I've read a couple of chapters of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and it's real good

I've read the first couple of chapters of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and it is really interesting. On the jacket the author, John Perkins, claims that he loads countries up with debt to increase the influence of the USA over them. But how exactly does someone go about loading a company up with debt.

The way he went about it way back then - in the days of the Vietnam war was to give the country a very optimistic economic analysis that predicts the country is on the verge of an economic boom.

On the basis of this the country gets a bunch of loans from the World Bank that it has no hope of paying back (because the fairy-tale boom doesn't happen). The loan money goes to American contractors who build giant useless dams and power stations, etc. that the country has no use for when the predicted economic boom doesn't materialize. The company then has to start granting favors to the USA in exchange for more lenient repayment options.

In the first couple of chapters, Perkins, as a 20-something hit man, puts together an economic analysis for a private engineering company he works for that predicts a boom of 20% growth in electricity use. A very optimistic prediction by an expert sent on the same fact-finding mission was predicting 8%. The expert got fired and Perkins got promoted. The country got the loan it couldn't pay back - i.e. a bunch of debt - and America got leverage.

The details of this simple deception are interesting, and the potential consequences for the country concerned are potentially devastating. This gives the narrative a real sense of foreboding, as Perkins gets to know the people around him and wonders about the effect his actions will have on them and their descendants.

The people of the country he has in his sights are also well aware of what is being done by America around the world. They are fearful of the intentions of the experts who are here doing the economic analysis and reluctant to speak to him, with good reason it turns out.

After this the book moves on to Panama, I cant wait to keep reading.

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