American and European multinationals who are in desperate need of the high-priced ore helped fund the Rwandan and Ugandan armies in their invasion of the Congo, where the ore is located, in order to help facilitate its mining. The armies systematically rape women of all ages and conditions in the villages they come across, like a hate crime. The ore is then exported via Rwanda to the West and the proceeds go mostly to the government who sponsor the atrocities.
The multinational firms basically just look the other way at how it's acquired. Many Western companies acquired the mines when the Congolese government sold them off. Many former elected government officials serve on the boards of these firms, like Alcatel. Firms like Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Nokia, etc. Think Blood Diamond except with coltan. The violence has really warped these Congolese societies, as you might imagine.
Truth is always much more unbelievable than fiction ever could be. None of the other chapters are this graphic and emotional, however. Most are much more academic and it would help you to have an extensive economics background to read and critique them. Confessions blew my mind 2 years ago, shook me to the core of my being like few books ever have. If you want an intriguing and sometimes suspenseful read, it's your book. If you're looking for more information and a more academic read then Empire is your book.
The 2 books together have taught me to always be aware of who I'm working for and be careful how I pursue a career in development. It's also made me think again about putting faith in models and being dogmatic about market efficiencies when there are so many caveats out there. Jun 19, Mac rated it liked it. Better than the memoir that "inspired" it, this is a set of essays about globalization, off-shore finance, and corporate greed destroying most of the developing world and a sizable chunk of the developed one. None of them are particularly great, and I don't know that I learned anything extraordinary, though I did get a handful of sources to back up things I pretty much already knew, in spirit if not in particular.
Similar to Naomi Klein's "No Logo" from a few years back, the book ends its catalog Better than the memoir that "inspired" it, this is a set of essays about globalization, off-shore finance, and corporate greed destroying most of the developing world and a sizable chunk of the developed one. Similar to Naomi Klein's "No Logo" from a few years back, the book ends its cataloging of globalization's damages with a section on hope, and movements against the tide.
But, just as Klein seemed to place her faith in graffiti artists and "Adbusters" magazine, the organizations and movements described here seem piecemeal and inconsistent. There was really no consensus or solidarity among people, and the problem has grown so large that it's never quite clear where to start. Some of the stories are quite inspiring, and deserve to be told, but it's hard to become too inspired when the previous pages are so bleak.
Jan 24, Arlo rated it really liked it Shelves: An amazing collected work that brings together such different experiences and viewpoints yet also ties them all together into a single shocking, even piercing, description of economic abuses. It was difficult to focus on certain chapters, because they are admittedly over my head, but the beautiful thing about the book is it was edited to be read in whatever order or even picked through by the reader to find what is of interest at the time.
It further has an extensive collection of notes and appe An amazing collected work that brings together such different experiences and viewpoints yet also ties them all together into a single shocking, even piercing, description of economic abuses. It further has an extensive collection of notes and appendices which will lead to other reading and resources to further the study and understanding of the reader! All in all a very handy book for those interested in having a better grasp of global finance and the impact of our current system. Jan 18, Nadezhda rated it it was ok.
Jun 09, Steve added it. Capitalist extraction and control of global resources is actually a foreign policy philosophy, known as "corporatocracy". May 12, Kalle Wescott rated it really liked it. It has nothing to do with WMD's and it's a case of history repeating itself. After reading about the exploitations related to institutions like the IMF, World Bank and other international entities, the reader is treated to some promising developments in the final chapter.
Individual community ordinances to regulate corporations on a local level and a call for corporate charters are two examples. This is an excellent book for any reader interested in the financial and economic aspects of the American Empire. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Very informative history of what's going on in the world. I wonder if this information will help change the current conditions of our finite world.
I wonder if people in positions of education and the general population will ever care about their fellow man? Audio CD Verified Purchase. The news on TV or in papers is rarely the whole story. Why be deceived as well by those that 'sell' a matter or a reason and you never know what lurks beyond the headlines. Travel the road in reading of those that know the "road" the problems and even most reasons. Otherwise, you may grow old and die and still believe in "The Tooth Fairy". One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. There is a lot of info presented in this book.
