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The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

by John Perkins

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333778,435 (3.8)None
Shocking Bestseller: The original version of this astonishing tell-all book spent 73 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has sold more than 1.25 million copies, and has been translated into 32 languages. New Revelations: Featuring 15 explosive new chapters, this expanded edition of Perkins's classic bestseller brings the story of economic hit men (EHMs) up to date and, chillingly, home to the US. Over 40 percent of the book is new, including chapters identifying today's EHMs and a detailed chronology extensively documenting EHM activity since the first edition was published in 2004. Former economic hit man John Perkins shares new details about the ways he and others cheated countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Then he reveals how the deadly EHM cancer he helped create has spread far more widely and deeply than ever in the US and everywhere else ́to become the dominant system of business, government, and society today. Finally, he gives an insider view of what we each can do to change it. Economic hit men are the shock troops of what Perkins calls the corporatocracy, a vast network of corporations, banks, colluding governments, and the rich and powerful people tied to them. If the EHMs can't maintain the corrupt status quo through nonviolent coercion, the jackal assassins swoop in. The heart of this book is a completely new section, over 100 pages long, that exposes the fact that all the EHM and jackal tools ́false economics, false promises, threats, bribes, extortion, debt, deception, coups, assassinations, unbridled military power ́are used around the world today exponentially more than during the era Perkins exposed over a decade ago. The material in this new section ranges from the Seychelles, Honduras, Ecuador, and Libya to Turkey, Western Europe, Vietnam, China, and, in perhaps the most unexpected and sinister development, the United States, where the new EHMs ́bankers, lobbyists, corporate executives, and others ́ ́con governments and the public into submitting to policies that make the rich richer and the poor poorer. ́ But as dark as the story gets, this reformed EHM also provides hope. Perkins offers a detailed list of specific actions each of us can take to transform what he calls a failing Death Economy into a Life Economy that provides sustainable abundance for all.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Fascinating read

This book sheds light on whats really happening jn the US’ dealings with other countries. A little lefty but if you can get past that its a very important book. It seems to me, however, the author doesn’t focus enough on the root of the problem. Instead he focuses primarily in symptoms. Maybe for good reasons...? ( )
  J3R3 | Apr 19, 2024 |
An extremely important book to read for everyone. Atleast the last 5 chapters. ( )
  paarth7 | May 6, 2023 |
This is a sad case of a 4-4.5 star book turned into a 3-3.5 book in the second addition, due to adding a bunch of "woke" to an already "woke hippie" book.

Essentially, it's a (questionably accurate) book about how in the 60s-70s closely government-affiliated multinationals were involved in a quasi-feudal political relationship between developing nations and the US (and the rest of the developed world). In the first edition this was somewhat tolerable and interesting, as it largely involved engineering/project management/construction companies and was somewhat interesting to learn about (as I'm more familiar with the modern forms of these). His thesis is basically that the process of pitching these projects is inherently corrupt, going to an elite in the nation and often with the intention of having the government default and then have various assets taken by the lender. Some of this was direct, but mostly via intermediaries like the World Bank and IMF. Lots of CIA assassination plots against wonderful leftist leaders, all development being bad, etc.

In the second edition, he updates to reflect the modern world with lots of asset managers, hedge funds, etc seeking returns. He still tries to imply these entities have some conspiratorial nefarious purpose rather than a simple profit-maximization goal. Then, the last 25% of the book is him being a generic boomer hippie and describing shamanism, environmentalism, etc.

If you're going to read this, just read the first 50% or so (which mostly corresponds to the original book), and take it with a very large grain of salt ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
Definitely a good read, although at times he can get a bit boring - all those issues on remorse and his conscience, obviously. Still, it gives a great insight of what his job did and how contributed to change this world for the worse. At the end, there are also some suggestions on what to do to counteract the trend for us "normal" people, some I knew already, some new ones. The advice is going to be put to good use. ( )
  MissYowlYY | Jun 12, 2020 |
To sum up the book; John Perkins brags about how worldly he was in the 1970's. Since he is/was an economist, I was expecting some discourse as it pertains to economics. Instead, what I got was the author bragging about how the locals could see his altruism. Total letdown. Stinks of "Occupy Wall Street" ( )
  thePatWalker | Feb 10, 2020 |
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Shocking Bestseller: The original version of this astonishing tell-all book spent 73 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has sold more than 1.25 million copies, and has been translated into 32 languages. New Revelations: Featuring 15 explosive new chapters, this expanded edition of Perkins's classic bestseller brings the story of economic hit men (EHMs) up to date and, chillingly, home to the US. Over 40 percent of the book is new, including chapters identifying today's EHMs and a detailed chronology extensively documenting EHM activity since the first edition was published in 2004. Former economic hit man John Perkins shares new details about the ways he and others cheated countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Then he reveals how the deadly EHM cancer he helped create has spread far more widely and deeply than ever in the US and everywhere else ́to become the dominant system of business, government, and society today. Finally, he gives an insider view of what we each can do to change it. Economic hit men are the shock troops of what Perkins calls the corporatocracy, a vast network of corporations, banks, colluding governments, and the rich and powerful people tied to them. If the EHMs can't maintain the corrupt status quo through nonviolent coercion, the jackal assassins swoop in. The heart of this book is a completely new section, over 100 pages long, that exposes the fact that all the EHM and jackal tools ́false economics, false promises, threats, bribes, extortion, debt, deception, coups, assassinations, unbridled military power ́are used around the world today exponentially more than during the era Perkins exposed over a decade ago. The material in this new section ranges from the Seychelles, Honduras, Ecuador, and Libya to Turkey, Western Europe, Vietnam, China, and, in perhaps the most unexpected and sinister development, the United States, where the new EHMs ́bankers, lobbyists, corporate executives, and others ́ ́con governments and the public into submitting to policies that make the rich richer and the poor poorer. ́ But as dark as the story gets, this reformed EHM also provides hope. Perkins offers a detailed list of specific actions each of us can take to transform what he calls a failing Death Economy into a Life Economy that provides sustainable abundance for all.

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