The Extended Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man

Tyler Durden's picture

The book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins is easily one of the most engrossing pieces of non-fiction one can read to learn about the true drivers behind globalization, espionage, corporate cronyism, the emergence of such "artificial" organizations as the World Bank and the IMF, and most importantly, debt "enslavement", all as seen from an insider's view. It explains in simple words why over the past 40 years the developing world paradigm has been exploited as heavily as it has, why the BRIC concept was instrumental as a Red Herring to perpetuating the myth of endless growth, and why credit must always flow no matter what to keep the status quo in power. For those who have read the book, and for those who are on the fence about reading it, below we present the three part presentation by John Perkins at the 2006 Veterans for Peace National Convention in which he expounds on all the key ideas in his book, and does an extended Q&A covering topics not discussed previously. We urge everyone to spend at least a few minutes listening to Perkins who gives a unique and non-conflicted expert opinion on the primary force for why the the modern equivalent of enslavement is not by force, but by debt.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

And for the truly time-constrained we recommend the following blurb which encapsulates the key elements from the book, and Perkins' life.

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EscapeKey's picture

It's an ok book, but WAAAAAYYYY too much of it is dedicated to the author struggling with his conscience.

I suppose it makes a difference that for once someone has a conscience...

bankrupt JPM buy silver's picture

Good old Johnney.  He's acutally a good guy, he's got lots of stories to tell.  You should see him after 3 beers.

Ident 7777 economy's picture

Hmmm ... so far, he seems to be a) an apologist for his own conscience and b) an actual casualty of BDS ...


And who is he delivering this address to?

From an article "The Left's War Against the Military At Home"


... the movement’s forefront are the radical groups Code Pink for Peace, United for Peace and Justice, the Ruckus Society, the Campus Antiwar Network and the Society of American Law Teachers. These groups coordinate with four major pacifist organizations having long histories of anti-U.S. pro-communist activities- the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO), The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Veterans for Peace (VAP) and the War Resisters League (WRL)


Hmmm ....



Moe Howard's picture

Instead of telling us what he did for the banksters, he panders to the crowd, keeps talking about democracy - [we are a Republic, not a democracy].  Since he has admitted he has done evil things, why would I trust his judgement on how government and / or business should be operated? How do we know he was honest in his book, and has made an honest turn around with his life? Maybe it's all an act, maybe somebody from the banksters said, hey, we got a book contract and some money in this pocket for you, and a gun with a bullet with your name on it in this pocket. Seems to me if you really were an insider you would not be breathing long if you spilled beans they cared about at all. His kissing up to Chavez was particularly nauseating, he sounded just like a Sean Penn clone.

Seer's picture

And.. maybe YOU don't exist.

Fuck it man, bury yuor head in the sand, it's the safer bet.

Quixotic_Not's picture

Yes, the economic boogeyman DO exist!

As for me, I don't have progeny so I don't give a fuck anymore.

I'm about to relocate to the outskirts of a third or fourth tier metro area and buy a secured piece of property to watch the rest of you tards burn it all to the fucking ground!

I no longer give a fuck about all you mongoloid trash voting for the (D) & (R) Free Crap Empire™, I hope you enjoy the whirlwind.

Piss off and die,

Quixotic_Not  out!

Michael's picture

Comment on Part 1 of Youtube Video;

Yes, but if our government tries to pull off another 9/11 on we the people, I'm going to nuke DC and I don't care how many people who live in that area of the country die in the process. How do you like them apples?

Comment on Part 2 of Youtube Video;

Rain Forest Action Network is awesome on every other issue except on who controls the climate of our planet. It's the Sun stupid, and I am grateful they finally realized they were duped by the oligarchs for supporting man-made global warming so those greedy control freaks could achieve their one world government with a global carbon tax. CO2 is not carbon(C), it's a carbon atom combined with 2 atoms of oxygen, without it life would not exist on this planet. CO2 is plant food. See how masses of sheeple are so easily duped because most people don't study chemistry or completely comprehend my previous sentence?