Good intel in the infowar. Really a must read for someone who wants to understand the system of world directing by the banksters. It shows clearly, that the the corect phfase is: After you read this you interpret world news in a whole new way. I highly recommend this to everyone. Every high school and or college student's education is incomplete without reading this. See all 25 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published on September 4, If you don't get angry about what Published on May 7, Published on November 10, Published on August 6, Published on February 3, Published on December 14, Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.
Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. The ma- jor publishing houses, we concluded, were too intimidated by, or perhaps too beholden to, the corporate elite. Eventually a courageous independent publisher, Berrett-Koehler, took the book on. Confessions' success among the public astounded me. During its first week in bookstores it went to number 4 on Amazon.
Then it spent many weeks on every major bestseller list. In less than fourteen months, it had been translated into and published in twenty languages. A major Hollywood com- pany purchased the option to film it. Despite all these successes, an important element was still missing. The New York Times and other newspapers had to include it on their bestseller lists — after all, numbers don't lie unless an EHM produces them, as you will see in the following pages — but during its first fifteen months in print most of them obstinately declined to review it.
What we do know is that several nationally recognized journalists appeared poised on the verge of writing or speaking about the book. They conducted "pre-interviews" with me by phone and dispatched producers to wine and dine my wife and me. But, in the end, they declined. A major TV network convinced me to interrupt a West Coast speaking tour, fly across the country to New York, and dress up in a television-blue sports coat.
Then — as I waited at the door for the network's limo — an employee called to cancel. Whenever media apologists offered explanations for such actions, they took the form of questions: Every major incident described in the book has been discussed in detail by other authors — usually lots of other authors. The CIA's coup against Iran's Mossadegh; the atrocities committed by his replacement, Big Oil's puppet, the Shah; the Saudi Arabian money-laundering affair; the jackal-orchestrated assassinations of Ecuador's President Jaime Roldos and Panama's President Omar Torrijos; allegations of collusion between oil companies and missionary groups in the Amazon; the international activities of Bechtel, Halliburton, and other pillars of American capitalism; the unilateral and unprovoked U.
Several pundits criticized what some referred to as my "radical accusa- tion" — that economic forecasts are manipulated and distorted in order to achieve political objectives as opposed to economic objectivity and that for- eign "aid" is a tool for big business rather than an altruistic means to alleviate poverty. However, both of these transgressions against the true purposes of sound economics and altruism have been well documented by a multitude of people, including a former World Bank chief economist and winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, Joseph Stiglitz.
In his book Globalization and Its Discontents, Stiglitz writes: To make its [the IMF's] programs seem to work, to make the numbers "add up," economic forecasts have to be adjusted. Many users of these numbers do not realize that they are not like ordinary forecasts; in these instances GDP forecasts are not based on a sophisticated statistical model, or even on the best estimates of those who know the economy well, but are merely the numbers that have been negotiated as part of an IMF program.
For millions of people globalization has not worked. They have seen their jobs destroyed and their lives become more insecure. However, they were significantly diminished during the paperback edition tour in early A growing suspicion that the mainstream press was collaborating with the corporatoc- racy — which, of course, owned much of it or at least supported it through ad- vertising — had become manifest.
The American public recently has been treated to a feast of exposes.
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Mine is definitely not a voice in the wilderness. Despite the overwhelming evidence that the corporatocracy has created the world's first truly global empire, inflicted increased misery and poverty on millions of people around the planet, managed to sabotage the principles of self-determination, justice, and freedom that form the foundations upon which the United States stands, and turned a country that was lauded at the end of World War II as democracy's savior into one that is feared, resented, and hated, the mainstream press ignores the obvious.
In pleasing the money- men and the executives upstairs, many journalists have turned their backs on the truth. When approached by my publicists, they continue to ask: We would publish a book with many contributors, an anthology, fur- ther revealing the world of economic hit men and how it works. In Confessions, I talked about a world rooted in the cold war, in the dynam- ics and proxy conflicts of the U. My sojourn in that war ended in , a quarter of a century ago.
Since then, and especially since the collapse of the USSR, the dynamics of empire have changed. The world is now more multipolar and mercantile, with China and Europe emerging to compete with the U. Empire is heavily driven by multinational corporations, whose interests transcend those of any particular nation-state.
