Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
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"Economic hit men,” John Perkins writes, “are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder.”

John Perkins should know—he was an economic hit man. His job was to convince countries that are strategically important to the U.S.—from Indonesia to Panama—to accept enormous loans for infrastructure development, and to make sure that the lucrative projects were contracted to U. S. corporations. Saddled with huge debts, these countries came under the control of the United States government, World Bank and other U.S.-dominated aid agencies that acted like loan sharks—dictating repayment terms and bullying foreign governments into submission.

This New York Times bestseller exposes international intrigue, corruption, and little-known government and corporate activities that have dire consequences for American democracy and the world. 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.


John Perkins currently writes and teaches about achieving peace and prosperity by expanding our personal awareness and transforming our institutions. He founded an alternative energy company that successfully changed the U.S. utility industry. From 1971 to 1981 he worked for the international consulting firm of Chas. T. Main, where he held the titles of Chief Economist and Manager of Economics and Regional Planning but in reality was an economic hit man. He continued to play out his EHM role until the events of 9/11 convinced him to expose this shadowy and secret side of his life.


PART I: 1963 – 1971
1. An Economic Hit Man Is Born
2 “In for Life”
3 Indonesia: Lessons for an EHM
4 Saving a Country from Communism
5 Selling My Soul

PART II: 1971 – 1975
6 My Role as Inquisitor
7 Civilization on Trial
8 Jesus, Seen Differently
9 Opportunity of a Lifetime
10 Panama's President and Hero
11. Pirates in the Canal Zone
12 Soldiers and Prostitutes
13 Conversations with the General
14 Entering a New and Sinister Period in
Economic History
15 The Saudi Arabian Money-laundering Affair
16 Pimping, and Financing Osama bin Laden

PART III: 1975 – 1981
17 Panama Canal Negotiations and Graham Greene
18 Iran's King of Kings
19 Confessions of a Tortured Man
20 The Fall of a King
21. Colombia: Keystone of Latin America
22 American Republic versus Global Empire
23 The Deceptive Résumé
24 Ecuador's President Battles Big Oil
25 I Quit

26 Ecuador's Presidential Death
27 Panama: Another Presidential Death
28 My Energy Company, Enron, and George W. Bush
29 I Take a Bribe
30 The United States Invades Panama
31. An EHM Failure in Iraq
32 September 11 and its Aftermath for Me, Personally
33 Venezuela: Saved by Saddam
34 Ecuador Revisited
35 Piercing the Veneer


"A bombshell.  One of those rare instances in which someone deeply entrenched in our governmental/corporate imperialist structure has come forward to reveal in unequivocal terms its inner workings.  A work of great insight and moral courage."
—John E. Mack, Harvard professor and Pulitzer prize-winning author of A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T. E. Lawrence

“Perkins combines the brilliance and suspense of a Graham Greene thriller with the authority of his insider vantage point to tell a true, powerful, revealing, and bone chilling personal story that names names and connects the dots . . . ”
—David Korten, author of the bestselling When Corporations Rule the World

"A stunning and groundbreaking book that is a must-read for anyone who cares about our world.”
—Lynne Twist, Global Activist, author of the bestselling The Soul of Money

"… provocative and disturbing…. This book succeeds as a wake up call because the reader cannot help but assess his or her role on a personal level, thus providing an impetus for change.”
—R. Paul Shaw, former Lead Economist, currently Program Adviser, Human Development Group, World Bank Institute

“Must reading for those who know another world is possible!”
—Hazel Henderson, author of Beyond Globalization and Building a Win-Win World

" … a fascinating insider's view of how a private multinational company legally robs the poor of the third world, country after country.”
—Josh Mailman, cofounder, The Threshold Foundation, Social Venture Network, and Business for Social Responsibility

" With unflinching honesty, Perkins narrates his moral awakening and struggle to break free from the corrupt system of global domination he himself helped to create. This book … comes from the heart. I highly recommend it."
—Michael Brownstein, author of World on Fire

"A thrilling story. . . the true account of a deeply dedicated and courageous man…"
—Stephan Rechtschaffen, M.D., CEO, Omega Institute, and author of Timeshifting