Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
Loan sharks prey on the vulnerable, loaning to people who can’t get help elsewhere. Sharks are great salesmen, appearing as friends when you need a lift out of an economic hole. The shark is good at hiding the true terms of the arrangement, and soothes your fears about his demands for collateral. When the inevitable repayment crisis hits, the shark shows his teeth. This is when you find out what he really wants–your regular social security or pension check, your diamond ring, or your house. When the loan shark is a country, the collateral that is demanded is control over the debtor country’s assets. That’soil and natural gas, minerals, water, land, or manufacturing capacity.
John Perkins was a loan shark to developing countries. After a stint in the Peace Corps in Latin America, he went to work as an economic planner for an international consulting firm that was a front for the National Security Administration. His book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, is a bestseller.