But one thing remains unchanged: A quarter-century ago, I saw myself as a hit man for the interests of U. Today, the EHM game is more complex, its corruption more pervasive, and its operations more fundamental to the world economy and politics. There are many more types of economic hit men, and the roles they play are far more diverse. The veneer of respectability remains a key factor; subterfug- es range from money laundering and tax evasion carried out in well-appoint- ed office suites to activities that amount to economic war crimes and result in the deaths of millions of people.
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The chapters that follow reveal this dark side of globalization, showing a system that depends on deception, extortion, and often violence: The main obstacle to compiling such stories should be obvious. Most EHMs do not think it is in their best interests to talk about their jobs. Many are still actively employed in the business. Those who have stepped away often receive pensions, consultant fees, and other perks from their former employ- ers. They understand that whistle-blowers usually sacrifice such benefits — and sometimes much more.
Most of us who have done that type of work pride ourselves on loyalty to old comrades. Once one of us decides to take the big leap — "into the cold," to use CIA vernacular — we know we will have to face the harsh reality of powerful forces arrayed to protect the institutional power of multinational corporations, global banks, government defense and security agencies, international agencies — and the small elite that runs them. In recent years, the people charged with deceiving ordinary citizens have grown more cunning.
The Pentagon Papers and the White House Watergate tapes taught them the dangers of writing and recording incriminating details. The Enron, Arthur Andersen, and WorldCom scandals, and recent allega- tions about CIA "extraordinary renditions," weapons of mass destruction deceits, and National Security Agency eavesdropping serve to reinforce poli- cies that favor shredding.
Government officials who expose a CIA agent to retaliate against her whistle-blowing spouse go unpunished. All these events lead to the ultimate deterrent to speaking the truth: Less obvious deterrents also keep people from telling the truth. Opening one's soul for public scrutiny confessing, is not fun. I had written many books before Confessions five of them published.
A Game as Old as Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption
Yet none prepared me for the angst I would encounter while exposing my transgressions as an EHM. Although most of us humans do not want to think of ourselves as corrupt, weak, or immoral, it is difficult — if not impossible — to ignore those aspects of our- selves when describing our lives as economic hit men. Personally, it was one of the most difficult tasks I have ever undertaken. In approaching prospective contributors to a book such as this I might tell them that confessing is, in the end, worth the anguish. However, for someone setting out on this path, that end seems very distant.
I discussed these obstacles and the potential benefits of overcoming them with Steve Piersanti, the intrepid founder and CEO of Berrett-Koehler, who made the decision to publish Confessions. It did not take us long to decide that the benefits were well worth the struggle. If my Confessions could send such a strong message to the public, it made sense that multiple confessions — or stories about people who need to confess — might reach even more people and motivate them to take actions that will turn this empire back into the democratic republic it was intended to be.
Our goal was nothing less than convincing the American public that we can and must create a future that will make our children and grandchildren — and their brothers and sisters on every continent — proud of us. Of course we had to start by showing journalists the trowels and the trenches. We decided that we should also include well-researched analyses by observers who came from a more objective perspective, rather than a per- sonal one.
A balance between firsthand and third-party accounts seemed like the prudent approach. Steve took it upon himself to find someone who could be an editor and also serve as a sleuth: After an extensive selection process, he, his staff, and I settled on Steven Hiatt. Steve is a profes- sional editor — but he also has a long history as an activist, first against the Vietnam War and then as a teachers' union organizer.
There he worked on research reports that he describes as essentially "the corporatocracy talking to itself. When people asked those questions — "Can you prove the existence of other EHMs? The wisdom of making that decision to publish an anthology was supported on February 19, , when the New York Times ran a major article that featured Confessions on the front page of its Sunday Business Section. The editors, I am sure, were comforted by the results of a background check confirming my account of my life and the episodes described in Confessions; however, the fact that other EHMs and researchers had committed to writing this book was, I suspect, the most important factor in their decision to publish that article.
The contributors to this book uncover events that have taken place across a wide range of countries, all EHM game plans under a variety of guises. Each sheds more light on the building of an empire that is contrary to American principles of democracy and equality. The chapters are presented in an order that follows the flow of money and power in the Global Empire. The chart on page 10 shows that progression: Steve Hiatt, in "Global Empire," gives an overview of the web of control that First World companies and institutions use to rule the global economy; each subsequent chapter exposes another facet.
