By David Michaels (*) “Hoodwink” is John Perkins latest book and a blueprint for a new form of global economics, far from predatory capitalism that must put an end to the old formula of “the few benefiting at the expense of the many”.
Famous for his startling exposé of international corruption with “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”, (70 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list) John says that a new road must be built that calls for Wall Street to be held accountable for the economic crisis it created by skimming profits and developing new and riskier financial tools.
The same can be said of his ‘The Secret History of the American Empire’ also a New York Times bestseller, which details the clandestine operations that created the world’s “first truly global empire”.
At a recent evening in New York City with the Foreign Press Association, John Perkins was received by members and special guests at a most “spirited” event where he spoke about his incredible life, books, plans and commitment to this new form of global economics.
‘Hoodwinked’ was presented as a blueprint for a new form of global economics. John challenged the gathered communicators to soar to new heights, away from predatory capitalism and into an era more transformative than the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. “There’s no return to the old formula, we must create a sustainable, just, and peaceful world”.
“As the events in the Middle East and the tragedy of Japan's earthquake continue to unfold, we are witness to truly historic changes in global leadership that will affect generations to come. The old power brokers are being forced to loosen their militaristic grip. Japan, a country that has been brought to its knees, must rebuild and re-think its alliances and in doing so will change the balance of geopolitics”, pointed out John.
In the US, “our budget lies shattered; backbiting political leaders swap tales of how they want to cut aid to those who can least afford it, while doing nothing to curb runaway military spending. Faced with our current economic, educational, and energy crises, we must reject the road populated with Hummers, pollution, and homeless vets returning from war without support. We must take the economic road less traveled”.
As Chief Economist at a major international consulting firm, John Perkins advised the World Bank, United Nations, IMF, U.S. Treasury Department, Fortune 500 corporations, and countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. He worked directly with heads of state and CEOs of major companies.
As an Economic Hit Man, (“EHM”), John’s job was to convince Third World countries to accept enormous loans for infrastructure development—loans that were much larger than needed—and to guarantee that the development projects were contracted to U.S. corporations like Halliburton and Bechtel.
Once these countries were saddled with huge debts, the U.S. government and the international aid agencies allied with it were able to control these economies and to ensure that oil and other resources were channeled to serve the interests of building a global empire.
In his EHM capacity, John traveled all over the world—to Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East—and was either a direct participant in or witness to some of the most dramatic events in modern history, including the Saudi Arabian Money-laundering Affair, the fall of the Shah of Iran, the assassination of Panama’s President Omar Torrijos, the subsequent invasion of Panama, and events leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
But then came the terrible events of September 11, 2001, which convinced John to drop the veil of secrecy around his life as an EHM, to ignore the threats and bribes, and to write ‘Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.’
He believed he had a responsibility to share his insider knowledge about the role the US government, multinational “aid” organizations, and corporations have played in bringing the world to a place where such an event could occur. He wanted to expose the fact that EHM are more ubiquitous today than ever before. He felt he owed this to his country, to his daughter, to all the people around the world who suffer because of the work he and his peers have done, and to himself.
In that celebrated book he describes the dangerous path the US is taking as it moves away from the original ideals of the American republic and into a quest for global empire.
“We must build a new road that calls for Wall Street to be held accountable for the economic crisis it created through skimming profits and developing new and riskier financial tools. We must tell President Obama and all our elected officials that the old formula of the few benefiting at the expense of the many must stop now”, emphasized John.
‘Hoodwinked’ is good [reading] for the majority, but bad for a few! (Perhaps a reversal of positions from the recent decades?)
(*) David P. Michaels is an economic and political strategist, and MercoPress Bureau Chief based in New York.