Comment on Part 3 of Youtube Video;

I still think people working both sides of the divide have their own special deluded interests to promote. The people on both sides are equally misinformed, illogical, ill informed, and brainwashed by the ruling deceptive elite on the issues they argue. Their IQ is not high enough to understand the reality of the issues they argue.



Michael's picture

I uploaded a new youtube video;

Senator Rand Paul Exposes the US Senate's Dereliction of Duty

ColonelCooper's picture

Do you EVER put your comments where they belong, rather than cramming them up everyone's ass at the top of the page?

Or would you care to explain how your comments somehow relate to Quixotic's move?


Ident 7777 economy's picture

C'mon, the kid just wants to help, in his own, non-conforming way ...

SRV - ES339's picture

A Rand Paul follower... nuff said!

John Rotten's picture

"If the President were a real leader..."  HAHA!

Arthor Bearing's picture

You're a child, and you vastly overestimate your understanding of global events. The internet isn't the world, go walk in the forest and mature a little.

Ident 7777 economy's picture

Hmmm ... it appears the book got 'rave reviews' -

Controversy and criticism

Some of the book's critics have questioned whether Perkins makes a significant contribution to the debate on global finance and the development of the Third World. For instance, columnist Mark Engler of In These Times, has written that "the actual content of Perkins' admissions proves distressingly thin." According to the New York Times, "the book's popularity seems driven more by the mix of cloak-and-dagger atmospherics and Mr. Perkins's Damascene conversion" than by insight into "the larger issue of America's role in emerging economies."

Columnist Sebastian Mallaby of the Washington Post reacted sharply to Perkins' book: "This man is a frothing conspiracy theorist, a vainglorious peddler of nonsense, and yet his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, is a runaway bestseller."

Sebastian Mallaby, who spent 13 years writing for the London Economist ... holds that Perkins' conception of international finance is "largely a dream" and that his "basic contentions are flat wrong."

For instance he points out that Indonesia reduced its infant mortality and illiteracy rates by two-thirds after economists persuaded its leaders to borrow money in 1970. He also disputes Perkins' claim that 51 of the top 100 world economies belong to companies.


SOUNDS like a perfect guest to speak to the VFP crowd ...


Rick64's picture

 Try reading some of his books (many available at the library). He says he made a lot of money and doesn't need the money. He was offered favors and jobs to dissuade him from writing which at first he accepted, and delayed the writing of his first book. He says that having a daughter was one of the deciding factors in writing it, he wanted to try and change things for her future. He seems sincere to me.

 I have found that he only states facts or things he has personal experience with. If you research what he is saying about how the IMF, World Bank, and many aid organizations work, you will find that his message rings true. It is disturbing how everyone is exploited, and how counterproductive it is.

 Why is Chavez so unpopular in the U.S.? Because of the way the media here portrays him. There is a lot of things he is doing to try and help his country, but he is fighting the elites in his country as well as the U.S.. Just like here the elites own many media outlets and use them to belittle Chavez, because they are the ones that will benefit from Corporatism. I am not saying he is all good, but he is trying to good things rather than pillaging his country for his own benefit. Look how the elites control the government here. If Obama really wanted to change things think about what he would be up against, and who would come out against him and why. The people that have the most to lose.

Money Squid's picture

AFTER he made his money he began to think about what he was doing. Now, like all other people who did the same things, he writes books and tries to rewrite history to clear his name.

Rick64's picture

  I understand what you are saying and it is disturbing that a lot of people that profit from the destructive system grow a conscience after they have made themselves wealthy, but he doesn't just write books and lecture. I don't think he is trying to rewrite history because he tells a story in which he is as guilty as anybody and points this out regularly. He has traveled throughout S.America helping the indigenous people in these areas, is involved with many grassroots movements, ect... If you read his books you will understand, I'm not saying you will agree with everything but it is informative.  

Oh regional Indian's picture

To see a really fantastic movie, that tells this story really well, im my opinion, is called Life and Debt.

