Confessions of an Economic Hit Man / Edition 1

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man / Edition 1

4.1 142
by John Perkins

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ISBN-10: 0452287081

ISBN-13: 2900452287081

Pub. Date: 12/27/2005

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

In this riveting personal story, John Perkins tells of his own inner journey from willing servant of empire to impassioned advocate for the rights of oppressed people. Covertly recruited by the United States National Security Agency and on the payroll of an international consulting firm, he traveled the world-to Indonesia, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Iran


In this riveting personal story, John Perkins tells of his own inner journey from willing servant of empire to impassioned advocate for the rights of oppressed people. Covertly recruited by the United States National Security Agency and on the payroll of an international consulting firm, he traveled the world-to Indonesia, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other strategically important countries. His job was to implement policies that promoted the interests of the U.S. corporatocracy (a coalition of government, banks, and corporations) while professing to alleviate poverty-policies that alienated many nations and ultimately led to September 11 and growing anti-Americanism.

Perkins' story illuminates just how far he and his colleagues-self-described as economic hit men-were willing to go. He explains, for instance, how he helped to implement a secret scheme that funneled billions of Saudi Arabian petrodollars back into the U.S. economy, and that further cemented the intimate relationship between the Islamic fundamentalist House of Saud and a succession of American administrations. Perkins reveals the hidden mechanics of imperial control behind some of the most dramatic events in recent history, such as the fall of the Shah of Iran, the death of Panamanian president Omar Torrijos, and the U.S. invasions of Panama and Iraq.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, which many people warned Perkins not to write, exposes the little known inner workings of a system that fosters globalization and leads to the impoverishment of millions of people across the planet. It is a compelling story that also offers hope and a vision for realizing the American dream of a just and compassionate world that will bring us greater security.

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Penguin Publishing Group
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Table of Contents

Part I1963-1971
1An Economic Hit Man Is Born3
2"In for Life"12
3Indonesia: Lessons for an EHM20
4Saving a Country from Communism23
5Selling My Soul28
Part II1971-1975
6My Role as Inquisitor37
7Civilization on Trial42
8Jesus, Seen Differently47
9Opportunity of a Lifetime52
10Panama's President and Hero58
11Pirates in the Canal Zone63
12Soldiers and Prostitutes67
13Conversations with the General71
14Entering a New and Sinister Period in Economic History76
15The Saudi Arabian Money-laundering Affair81
16Pimping, and Financing Osama bin Laden93
Part III1975-1981
17Panama Canal Negotiations and Graham Greene101
18Iran's King of Kings108
19Confessions of a Tortured Man113
20The Fall of a King117
21Colombia: Keystone of Latin America120
22American Republic versus Global Empire124
23The Deceptive Resume131
24Ecuador's President Battles Big Oil141
25I Quit146
Part IV1981-Present
26Ecuador's Presidential Death153
27Panama: Another Presidential Death158
28My Energy Company, Enron, and George W. Bush162
29I Take a Bribe167
30The United States Invades Panama173
31An EHM Failure in Iraq182
32September 11 and its Aftermath for Me, Personally189
33Venezuela: Saved by Saddam196
34Ecuador Revisited203
35Piercing the Veneer211
John Perkins Personal History226
About the Author248

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Confessions of an Economic Hit Man 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 142 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a fantastic read - fast-pasted, adventurous, informative, and courageous. I wish this was required reading for people of all ages to learn about the corruption and greed that fuels the international banking system and U.S. 'corporatocracy,' and what we can do as citizens of the world to help create a better future. Sometimes Perkins beats himself up a bit, but I think that's understandable given the role he played in supporting this system. In all, I found it to be a highly enjoyable and enlightening book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book feels as if your reading the diary of a secret agent of some sort. Its an easy read and full of information that will blow your mind wide open. He gives first hand accounts of U.S. contractors lying to third world countries and coaxing them into paying the U.S. millions of dollars and causing the countries to go into debt for years and years. Some say the book is not true, but others disagree its an incredible read and super amazing I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If John Perkins wants us to believe he has written a confessional, I didn't find much that he confessed. He also wants us to believe he has written an explosive expose. But I didn't find either bombs or blast. According to Perkins there is a huge (non)conspiracy within the U.S.government, operating through large international corporations and the World Bank, to create the appearance of economic incentives to build large infrastructure projects for foreign governments. The trick is to convince the foreign government that the project(s) will create a sufficient return on investment, but in reality, the projects will never perform well enough to ever repay the vast loans. But rather than call the loans, the U.S, like a mafia don, calls for favors instead. That enables the U.S. to build an empire without holding the actual ground of the countries conquered. If the foreign government fails to cooperate, then 'jackals' are sent to either gain the desired cooperation, or overthrow the government by whatever means necessary, including assassinating world leaders. And if that fails, the U.S. Army will make the final arrangements by conquering the hapless country, and installing a puppet government. Of course Perkins offers no direct evidence of any of this, other than to allude to the history of Central and South America, and the current events (and Halliburton) in Iraq. What I found remarkable about the book was Perkins' desire to portray himself as a reluctant victim. He admits that he understood completely that he was the initial 'hit man,' albeit through the economic subterfuge built into his proposals. Then after thirty-some years of doing their bidding, cashing in, and looking for more, he finally found his conscience, and wrote this book in spite of the threats against him should he do so. And now, at age 60, he wants us to believe he has finally awakened to the humanity of the world; that he finally 'gets it.' Though I might be less skeptical had he not accumulated and kept so much wealth that he now resides in one of the most affluent places in America. And that his new-found values motivated him, not to give to charity, but to write a for-profit book. I happen to agree that the U.S. government is becoming ever more beholden to international corporations. I just don't find that notion particularly new.
Christine-Boston More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was a bit over the top............until.............I was on a tour of the Boston harbor light houses. I was sitting next to a very conservative retired man. After listening to him complain about "liberal america" I asked him what he did before he retired. He asked if I had read this book because that is what he did. I said, "No way, wasn't that book an exaggeration?" "Not really," he said, "It was surprisingly accurate." This is a super fun book to read, it moves quickly. It is easy to mock this book, many people do not want to know about these sorts of things. However, you can research the events in the book. We built these things. George Bush acknowledged that we get more back than we give. He substantially increased US foreign aid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a great book talking about the economy. Another book that was suggested to me when buying this book was "Life After Foreclosure" by Dean Wegner! Both of these books talk in great debth about the economies current meltdown.
NomadiCat More than 1 year ago
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is author John Perkins' mea culpa over his life as an Economic Hit Man, or EHM. If I had read this book a decade ago, during the height of the roaring 90s when few people bothered with looking too closely at the government, corporations, or the world outside the US I may have written this off as unbelievable. But with the rising profiles of Haliburton, KBR, our "reconstruction" in the Middle East, the ever more exposed ties of the Bush family to the oil industry, and the last eight years of an American government and nation sacrificing it's founding principles in the name of greed... what Perkins has to say makes a lot of sense. I have two minor criticisms of this book: 1) I feel that John Perkins treats himself and his role in the world as it is today with kid gloves; 2) Some of the more New Age "kumbaya" overtones weaken the story Perkins is trying to tell. Perkins states repeatedly that he feels a deep sense of remorse and shame for his part in bringing about a global empire. He feels so deeply, in fact, that it seems hard for him to look at his past self head on- while Perkins does an excellent job of presenting difficult facts and stories in a deft and honest fashion, his language softens considerably when the focus turns to himself. Although it is distracting and makes it more difficult to be sympathetic to the author, I think this ironically serves to make the book more believable when contrasted with the way he presents the portions that aren't about him. Those two minor complaints aside, however, I don't think it's possible to overstate the value of this book. Especially as we move away from a White House openly in bed with corporate behemoths and into the new Obama administration that, one week in, looks to be moving in a completely new direction. This book was, for me personally, a catalyst for an Epiphany. It was gratifying, and horrifying, to see things that I'd suspected for years but had dismissed as paranoia articulated by a man who has lived them. But the sheer scope of what Perkins lays out is truly mind boggling. I believe that Perkins made a good choice in this book by emphasizing, repeatedly, that everything he was relating was not a conspiracy, not a single plot being run by a group of shadowy figures, but the way the world really is and works. This book was loaned to me by a friend, and I'm going to dutifully pass it to the next person in the list as it was passed on to me. But I've already ordered my own copy, along with Perkins' follow up book, for my permanent collection. And I know several friends and family members who are going to receive this as gifts this year. Forget "highly recommended". This is a must read.
SoCalDave More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very enlightening and thought provoking. It allowed me to see things from a different point of view that I had not considered. I was an instant fan. Especially since I was in some of the places he describes and now could better piece together the impact my military career had in a global setting.
josemp More than 1 year ago
This is a book worth reading and understading about the corporatocracy in America and its affairs abroad. It is a book intended to change the mind of the person who reads it. Plus it has all the items of a real life thriller. Kudos for Mr. Perkins.