Gwynne joined Cleveland Trust and quickly moved into the heady at- mosphere of international banking, where he learned that ability to pay had little to do with placing loans. In "Selling Money — and Dependency: Setting the Debt Trap" he describes a culture of business corruption in which local elites and international banks build mutually supportive relationships based on debts that will have to be repaid by ordinary citizens. There he found himself at the cen- ter of the EHM world, part of a global offshore banking industry that facili- tates tax evasion, money laundering, and capital flight.
Local communities have been campaigning to gain a share of this new wealth and to prevent environmental destruction of their region. In "Mercenaries on the Front Lines in the New Scramble for Africa," Andrew Rowell and James Marriott tell how a British expat security officer found himself in the middle of this struggle for oil and power.
The occupation regime is planning to sign oil production shar- ing agreements with U. In "Exporting Destruction," Bruce Rich turns a spotlight on the secretive world of ECAs and the damage they have caused in selling nuclear plants to countries that cannot manage them and pushing arms in war-torn regions. Henry, an investigative jour- nalist, economist, and lawyer, shows how little debt relief has actually been granted — and why dozens of countries remain caught in the West's debt trap.
Feel free to read the chapters according to your interests. Skip around, focus on one geographic area at a time or on one particular discipline, if you wish. Then turn to Antonia Juhasz's "Global Uprising" to learn what you can do to resist global domination by the corporatocracy As you read, please allow yourself to think about and feel the implications of the actions described for the world and for our children and grandchildren.
Permit your passions to rise to the surface. Feel compelled to take action. It is essential that we — you and I — do something. We must transform our country back into one that reflects the values of our Declaration of Independence and the other principles we were raised to honor and defend. We must begin today to re-create the world the corporatocracy has inflicted on us. This book presents a series of snapshots of the tools used by EHMs to cre- ate the world's first truly global empire. They are, however, a mere introduc- tion to the many nefarious deeds that have been committed by the corporate elite — often in the name of altruism and progress.
During the post- World War II period, we EHMs managed to turn the "last, best hope for democracy," in Lincoln's words, into an empire that does not flinch at inflicting brutal and often totalitarian measures on people who have resources we covet. After reading the chapters you will have a better understanding of why people around the world fear, resent, and even hate us. Much of the money simply round-trips back to First World suppliers or offshore banking havens. Meanwhile, a new era of imperial domination has begun with interventions to secure control of scarce resources like oil and coltan.
Banking on America, Banking on Jihad 4. In essence our economic system depends on modern versions of hu- man exploitation that conjure images of serfdom and slavery. We must put an end to this. You and I must do the right thing. We must un- derstand that our children will not inherit a stable, safe, and sustainable world unless we change the terrible conditions that have been created by EHMs.
All of us must look deep into our hearts and souls and decide what it is we can best do. Where are our strengths? What are our passions? As an author and lecturer, I know that I have certain skills and opportuni- ties. Yours may be different from mine, but they are just as powerful. I urge you to set as a primary goal in your life making this a better world not only for you but also for all those who follow. Please commit to taking at least one action every single day to realize this goal. Think about those 24, who die each day from hunger, and dedicate yourself to changing this in your life- time.
Write letters and e-mails — to newspapers, magazines, your local and national representatives, your friends, businesses that are doing the right thing and those that are not; call in to radio shows; shop consciously; do not "buy cheap" if doing so contributes to modern forms of slavery; support nonprofit organizations that help spread the word, protect the environment, defend civil liberties, fight hunger and disease, and make this a sane world; volunteer; go to schools and teach our children; form discussion groups in your neighbor- hood — the list of possible actions is endless, limited only by imagination.
We all have many talents and passions to contribute. The most important thing is to get out there and do it! One thing we all can — and must — do is to educate ourselves and those who interact with us. Democracy is based on an informed electorate. If we in the United States are not aware that our business and political leaders are using EHMs to subvert the most sacred principles upon which our country is found- ed, then we cannot in truth claim to be a democracy.
There is no excuse for lack of awareness, now that you have this book, plus many others and a multitude of films, CDs, and DVDs to help educate everyone you connect with. Beyond that, it is essential that every time you read, hear, or see a news report about some international event, do so with a skeptical mind. Remember that most media are owned by — or dependent on the financial support of — the corporatocracy Dig beneath the surface. The appendix, "Resources of Hope," provides a list of alternative media where you can access different viewpoints.