Google it, check it out. The truth about the IMF/WB scam is laid bare for all to see. And it came out years ago. And nothing has changed. Become worse.

Point being, for all this disclosure, the trend and current is still hard down. Nothing will change that. We are gnats in the big scheme but giants in our own minds.


Ident 7777 economy's picture

Why is Chavez so unpopular in the U.S.? Because of the way the media here portrays him.

- - - -  - - - -  - - - -  - - - -  - - - -  - - - -

As the media portrays him - as opposed to the way they portray Castro?

C'mon ... are you serious?

Do you not recognize a 'dictator' (emphasis on the dick) when you see one?

Just another scheme to 'get women' (brought to your room) ...


Sudden Debt's picture

Chavez is a dictator and stands for everything what we don't want in our society.

But that's our point of view.

I have no idea how the people in venezuela see him, and that's the most important.

All in all, whatever our media says about another country and society should always be taken with a grain of salt.


Rick64's picture

  Whether you like him or not is irrelevant. He was elected by his own people. The elites staged a coup the people protested and he was released, and became president again. If you study some history you will see that where the U.S. has business interests and the leader goes against those interests then he is automatically labelled an enemy and lambasted by the media here. On the other hand if they uphold those business interests then it matters not what kind of leader he is to his people he will be supported no matter if it is counter productive to his country. The U.S. has supported many corrupt and ruthless leaders. Why if our goal is to promote democracy and freedom?

JR's picture


Rick64, excellent comment. The EHM even have their apologists here on Zero Hedge to keep the door open to Keynesian economics and investment bank manipulation of the world’s resources…thus, the suspicious brandings of the book as “fiction.”

As Perkins said, “Robert McNamara’s greatest and most sinister contribution to history (as president of the World Bank) was to jockey the World Bank into becoming an agent of global empire on a scale never before witnessed.”  The book outlines the connections from McNamara to Schultz (Bechtel) to Weinberger (Bechtel) to Helms (CIA/Iran) to Cheney (Halliburton) to George H.W. Bush. Does that sound like fiction?

Today’s president of the World Bank is Goldman’s Robert Zoellick.

The unadulterated truth has support from all sectors.

“What a great honor to have Yoko Ono cite “Confessions of An Economic Hitman” in OMagazine as one of her favorite books. Very humbled.”  – John Perkins

Rick64's picture

Thanks JR.

  I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.[12]

  Major General Smedly Butler

Alasdair's picture

His is an excellent story that I wish more knew about.

B-rock's picture

What kind of fuck would flag the above as junk? Unreal.

Guy Fawkes Mulder's picture

...and when someone junks you (I don't) I LOL in real life... lol'd twice so far....

The Navigator's picture

A chicken ass. I may not agree with the poster, but if you disagree, have the balls to post your position instead of being a lazy ass and hitting the junk button.

Unless of course its a HamyWanker post, that ought to be boosted outta here; he's/she's an obvious troll/shit stirrer.

dogbreath's picture

Bank rupt

I followed the link. 

Peter Schiff is trying to claim the NIA is doing a pump and dump on Mega Precious Metals. 

Look Here.

Mega is driling the deep Red Lake gold structure made famous by Gold Corp.  A single drill hole and if you look at the link they were above the target in january.  There is no news on their website about results from this hole and they've been drilling for over a year.

Sooooooooo.    Either the hole is a dud and the someone is trying to bail out or maybe................   Red Lake has some of the richest grade ore in the world.

disclaimer.  I don't own shares  do your own home work.

in4mayshun's picture

What, Bernanke has a conscience. He feels horrible when his buddies have to start selling their 17th & 18th beach homes to cover their bad investments.

Popo's picture

It is also, as many reviewers and fact-checkers noted upon it's release:  LARGELY a work of fiction.  The author gives ZERO evidence for his claims.  And those who know him personally have not been able to vouch for his claims.  Do a Google search, and you'll see loads of journalists who have called b.s. on the book.

That having been said, it's actually a great read.  I enjoyed it, and I think a lot of things probably happen 'like' they did in the book.  But his stories don't pass the sniff test on multiple levels.

Guy Fawkes Mulder's picture

I think you might be confusing the the unverifiability and potential embellishment of one's memoirs with outright fiction.

Journalists call BS on the book because it gets them brownie points with their corporate editors.

It would be a grave mistake to think that the US Government' and elite business' policies and practices he describes on the whole are fiction.

Any parts that don't pass one's sniff test, such as secret meetings with Iranian personae non gratae, chance meetings with Afghanis near Ground Zero after 9-11, conversations with Indonesian intellectual youth who believed in the 70s that the U.S. intended to foment a war against Muslims, or dreams of messages from black Jesuses, can be said to be "fictionalized" if you insist, but he is still describing reality on the whole, even in parts that seem to be too good to be non-fiction.

So it's not that what he writes is fiction -- just that there may be some elements of telling his memoirs with artistic embellishment for the sake of making a better read -- but the picture he paints is still quite realistic.

Selections from Chapter 15: "The Saudi Arabian Money Laundering Affair":

The Department of the Treasury brought MAIN [my company] in at an early stage to serve as an adviser. I was summoned and told that my job would be critical, and that everything I did and learned should be considered highly confidential. From my vantage point, it seemed like a clandestine operation. At the time, I was led to believe that MAIN was the lead consultant in that process; I subsequently came to realize that we were one of several consultants whose expertise was sought.


Since everything was done in greatest secrecy, I was not privy to Treasury’s discussions with the other consultants, and I therefore cannot be certain about the importance of my role in this precedent-setting deal. I do know that the arrangement established new standards for EHMs ["economic hit men"] and that it launched innovative alternatives to the traditional approaches for advancing the interests of empire. I also know that most of the scenarios that evolved from my studies were ultimately implemented, that MAIN was rewarded with one of the first major — and extremely profitable — contracts in Saudi Arabia, and that I received a large bonus that year.


My job was to develop forecasts of what might happen in Saudi Arabia if vast amounts of money were invested in its infrastructure, and to map out scenarios for spending that money. In short, I was asked to apply as much creativity as I could to justifying the infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars into the Saudi Arabian economy, under conditions that would include U.S. engineering and construction companies. I was told to do this on my own, not to rely on my staff and I was sequestered in a small conference room several floors above the one where my department was located. I was warned that my job was both a matter of national security and potentially very lucrative for MAIN.


I understood, of course, that the primary objective here was not the usual — to burden this country with debts it could never repay — but rather to find ways that would assure that a large portion of petrodollars found their way back to the United States. In the process, Saudi Arabia would be drawn in, its economy would become increasingly intertwined with and dependent upon ours, and presumably it would grow more Westernized and therefore more sympathetic and integrated with our system.




I always kept in mind the true objectives: maximizing payouts to U.S. firms and making Saudi Arabia increasingly dependent on the United States.




Sometimes a Treasury representative would join us. I asked few questions during these meetings. Mainly, I just described my work, responded to their comments, and agreed to try to do whatever was asked of me. The vice presidents and Treasury representatives were especially impressed with my ideas about the long-term service and management agreements. It prodded one of the vice presidents to coin a phrase we often used after that, referring to the kingdom as “the cow we can milk until the sun sets on our retirement.”




Under this evolving plan, Washington wanted the Saudis to guarantee to maintain oil supplies and prices at levels that could fluctuate but that would always remain acceptable to the United States and our allies. If other countries such as Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, or Venezuela threatened embargoes, Saudi Arabia, with its vast petroleum supplies, would step in to fill the gap; simply the knowledge that they might do so would, in the long run, discourage other countries from even considering an embargo [again]. In exchange for this guarantee, Washington would offer the House of Saud an amazingly attractive deal: a commitment to provide total and unequivocal U.S. political and — if necessary — military support, thereby ensuring their continued existence as the rulers of their country.

Smiddywesson's picture

Agreed.  The people who write these books are about as trustworty as most trading book writers and coaches. However, the stories aren't necessarily untrue.  In fact, they are often true, it's just that they are writing about what someone else did.  I remember a book that was written by a retired Secret Service agent, and an agent friend who knew him told me all the war stories he portrayed as his own were just stories about what other Agents had done. Same thing goes for books by retirees from other agencies I won't name who are known fabricators to their former coworkers.  Usually these books are written by some malcontent who left under a dark cloud.  They tell a bunch of war stories that are complete baloney, and then go on to detail how they were wronged by the agency, conveniently leaving out what they did.  Sure, they worked cases before they left, but it was always someone else's cases.  Good investigators don't have time to get into real trouble.  They are constantly in trouble for bureaucratic stuff, but they are usually squeeky clean on the big stuff.  It's the do nothings with time on their hands that get into trouble and write a memoir. 

The people with all the interesting experiences are misfits with no family life, failed marriages, and drinking problems.  It is very tough to be a good cop/agent/operative, because it takes time away from the rest of your life.  The best ones are crusty old bastards who don't even read, let alone take the time to write a book.  They don't remember the details of their adventures very well, because they don't take notes.

The same goes for trading books, but to a lesser extent, because trading forces you to keep notes, and those notes can naturally evolve into a potential book.  Be very careful which trading books you accept as true, this business is chock full of talkers as opposed to doers.  There's one trader who was very good in his day that gives a $7000 seminar in Florida.  He can't even explain Risk to Reward.  I kid you not. 

Ident 7777 economy's picture

The Department of the Treasury brought MAIN [my company] in at an early stage to serve as an adviser. I was ... told that my job would be critical, and that everything I did and learned should be considered highly confidential. From my vantage point, it seemed like a clandestine operation. ... led to believe that MAIN was the lead consultant in that process; I subsequently came to realize that we were one of several consultants whose expertise was sought.

- - -  - - -  - - -  - - -  - - -  - - -  - - -  - - -  - - -

  I would not be surprised to learn this operation's name was SIDESHOW as opposed to MAINEVENT ... where all of these are in actuality just CIRCUS EVENTS ...





Guy Fawkes Mulder's picture

Shut you, you moron.

Read harder next time, think a little more critically, then form an opinion, and then type.

Ident 7777 economy's picture

Yawn ...


See here for a refutation by somebody with more cred then either of us:


For you only, doll, the Cliff's Notes version:

But his account of international finance is itself largely a dream.

Even if you believe the stories of seducers and assassins, which other journalists have questioned, Perkins's basic contentions are flat wrong.

Sure, developing countries (like rich countries) borrow too much sometimes. But the poor don't always lose. Nor are corporations all-powerful.



Rick64's picture

 Did they fact check the stories that explain how corporatism works in collusion with the IMF, World Bank, USAID, ect...? He isn't the first to point this out, and there have been many after him. I have checked and found them to be verifiable.

Bob's picture

Sounds like conspiracy theory to me!  /sarc

Damn, reading all these charges of "conspiracy theory" here at ZH is a real gas this morning. 

LOL. At ZH . . . LOfuckingL!

Rick64's picture

Its not a conspiracy, its just the way the system works.

Bob's picture

Agreed. And here I thought everybody knew it. 

Silver Shield's picture

Here is a great 3 minute intro of everything you need to know about the book...

dark pools of soros's picture

terrorists or coca cola??!?!?    we choose COKE!!!

falak pema's picture

Perfect summary and hats off to Perkins. I have already endorsed from my personal experience in the oil industry the theme that Perkins defends in part 1.

Many, many times. All of us who have held corporate positions in oil service companies working in Asia/Africa and Europe know how the deals were done. 

trentusa's picture

This guy is a complete wackjob. What's wrong w/ u people? My man Ron Raul would never let somebody get away w/ this w/o a hearing. Who's idea of a joke is this? But seriously I just heard Obama proposed moving Israel to Kansas, and lookiehere's a real neat leaked helmetcam of Osama getting clubbed to death by Seals