressed in a western business suit. As the two men talked Perkins realized that Yamin knew much about his past and his entire career.

Yamin spoke about the shah's plan to cover the desert with green plants in order to change the landscape on a massive scale. Yamin disapproved of this plan because, he said, the soul of the Persian people was so closely related to the desert. He believed changing the landscape would destroy the culture. Yamin referred to Perkins as a man in the middle of two worlds. Chapter 19 - Confessions of a Tortured Man A few days after their initial meeting, Yamin drove Perkins far outside the city to meet his friend that went only by, Doc.

The two men pulled up to a centuries old desert oasis and Perkins was escorted inside a small hut. He was instructed to sit on the floor of the dimly lit room and wait. An old man in a wheelchair was brought into the room and introduced himself. He said he was once like Perkins.

He had a high level job and powerful friends. He had money and knew many heads of state from around the world. He spoke slowly, stopping to cough and wheeze frequently. When he turned slightly, Perkins was astonished to see that he had no nose, only a grotesque scar!

When the conversation resumed the old man informed Perkins that the shah was approaching Hitler in his evil ways. He went on to say that the shah was the only US ally in the region and that Muslim resentment was growing rapidly. He warned that the shah would be overthrown soon and hatred of the US would grow. He then told Perkins that MAIN would lose millions of dollars because the new ruling party would simply refuse to pay.

Chapter The Fall of a King Despite the warnings of Doc coupled with the fact that Perkins had heard absolutely nothing about a possible impending coup, Perkins remained in Tehran for an extended stay. One evening in late while sitting at a cafe John ran into his old college buddy, Farhad.

He had not seen him in over a decade. As the two men caught up with each other it became obvious that although Perkins had no inkling into the goings on or Farhad's life, Farhad knew quite a bit about John's career and life in general.

Farhad warned Perkins that Iran was indeed quickly falling to pieces behind the curtain of the world stage. He urged John to accompany him to Rome to escape the violence that was sure to come to Tehran soon.

Perkins trusted Farhad and thusly did not question him. They both flew out of Tehran the next day. Once in Rome Perkins met and conversed with Farhad's father, who was an army man in Iran, and thusly had great national pride. His father spoke about the arrogance and greed of the shah and the US policies enacted for Iran. He told Perkins that the overthrow of Mossadegh is coming back to haunt the Americans and the corrupt shah.

He went on to say that the fall of the shah was only the beginning of the direction the entire Muslim world was headed in.

Two days after that dinner, violent riots and bombings erupted in Tehran. The groundswell had begun and the shah's power quickly diminished. Ayatollah Khomeini was the religious leader poised to take control of the country. In early the shah fled the country under the guise of receiving urgent medical care for cancer treatment in New York. A mob seized the US embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans hostage for days, an event which essentially ended Carter's presidency.

The shah was eventually given refuge in Panama, under Torrijos, amidst worldwide calls for his extradition back to Iran for a trial and sentencing. Doc's predictions had all come true. MAIN lost millions in Iran. The ayatollah simply refused to pay for the projects the shah had begun, which angered many international firms. The loss of revenue changed the manner in which US policymakers dealt with Iran.

These events forced Perkins to see the true role of the US in the world. He remarked that the CIA refused to divulge information that showed US intentions to be less than charitable, even to those members of the corporatocracy. He believed the CIA must have known what was about to happen in Iran but because money was still rolling in the CIA encouraged everyone to close their eyes to it.

Chapter 21 - Colombia: Keystone of Latin America A return to the old game of getting poor countries to sign contracts that they could never repay was what was presented to Perkins in Colombia. Colombia is described as being the geographical and political gateway to South America. In this chapter Perkins provides a brief history of this country and its culture. He notes that Colombia is rich in natural resources and has a long textured history, but its people have also seen their share of violence and corruption.

Perkins saw Colombia as a sort of refuge for him despite the harm he and his company were perpetrating against the nation. It was where he met an important figure in his life, Paula. She was an Italian fashion designer with factories in Colombia.