How you and I choose to react to this global empire in the coming years is likely to determine the future of our planet. Will we continue along a road marked by violence, exploitation of others, and ultimately the likelihood of our self-destruction as a species? Or will we create a world our children will be proud to inherit?
The choice is ours — yours and mine. Norton, , p. For more on the corporatocracy as an international, interlinked power elite, see Jeff Faux, "The Party of Davos," Nation, January 26, The Web of Control Steven Hiatt A never-ending accumulation of property must be based on a never- ending accumulation of power. Bush told cheering West Point cadets that America has "no territorial ambitions. We don't seek an empire. The victory of the Allies in , confirming the right of peoples to self- determination in their Atlantic Charter declaration, seemed to signal the end for the world's colonial empires.
Colonized peoples in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East had seen the armies of Britain, France, and the Netherlands defeated in , and knew that the European imperial powers now had neither the military nor the financial resources to enforce their rule for long. Moreover, the two strongest powers, the U. The Soviet Union had denounced imperialism since its birth in , and the communist movement it led had wide appeal in parts of the colonial world as a result.
Nevertheless, the European colonial powers tried to hang on to their pos- sessions as long as they could. Britain did finally "quit India" in , but fought insurgents in Kenya, Cyprus, and Malaya before granting those coun- tries independence. France fought losing, divisive wars in Indochina and Alge- ria to retain its bit of imperial gloire. Still, around the world the tide of history was clearly running in favor of self-determination. The quandary for Western elites was how to manage this process. Would new Third World leaders at- tempt to strike out on their own, taking control of their countries' resources in order to build their own national industries?
Or — worse — would they ally with the Soviet bloc or would nationalist campaigns prepare the way for take- overs by communist parties? For Western Europeans, loss of access to colonial resources and markets would be an enormous blow: For its part, the U. Events in Iran, Guatemala, and Egypt in the s marked a new turn in Western policies in what was becoming known as the Third World. In , Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh nationalized the country's oil industry, which had been run by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company since re- named British Petroleum.
A democratically elected nationalist, Mossadegh Time's Man of the Year for not surprisingly resented the fact that 92 percent of the profits from Iranian oil went to AIOC, a longstanding arrange- ment reflecting British domination of Persia early in the century. Winston Churchill had recently returned for a second term as prime minister and was determined to restore the UK's finances and prestige in the face of this chal- lenge from a newly assertive client state.
Churchill ordered a blockade of the Persian Gulf to prevent Iran from exporting oil to other purchasers, and he was joined in a boycott of Iranian trade by the United States. More muscular action was not possible, however: The first step was to create political turmoil to undermine Mossadegh's political support: Finally, the military made its move in August , and Mossadegh was arrested, a new prime minister was appointed, the Shah was restored to power, and the oil industry was denationalized.
British Petroleum now had to share its ac- cess to Iranian oilfields with several U. Guatemala was the next test case for this indirect method of policing em- pire. In May , President Jacobo Arbenz announced a land reform program that would have nationalized unused land belonging to landlords and, espe- cially, the holdings of Boston's United Fruit Company, the country's largest landowner. His inspiration was Abraham Lincoln's Homestead Act of , with Arbenz hoping to enable peasants and rural laborers to become inde- pendent small farmers. His eyes were glistening; he seemed to be purring like a giant cat.
Clearly he was not only enjoying what he was hearing, but my instincts told me that he was planning as well. Following the success of covert methods of intervention in Iran and Gua- temala, the Suez Crisis of illustrated the dangers of old-style direct inter- vention. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced nationalization of the Suez Canal in July ; the canal was a key national resource then in the hands of European investors, and Nasser hoped to use canal profits to pay for his ambitious Aswan High Dam project.
His plans energized sev- eral enemies: Britain, the former colonial power, since a British company ran the canal; France, since Nasser supported the Algerian rebels that France had been fighting since ; and Israel, which hoped to settle accounts with a pan- Arab nationalist who supported the Palestinians.
Israel invaded Egypt on October 29, , and Britain and France quickly occupied the canal region despite Egyptian resistance. This resort to direct military intervention posed a problem for the United States. Western intervention in the Suez therefore undercut the U. Britain was pressured to with- draw, and the intervention collapsed — underlining the weakness of the old colonial powers, speeding decolonization, and enhancing the prestige of the United States in the Third World. From then on, the United States would have to compete with the Soviets for influence in the Third World as dozens of newly independent countries flooded the halls of the United Nations.
Control during the Cold War For the most part, the newly independent states in Africa and Asia joined Latin America as producers of primary commodities: Many were plantation crops grown by First World corporations or local landlords, or minerals extracted by First World companies. In either case, the products were sold in markets dominated by European and U.
As Third World leaders began to take responsibility for their nations, they emphasized tackling the problem of economic underdevelopment. Their efforts were based on state-led development models, influenced by current thinking in the U. Typically, colonial governments had been heavily involved in economic planning and regulation, and new lead- ers like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, and Leopold Senghor of Senegal had been educated in Europe and influenced by socialist and social democratic programs.
Moreover, the new states started economic life without their own entrepreneurial class capable of leading economic de- velopment. Not surprisingly, then, many countries concentrated on Big Projects — showpiece government development projects that could be the motor for eco- nomic transformation, such as Ghana's Volta River Project, which involved construction of the Akosombo Dam in the early s to form the world's largest artificial lake and building aluminum smelters to take advantage of the country's bauxite resources.
However, these and other industri- alization projects all required massive loans, from banks, export credit agen- cies, or international development institutions such as the World Bank. Again Western elites faced a problem: Independence offered the West an op- portunity to shed the costs of direct rule — responsibility for administration, policing, and development — while maintaining all the benefits of empire. But independence also carried dangers: Asian, African, and Latin American na- tions might indeed become masters of their own economies, directing them to maximize their own development.
And there were alternative models: Cuba and Vietnam, to name the most prominent. After all, the point of em- pire was not simply to import oil or coffee from Latin America, or copper or cocoa from Africa, but to import these goods at prices advantageous to the West — in effect, a built-in subsidy from the former colonies to their former rulers.
Empire, whether based on direct rule or indirect influence, is not about control for its own sake: At some point, the alternative that Claudine Martin laid out to John Per- kins in , as recounted in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, 3 must have become an obvious element of the West's strategy.
Why not embrace this burden — and use the debts to bring these countries into the West's web of control economically and politically? They could be lured by economic hit men like John Perkins to take on debt to build grandiose projects that promised modernization and prosperity — the debt-led theory of economic development. Moreover, the large sums flooding in could be useful in winning the allegiance of new Third World elites, who were under pressure to deliver prosperity to their political followers, allies, and extended families. The possibilities for corruption were seemingly endless and would provide further opportunities for enmeshing the leaders in relationships with the West while discouraging them from striking out on their own on what could only be a more austere, and much more dangerous, path.
Debt Boom— and Bust: Hiding in Plain Sight Those who serve the interests of global empire play many different roles. As John Perkins points out, "Every one of the people on my staff also held a title — financial analyst, sociologist, economist. Yet their work each day consists of hiding embezzled funds, laundering the profits from drug sales, and helping multinational corporations evade taxes. They are economic hit men.
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An IMF team arrives in an African capital armed with the power to ex- tend vitally needed loans — at the price of slashing its education budget and opening its economy to a flood of goods dumped by North American and European exporters. A consultant sets up shop in Baghdad's Green Zone, where, protected by the U. Army, he writes new laws governing exploitation of Iraq's oil reserves. He is an economic hit man. EHM methods range from those that are legal — indeed, some are im- posed by governments and other authoritative institutions — through a se- ries of gray areas to those that violate whole catalogs of laws.
The benefi- ciaries are those so powerful that they are rarely called to account, an elite centered in First World capitals, who, together with their Third World cli- ents, work to arrange the world to their liking. And their world is one where only dollars, not people — and certainly not the planet's billions of everyday people — are citizens. The international monetary system was facing its worst crisis since the collapse of the s. The solution was to "recycle" the petro- dollars as loans to the developing world.
Gwynne in "Selling Money — and Dependency," turned into a bust in August , as first Mexico and then other Third World states announced that they were unable to meet their debt payments. The results of these programs were, however, the reverse of their advertised targets: Henry explains in "The Mirage of Debt Relief.
Simply put, Third World countries are caught in a web of control — finan- cial, political, and military — that is extremely hard for them to escape, a sys- tem that has become ever more extensive, complex, and pervasive since John Perkins devised his first forecasts for MAIN. The chart on page 20 shows the flows of money and power that form this web of control. Capital flows to underdeveloped countries via loans and other financing, but — as John Perkins points out — at a price: The rest of this chapter outlines the program of free-trade, debt-led economic development as preached by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, shows how corruption and exploitation are in fact at the heart of these power relationships, and explores the range of enforcement options used when the dominated decide that they have had enough.
Meanwhile, IMF and World Bank structural adjustment programs throttle economic and social development in many countries. As their price for assistance, the IMF and World Bank insist in their structural adjustment programs that indebted developing countries abandon state-led development policies, including tariffs, export subsidies, currency controls, and import- substitution programs.
Their approved model of development instead focuses on export-led economic growth, using loans to develop new export indus- tries — for example, to attract light industry to export-processing zones firms like Nike have been major beneficiaries of these policies. Ironically, as Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang points out, the First World countries transformed their own economies from a base of traditional agriculture to urban industry by using an arsenal of protectionist tariffs, sub- sidies, and controls.
Britain became a paragon of free trade only in the s; before then it had pursued highly directive industrial policies in addition to its forcible extraction of tribute from India and the West Indies. In the postwar era, the most successful developing countries have been the East Asian "tiger" economies of Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan, which have indeed concentrated on export-led development, but have historically prohibited import of any goods that would compete with in- dustries whose products they wanted to nourish.
For example, one of today's World Bank teams viewing a Toyota on sale back in would have advised the company not to bother, since its cars were clearly not competitive on the world market, and West European automakers produced better vehicles at a lower price. Their policy prescription would undoubtedly have been that Japan stick to its relative advantage in the production of toys and clothing.
Toyota did not take such advice, and today is the world's most successful au- tomaker. In sum, the First World has "kicked away the ladder," prohibiting Third World countries from using the only economic development strategy proven to work. It is not First and Third World equals who are meeting in the mar- ketplace, and the result of their interaction is not a bargain that benefits both. Ghana, for example, was forced by the IMF to abolish tariffs on food imports in The result was a flood of imported food from European Union coun- tries that destroyed the livelihoods of local farmers.
It seems that the IMF's economic hit men "forgot" to ensure that the EU abolish its own massive agricultural subsidies. As a result, frozen chicken parts imported from the EU cost a third of those locally produced. The country was then flooded with imports of cheap secondhand clothing that drove all but 8 firms out of business. And while countries like Zambia are supposed to devote themselves to free trade, First World countries subsidize their exporters through export credit agen- cies — often, as Bruce Rich explains in "Exporting Destruction," with disas- trous results for the environment and economies of the Third World.
There are perverse effects as well — the famous "unintended consequences" that conservatives love to cite. The IMF's structural adjustment program in Peru slashed tariffs on corn in the early s, and corn from the U. Many of Peru's farmers were unable to compete, and so turned to growing coca for cocaine production instead. The relative value of their exports has declined even more — for example, in a new tractor cost the equivalent of 8 metric tons of African coffee, but by the same tractor cost 40 metric tons.
In fact, many IMF programs have required sharp cuts in health and education spending, making it harder to improve the quality and capabilities of work forces with low levels of literacy and few technological skills. In some countries, such as Ghana, the percentage of school-age chil- dren who are actually attending school is falling because of IMF-imposed budget cuts.
A Game As Old As Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of - Google Книги
An Unleveled Playing Field In addition to dominating and manipulating markets, First World elites use extra-market muscle to ensure their control — despite their constant invo- cation of the magic of free markets. TRIPS allow patents and other intellectual property monopolies to shut Third World producers out of lucrative markets thus keeping them trapped in commodity production. As part of this strategy, the U.
Dependent on aid, loan reschedulings, and debt rollovers to survive — never mind actually develop — they have been forced to restructure their economies and rewrite their laws to meet conditions laid down in IMF structural adjustment programs and World Bank conditionalities.
The United States would right now be a prime candidate for structural ad- justment if this were an ordinary country. We are living way beyond our means, we have massive and constantly growing foreign debts, a gigantic currency account deficit, and a government that shows no interest in doing anything about it. If this were an ordinary country, the United States would have the IMF at our doorstep telling us to create a recession, get the foreign accounts back into balance, consume less, invest more, and save more.
But since the United States is the United States, we don't have such a thing happening.