Confessions of an Economic Hitman

  • by John Perkins
  • Narrated by Brian Emerson
  • 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is the inside story of how America turned from a respected republic into a feared empire. "Economic hit men," John Perkins writes, "are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder." John Perkins should know; he was an economic hit man. His job was to convince countries that are strategically important to the U.S., from Indonesia to Panama, to accept enormous loans for infrastructure development and to make sure that the lucrative projects were contracted to Halliburton, Bechtel, Brown and Root, and other United States engineering and construction companies. Saddled with huge debts, these countries came under the control of the United States government, World Bank, and other U.S.-dominated aid agencies that acted like loan sharks, dictating repayment terms and bullying foreign governments into submission. This extraordinary real-life tale exposes international intrigue, corruption, and little-known government and corporate activities that have dire consequences for American democracy and the world.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Uninformed and largely fictitious

While this book has an interesting premise, the author lacks credibility, and uses an implausible story about world travels to support a one-sided diatribe against globalization. While I enjoy economic books from a variety of viewpoints, this book frustrates at every turn with the author's simplistic left-wing economic views. His general argument is that foreign aid loans are bad, because they must be repaid by poor countries, and so all foreign aid should be given away instead.

His main "confession" is that he, supposedly working as an economist, was forced to exaggerate projections for economic growth in countries that were receiving aid, thus pushing them to accept American loans that they would be unable to repay. However, there is no evidence that his claim is true; it seems far more likely that he made up the whole book, especially with the large number of "coincidences" that occur (such as Muslims supposedly telling him decades before 2001 that if America continued to abuse them, they would strike back). He also throws in a great deal of sex and flamboyant characters to pad out the few researched facts that he throws into the book.

There are many good, well-informed books expressing various viewpoints on globalization and the relationships between developed countries and less-developed countries; this is not one of them. For a real insider account, I suggest Globalization and Its Discontents by Joseph E. Stiglitz, former Chief Economist for the World Bank. You might also be interested in The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto, a Venezuelan economist. Finally, for some of the history he refers to with CIA intervention in Iran, read All the Shah's Men by Stephen Kinzer.
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- Trevor Burnham

Very explosive if true.

We have always wondered why the Philippines is deep in debt and hardly able to regain its premier economic position in the late '50s.

If only 50% what the author claims is true, then it would be explosive! As more people read this book, they will be exposed to this idea of how the US government can use 'developmental loans' as a way to 'conquer' countries--and How the US is actively corrupting the leadership of each of these countries. Isnt this illegal?

This can form the legal basis for developing countries around the world to repudiate their loans and thereby help lift the plight of the poor in all the developing countries.

Countries like the Philippines are budgeting the majority (more than 60%) of our national budget just to service these debts. Debts that are a direct result of morally reprehensible EHMs. Money that could go to feed and educate millions of people, are being funneled to service these debts.

How much more independent can the Philippiens, if it were not saddled with these dubious 'development' loans? Find out by reading this book. If what the author claims is true. He should be held up as a modern day hero for his courage in exposing this practice.
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- wilsonchua

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-28-2005
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.