Through conversation and prodding she brought him to honestly reviewing his decisions. Perkins believes life is composed of a series of coincidences over which we have no control, however, once we are presented with those coincidences, we must make choices. What makes the difference in life is how we respond; what choices we make at those critical crossroads in life. All decisions, he explained, bring you to your current station in life.

Paula was a coincidence that forced Perkins to a decision about the direction his life was headed in. She was the catalyst that caused him to question his role. The working class indigenous people in Colombia detested the dam that was being built because they didn't want the land in the valley it was being constructed in to be flooded.

They vowed to see them destroyed before they were ever completed, no matter the cost. When Torres informed Perkins of the clash, Perkins intimidated him by claiming the militants were not simply working Colombian peers of the foreman, rather they were a group of pro- communism bandits working on behalf of China and Russia. He said that it was evident by the fact that they carried AK's, a gun designed and built in Russia.

Perkins knew this wasn't true and that Torres was scared, however he pressured him to keep working on the project.

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Paula questioned Perkins and forced him to look inside himself regarding that matter. She informed him that her brother had been imprisoned and tortured before joining a rebel faction himself. Because of that she was privy to a lot of information regarding the philosophy driving such groups to action. Perkins was shocked to hear of her close ties to the movement which was directly against his work. After further consideration, John began to think about the differences between the ideals of America when it was a new nation as compared to what he saw happening around him then, in the late 's.

He drew the distinction between the American Republic and a global empire. He wrote: It was based on the concepts of equality and justice for all" It is a self-centered, self-serving, greedy, and materialistic, a system based on mercantilism. Like empires before, its arms open only to accumulate resources, to grab everything in sight and stuff its insatiable maw. It will use whatever means it deems necessary to help its rulers gain more power and riches. He explains how MAIN would update his resume for him with each new project he took on and completed, so when he did decide to find his resume to take a look at it the material was all new to him.

The resume listed a number of "clients served", the most interesting of which was the last line that read, "U. Treasury Department, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia". Perkins notes the strangeness of these two entities being listed on one line, together. He explains that the wording and placement of those "clients" is actually a tip off to those in the inner circle of international business that he had been one of the architects of the biggest infrastructure deal the world had ever seen.

As he thinks about the resume and the work he had done to earn such credentials, he laments at the falsity of the document. He knows that, although the resume portrays him as an intelligent shining gem, he had to stoop to low levels and do a lot of dirty work throughout the years.

The resume was a subtle, but monumental, deception. Perkins knew the only reason he had met with so much success was because he, time and again, produced result that the company had hoped for. He found a way to make the stockholders massive amounts of money. He had never been good at mathematics and didn't even have a degree in economics, yet he found himself in the position of Chief Economist at a major international engineering and consulting firm.

He had made it a practice to hire people more capable than him at doing his job and put undo pressure on them to produce the results he knew those in higher up positions wanted. The production of positive forecasts, no matter the method was what he was good at.

Torrijos wanted canal rights in order to serve the greatest good for his people. He wanted to redistribute wealth and land to the poor people of his country. Roldos ran on the same populist, nationalist platform completely unaffiliated with super-powers, like Russia, China, or the U.

In contrast, however, Roldos had to fight multi-national oil corporations in his bid to control Ecuador's vast oil reserves. His biggest competitor was Texaco. It was rumored that in Ecuador the big oil companies had colluded with, and bought out, one group of Christian missionaries. IN doing so the missionaries would also introduce those they were teaching to Christianity and urge them to set up and attend church services.

The SIL was accused of persuading indigenous tribes to move off their native lands to central camps in order to receive free food, health care, and education. In return the tribes people had to agree to sign their land over to oil companies for exploration.

Perkins admires Roldos and other leaders like him for having the courage to stand up to powerful organizations for the good of people who could never pay him back. Being in his position, he now understands the lengths to which greed and power will drive someone.

Perkins is more and more conflicted with his role and his actions over his career. He is haunted by his past ideals and feels like he has sold out on his own convictions. At the end of the chapter he notes, Bruno Zambotti, his boos and mentor had been fired by an aging CEO, Mac Hall, who felt threatened by the shining star in the company. The chairman had fired Bruno because he was threatened by his powerful nature and incredible profit earnings the company had produced under his command.

Mac Hall was afraid that the board would deem him ineffectual and give Zambotti his job. Hall fired Bruno while he still could. Perkins describes Priddy as a company man that would bend to the wishes of Mac Hall in a second, no matter what they were.

He stood no threat to the chairman, so in Hall's eyes he was the perfect hire. However, the company suffered as a result of poor leadership decisions from that point on. The overwhelming majority of MAIN employees believes Hall had lost touch with the burgeoning trends in economic forecasting and wondered in what direction the company would head from there.

No one dared challenge the Chairman, in fear of losing their own job. Perkins goes on a sailing trip to the Virgin Islands with a young woman who works for him. Hos own inner battle rages on and has been steadily intensifying. Despite perfectly pleasant surroundings , Perkins cannot get his mind to rest, so he decides to take a small row boat and go ashore alone.

He sits atop a wall of an old sugar cane plantation and contemplates the lives and experiences of the slaves that died building that wall and the men who dragged those slaves from their homes and families in Africa to come and work themselves to death in the Caribbean.

He became so enraged that he picked up a stick and began beating the wall over and over until he reached exhaustion. He realized his rage should be directed inward, for the deeds he had chosen to commit himself.

He hated the life he had created for himself despite all the superficial ornamentation and affluence of it. He could live with no longer. When he returned to Boston, on April 1, , he quit. Perkins had a new boss, Paul Priddy who believed his resignation to be an April Fool's Day joke at first.

His colleagues, staff, and friends tried to talk him out of quitting by listing all the positive attributes of the job and its benefits.

Many of them were suspicious of his motives, thinking he was possibly headed toward a career in politics that might expose their crimes and way of life. He tried to offset such ideas by telling people he wanted to travel and work for National Geographic.

In the end, he was not able to fully extract himself from the lifestyle or his position. He accepted the job of being an expert witness for public utility companies seeking building permits from the state for new power plants. Right about the same time that Perkins chose to quit, Carter lost the presidency to Reagan, which signified a major shift in foreign policy. Reagan had the panels immediately removed upon taking office, as many in his cabinet had made their fortunes in oil or in the building of its required infrastructure.

Perkins describes the differences between Reagan and Carter, the most striking of which is how Carter's vision of America was aligned with the Declaration of Independence and how Reagan's view was "most definitely that of a global empire builder.

He is obviously saddened when he writes of the sudden death of Roldos in a plane crash in spring The world reacted with the outcry of "CIA Assassination!!

Redford says he should ask the American people first. Ask them when their engines stop. Ask them when people who have never known hunger start going hungry. Want to know something? They won't want us to ask them. They'll want us to get it for them. It reads like a Le Carre novel or something by Graham Green, and yet it is autobiographical. A young man becomes drawn into international finance and has the role of convincing third world countries particularly the leaders of these countries to take out loans that are so huge their countries will never be able to repay them.One of the men on the team was an older gentleman that was the chief load forecaster for the New England Electric System.

The SIL was accused of persuading indigenous tribes to move off their native lands to central camps in order to receive free food, health care, and education. To journey from one city to the other, you must travel a road that is both tortuous and breathtaking. John remembers the night that he spent carousing with Rasy and his friends to be one of the most enjoyable evenings during his stay in Indonesia. Perkins provides a brief history of the flailing career of George W. He was persuaded to stop by lucrative business offers that were contingent on his silence.

He was told in confidential meetings with "special consultant" to the company Claudine Martin that he had two primary objectives: John assumes Rasy, as his friends call him, is going to ask him for a job eventually. 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.