John Perkins’s Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is one of the most important books I have ever read. As an American who cares about people in other countries, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man was an infuriating read. The book is an excellent example of exactly how much America’s foreign policy has been designed around the interests of corporations.
By his addition, Perkins was a weak man who regularly ignored his conscience while working for a multinational consulting firm to inflate projections of the value economic projects would bring to developing nations. The scheme Perkins contributed to was simple: people, like him, would develop fraudulent assessments of the benefits nations would get from say developing an electrical grid. Based on the lies, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund would loan countries funds to undertake projects everyone knew the countries could never repay. The loss couldn’t be repaid because the loans and their interest were calculated based on the fraudulent projections of economic growth.
According to Perkins, the scheme was developed to create huge contracts for American companies who would be paid with money from the loans. When the countries couldn’t repay the loans, the United States had leverage to force other countries to do its bidding.
The book goes through several examples of where Perkins and his colleagues cheated nations for the benefit of American corporations and the United States government. If you’re thinking this can’t be true, read the book and do a little research.
Obviously, I don’t know if everything Perkins says in Conffessions of an Economic Hit Man is true, but I’ve been encouraged to look deeper. Given what I already know about America’s sad involvement in other countries, Perkins’s claims are believable to me.
Reading the book made me feel dirty and honestly ashamed of America. Still, I would rather know than not know.
If you’re interested in learning more about the terrible legacy of America and you want to know more about how America pretends to spread democracy while really promoting corporations over the good of people, read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.