Saturday, October 4

book: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

We all read this book over the course of Costa Rica and the beginning of Ecuador. It´s all about the ¨corporatocracy¨of international development aid in which the US economists predict hugely exaggerated forecasts of economic growth in developing nations, justifying their credit so that the World Bank will grant them a loan to invest in infastructure or natural resources, with the condition that the construction projects be leased to huge US companies. Of course, when a nation cannot repay the debt, they are at the mercy of the World Bank and the corporations. Many countries must devote more than half of their GDP to repaying interest alone, not even making progress on the initial sum.

I wasn´t necessarily so shocked by the fact that there are greedy CEOs out there who want to make enormous profits. What was more surprising was that all of this selfish capitalism was happening under the farce of international äid¨to improve the living conditions of those in extreme poverty. It was pretty disillusioning about the role of the World Bank and the IMF and the multi national investing companies.

What´s more, the book offered a pretty interesting psychological aspect as to why Perkins, the author, continued in his profession for decades. He understood what was happening, and considered quitting for years, but didn´t. The excuses he offers time and time again are frustrating and raise questions about what really drives people.

I would recommend this -- it´s a quick and easy read, and introduced me to a world of corruption that I hadn´t realized existed.

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