EAGLETERR More than 1 year ago
Good Story line about the events and people behind the scenes who control and manipulate our government,corporations,and society in general. Non-Fiction accounts of events that took place in the twentieth century which illustrate how the powers that be control our government without our knowledge or consent.Such books as this one will do much to enlighten the American people as to how their government is really run! Sad,Chilling,and shocking accounts of abuse of power on the part of corporate leaders. As time progresses and individuals such as the author of this book come forward with their story we the people will come to understand how our government is really run and the individuals really in control will be unmasked!It will be a big demand on the people to decide how we will change our world for the better! Books such as this one should not motivate the people to seek revenge but to stir us to action to make the world a better place for all humans!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent, very informative and an eye opener
orgegeorwell More than 1 year ago
This book trully causes one to think twice before standing up and reciting the pledge of allegiance. "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" is a bone chilling insight into the United States modern forgien policy. John Perkins is a vetran to international corporate crooked bussiness. For an eye opening experience pick up a copy and you will not be able to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Justin007 More than 1 year ago
I believe that this is a very good book and that John Perkins really informed me on things that I had no idea about. Even though John is really hard and tough on hiself for the things he has done he exploits the truth of what an economic hitman has to do and what role they play in the U.S.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Confessions of An Economic Hit Man is filled with action on every page.  It is extremely fast paced, and hard to put down.  It gives insight on the greed and corruption that consumes the international banking system.  I would highly recommend this book for those who enjoy reading about about scandals within the U.S. government.     
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The purpose of this book was to reveal the secretes that the government of the U.S holds when it come to the economy. Perkins takes us through his career of an economic hit man and tries to advise us on we Americans can put an end to these practices. Perkins define that the purpose of an economic hit man was to cheat countries This book was a brief autobiography of Perkins life as an Economic Hit Man. He describes his experiences as an Economic Hit Man in Indonesia, Panama, and Saudi Arabia. He became an economic hit man while trying to work for the NSA. He was in Ecuador when the President of MAIN approached him and offered him a job in the company. He accepted this job from the company and was trained to be an Economic Hit Man. He was chosen because the company saw that he can survive in very poor conditions. Perkins defines this job as being a cheat because he forecasted false economic growth in order for countries to take out loans from the National Bank and other sources. Then the country will fall into owning a lot of money then the U.S will pay the money and take control of the country for its own purposes like oil, military bases, and so forth. He forecasted an economic growth in Indonesia of 17-20% per year in projects in electricity. Later he went to Panama to try to make Panama puppets of the American government again. The president of Panama was well aware of the game that was played, and wanted to better his own people and take control of the Canal. At the end a negotiation was made with Perkins and MAIN.  Then in Saudi Arabia he was send as an “economic advisor” and was asked to forecast an economic growth not only for MAIN’s profits, but also for national security. His job was different that time he wasn’t supposed to put Saudi Arabia in debts, but to make sure that money came back to the U.S. I think that the purpose was to expose the truth about what the U.S was doing to other countries. Also I think that this is valuable missing history that is taken off on the history text books at school. This is the unspoken truth behind the U.S massive profits of poor countries. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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ILim More than 1 year ago
This book is incredible. As a young adult i can attest to the fact that a majority of people are not aware of the corruption and greed that fuels the American economy. Although Perkins has a habit of throwing himself a pity party, the book is filled with gripping stories of his travels and meetings with some very important people. Ultimately, I found this book to be a page turner and very insightful read.
The_Book_Wheel_Blog More than 1 year ago
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is so unbelievable that it’s entirely believable. An economic hit man? A guy dashing around the world and inflating loan estimates in order to leave countries in debt to the US? Wielding economic influence in order to build a reserve of countries who have no choice but defend us? Helping a country build themselves up only to take advantage of them? No way! But like I said, it’s so unbelievable that it’s believable. I saw this listed as a recommended book by the Tattered Cover, so I knew it had to at least be decent without even reading the jacket. At first, I was a little unsure about where the book was going because the author, John Perkins, was groaning about his privileged upbringing and high-powered connections, so I thought, “Oh, he’s one of those guys.” BUT, because he at least recognized that he had said privileges, I knew he was off to a good start.. And I’m glad I stuck it out because I learned a lot and the author had the good sense to show remorse later on. You know, after  he figured out all of the awful things that occurred in part due to his actions (but not after spending years battling his conscience and raking in millions). Regardless, the book is extremely intriguing. He spends a lot of time blaming (while accepting his part in it) the “corporatocracy” for how it is ruining lives worldwide. He’s anti-Reagan and pro-Carter, which is evident in his explanations of the Panama Canal and oil dependence. Some of what he talks about (assassinations, the Panama Canal treaties, OPEC, etc.) are so sensational that I spent hours researching the conflicts he brought up. But it’s definitely worth it. Anyone interested in international relations, the economy or democracy should read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Even if you don’t agree with the author, the issues that he brings up are very pertinent to today’s current events. I spent a lot of time doing my own research based on things that were mentioned in the book, and I can honestly say that I have a better understanding of how the international economy works now than I did before. And even if you aren’t inspired to share the knowledge, it’s information that you cannot un-know and ignore. So, go learn something!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overhyped and overdramatized. I didn't see the smoking gun. As a thinking individual, the author's purported profession made no sense to me. He clearly aggregates a lot of disconnected bits of information and extrapolates it into something it is not--both in his work and this book. I love edgy books, but this one was so suspect, I threw it away rather than give anyone else a chance to read this dreck--a fate I've never given to a book before...
ICAO More than 1 year ago
This is a book of much importance to understand how our society functions and where we stand and where we are going. A must read. Hugo Dietrich
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well worth reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago