Tuesday, December 27, 2011

[Book] Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

      I received the tamil translation of this book from Muthukumar during the recent visit to his home. This happened to a page turner. One disadvantage of reading a international best seller in tamil is that few specifics such a place , name don't get registered in the mind. On the other hand reading is much more fluent that i finished of the book in 2 days.
      Regarding the book , its written by John Perkins who happened to be a cheif economic analyst of a consulting firm , advising leading MNCs on international projects. He had advised large scale infrastructure projects being undertaken by worldbank loans in many (what they call as ) third world countries such as Indonesia , Ecuador , Panama , Saudi Arabia , Iran & Iraq. This book gives a vivid picture of how Oil happens to be single reason behind geo political relationship across. USA, being one of large scale consumers of oil, has critical national Interest in securing oil imports for many more decades. Apart from securing oil reserves , other major aim for US to find alternative market for its companies outside its borders and also cheap labour (outsourcing) in order to increase profitability.

      From the end of 2nd world war when US was unanimously declared as world power till 1970s , all the political equations lingered around the theme of elimination of Communism.The oil shock of 1970 , when OPEC nations stopped the export of crude oil for few months resulted in oil price sky rocketing from 1$ to 8$ , changed the political motivations of US completely . 
Now their main motto is as follow 

   1. Identify countries with  huge oil reserves . 
   2. Force them into mutual economic agreements , so as to secure import of oil from them. In return these countries were forced to take huge infrastructure projects undertaken by US companies which brings the oil money back to US. Countries which entered into such agreements where given special treatments , such as making sure the kings/dictators where shown in good light in world media (Ex Saudi Arabia , Dictator Shah of Iran in the 1970s, dictators of Libiya & Egypt (till a year back) etc.
   3. Oil rich countries and their leaders who didn't bite the bait were projected as enemies of international peace and all chances were used to crush the regimes there and install a puppet regime which will sign whatever agreement US wants ( Present day Iran , Iraq , Ecuador , Venezuela , Panama , Libiya , Afghanistan etc ) 

Execution strategy is as follows 
   1.  A well coordinated mafia consisting of US Govt , Western Oil companies , MultiNationalInfra companies  , pseudo financial institutions such as World bank , Asian development bank and last but not the least the CIA , employ's a strategy which is fine tuned for every country 

   2. At first world bank & MNCs enter into agreements  forcing these countries to take huge loans from these pseudo financial institutions under the unrealistic projections that these infra projects will make GDP/GNP of these countries grow at a faster rate (ridiculous rates ot 15-18% of gdp growth was projected) . The author is one of such leading economist who project imaginary growth rates which they themselves don't  believe. These projects are used to suck money from countries rich in petro dollars. Countries which cannot pay back loans are used as puppets governments . They are used as markets for invasion by US companies and also forced into "backboneless supporters" in UN 

  3. When leadership of some countries doesn't agree to these one sided agreements , accidents are orchestrated by the ruthless CIA. On many occasions week internal oppositions are funded /supported to topple the leadership ( remember the recent Libiyan internal war )


     In this book there is no reference to India as author was not engaged any projects based in India.But turn of events in India not any different from the global space . 

    1. Union Carbide gas leak tragedy in Bhopal (1984).When the incident happened Govt of India was so weak that they didnt have courage even to arrest the Indian incharge of this company.Infact leaders including  Rajiv Gandhi & Narsimarao had to take personal care of this person to safely reach US. After two and half decades of economic growth India is in a position to voice against Dow Chemicals ( current owners of Union Carbide ) sponsoring London 2012 Olympics.Still Indian govt couldn't muster courage to voice for compensation for the affect people.

    2. 123 nuclear agreement . US government is forcing this on us. This has a clause that limits the maximum liability for the multi national suppliers of the atomic reactor to 50 million USD ( then revised to 500 million USD after pressure).Govt which says that there is no possibility of disaster in nuclear plants are not able to convince the suppliers for complete liability even for manufacturing defects. 

    3. TamilNadu govt is planning to provide free laptops to all high school & college students (a multi billion USD project . Socialistic projects in TN are  percursor for things to happen across India ). When inviting tender for this procurement , requirements initially targeted linux based laptops with 320GB HDD & wifi. Then came  Hillary Clinton's (US secretary of state) visit of tamilnadu's CM. Within weeks qualification for this tender was changed to 160 GB & Microsoft windows 7. Wifi was sacrificed in order to accommodate win7. This is despite the fact that linux is more advantageous for students.No prizes for guessing what conspired in the meeting. 

   4. In military procurement for Indian Airforce , US govt almost forced india to purchase from US companies and when the deal went on the other way, US expressed their displeasure from official govt channels. These show how intermingled govt and MNCs has become

List goes on ...