Thursday, April 06, 2006


Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

I like to read some of Kermit's books and this one was great! I have a minor in sustainable development and oftentimes we would come across liberal opinions of how and why international foreign aid or loans do not work, but their opinions were difficult to agree with at times because it is difficult to show quantitatively why loans do not work in the best interest of the entire country. This book shows that yes, loans don't work for the poor, the people who most need assistance in the third world.

Perkins, who worked as an economist for large corporations, would convince countries foreign loans would bring great wealth, but wealth only to those in the upper ranks. Perkins was only concerned with making contractual agreements so that third world countries would take loans they could never re-pay, make agreements with U.S. companies such as Bechtel and Halliburton and thus the loan money would flow back into the U.S. and make U.S. companies richer at the expense of the poor. Perkins eventually changes and is now working on behalf of indigenous tribes in South America fighting against U.S. corporate encroachment on their properties and environment. Go Perkins!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Link for a debate on the effectiveness of foreign aid: