“Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by Perkins - Part 2
“Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by Perkins
The book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” provides clear idea about policies of the World Bank, United States and the United Nations - “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by Perkins introduction. Apparently, the author considers himself Luca Brazi who has helped Don Corleone to become famous all over the world. The book provides the life story of Perkins and includes his work at Chas. T. Main (MAIN) known to be “an international consulting firm that handles World Bank and other donor agency projects”. (Perkins 2005) Perkins’ mission was to provide developing countries with large international loans and, consequently, to spend more money with such companies as Halliburton and Bechtel. The idea was to motivate construction and engineering projects. Perkins said the following about his mission: “This is what we EHMs, (Economic Hitmen), do best: we build a global empire. We are an elite group of men and women who utilize international financial organizations to foment conditions that make other nations subservient to the corporatocracy running our biggest corporations, our government and our banks. Like our counterparts in the Mafia, EHMs provide favors”. (Perkins 2005)
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In the result, loans for electric generating, highways, airports and ports, infrastructure and industrial parks will be obtained. Perkins assumes that the United States of America have never parted with its money, because they have been simply transferred to Washington, San Francisco and Houston. Factually, money is returned, but recipient country has to pay them to the bank. Therefore, Perkins asserts that if EHM appears to be successful, then “the loans are so large that the debtor is forced to default on its payments after a few years”. If to achieve the desired outcomes the result are intimidating: full control over the votes of United Nations, access to oil resources and Panama Canal, installation of military bases. (Perkins 2005)
It is necessary to admit that Perkins is rather persuasive, because he uses logical arguments, facts and conclusions to defend his position. Furthermore, he has managed to make people think that the plot of the book is sinister. Actually, the book is a mixture of luxurious globetrotting, financial intrigue and mysterious assassinations. For example, Perkins mentions exotic Claudine and says he has seduced him to become an Economic Hit Man. Further, Uncle Frank is introduced to provide information about the works for National Security Agency. The author says that Uncle Frank has encouraged him to join “the Peace Corps in preparation for his future EHM role”. One more cinematic figure is introduced – Forrest Gump – to demonstrate crucial points in the history of developing countries. The Shah of Iran, Omar Torrijos, President of Panama, Prince “W are encountered as well as other influential figures such as House of Saud, Robert McNamara, President of the World Bank. Perkins’ literary interlude is illustrated on the example of Graham Green, because he persuaded the author to write the book and to “make it about things that matter”. For example, Perkins assumes that Bechtel Corporation is “quiet conspiracy to make sure the good old USA flourishes, even though it means the relentless impoverishment of the poorest countries of the world”. (Perkins 2005)
It is necessary to provide sketches of the main four parts:
1. Part I provides author’s journey and suggestions about communism, Indonesia and his own soul.
2. Part II is devoted to the “coporotocracy” and the author thinks that it should be eliminated.
3. Part III aims at persuading developing countries to “to take the giant loans and spend them through his consulting firm”. Actually, Perkins would become rich in this process.
4. Part IV provides author’s confessions with the elements of “things that matter”. Perkins concludes that this formula doesn’t work. (Perkins 2005)
Moreover, the book describes the system of tied foreign aid and says that recipient countries have to spend more money in order to be provided with service and goods from the donor countries. For example, in the USA, such policy leads to implementation of silly rules at “USAID whereby travelers on USAID contracts can only fly on US flag carriers even though other carriers may get them to their destination faster and cheaper”. (Perkins 2005) Further, Perkins describes bidding practices among giant firms of the USA, such as Halliburton working in Iraq. Evidently, the current policies of the international banks in the 1970-80s have been supplying Latin America with endless loans and thus have led to a series of “structural adjustments”. (Perkins 2005) Policy of international banks is a matter of Perkins’ further descriptions. Finally, Perkins seems to be correct when saying that “Bahasa Indonesia is one of the easiest languages in the world to learn” meaning that Thai, Tagalog and Sinhala have to be developed countries. (Perkins 2005)
Perkins wants to test reader’s credibility when speaking about grand cabal of construction, donor agencies and their recipients, consulting firms and leaders of EHM. Actually, the book is an investigative analysis of both loan practices and aid practices. The author provides shortcoming and recommendations how the system may be improved. On the other hand, the book seems to be fiction, because, according to one publisher, “we could market you in the mold of John Le Carre”. (Perkins 2005) However, the ending appears to be similar to screenplay, because the author introduces the image of “the bad-guy-turns-good-guy financial action hero”. Nevertheless, his work is significant and important, because the author is clear with the structure and purpose. The book is a strong effort to reveal true facts about the policy of international banks and loans to developing countries.
Apparently, the book is gripping, because it involves international and political intrigues and thus makes itself a suspense thriller. It is necessary to underline that author’s style of narrative is fluent, consequent, fast-paced and well written. The strength of the book is abundant data provided to support main ideas. Finally, Perkins says: “the folks who control the money control our government and that’s that”. (Perkins 2005)
Perkins, John. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. USA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2005.