According to John Perkins in his book, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”, the United States of America, “funnels money from the World Bank, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign ‘aid’ organisations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources.”
Many who have read the book have commented that this is an invention of Perkins’ overactive imagination; that what he wrote is a brilliant fiction that feeds conspiracy theorists. But on closer scrutiny anyone with an average degree of intelligence will realise that there exists a much more sinister agenda by the United States and its allies.
The US has been using and is continuing to use institutions such as the IMF and the WorldBank to ferment conditions that make developing countries subservient to imperial powers. According to Perkins, as an economic hitman, he together with others like him who were placed in private institutions and institutions such as the IMF and the World bank, facilitated the advancement of loans to developing countries for the development of infrastructure, such as electric generating plants, highways, ports, airports, etc., a condition of such loans always being that engineering and construction companies from the US must build all these projects. That means money doesn’t leave the US, “it is simply transferred from banking offices in Washington to engineering offices in New York, Houston, or San Francisco,” leaving the already poor country riddled in debt. Perkins makes a very shocking revelation. These loans are deliberately made so large that the poor country “is forced to default on its payments after a few years.” Like the mafia, the US will demand its pound of flesh, usually in a form of control over UN votes, installation of military bases, or access to precious resources such as oil. This is modern day colonialism at work.
“We cover conference tables of government committees with our spreadsheets and financial projections, and we lecture at the Harvard Business School about the miracles of macroeconomics,” Perkins states. “If we fail, the jackals (CIA) are always there, lurking in the shadows. When they emerge, heads of state are overthrown or die in violent ‘accidents’. And if by chance the CIA fails, as they failed in Afghanistan and Iraq, then old models resurface, young Americans are sent in to kill and die.”
Joseph Stiglitz, a former Economic Advisor to Bill Clinton and former Chief Economist of the World Bank also in his book, “Globalisation and its Discontents”, makes startling revelations about the sinister agenda of the IMF and the World Bank. According to Stiglitz, decisions at the IMF were made “on the basis of what seemed a curious blend of ideology and bad economics, dogma that sometimes seemed to be thinly veiling special interests. When crises hit, the IMF prescribed outmoded, inappropriate, if “standard” solutions without considering the effects they would have on the people in the countries told to follow these policies. Ideology guided policy prescription and countries were expected to follow the IMF guidelines without debate.”
No structural adjustment programmes of the IMF have ever been of any success and often this is blamed on developing countries inability to follow sound monetary and fiscal policies, when in fact the very same policies recommended by the IMF to help these countries out of a crises, were designed to further deepen them into sustain economic misery. What has been sold to us as globalization has in fact been colonialisation of a worst form. The US has been the leading force promoting globalization at the expense of the developing world. Using the WTO to further deepen poverty levels in developing countries, by forcing these countries to lower the prices they receive for their exports relative to what they pay for their imports. Subsidies have been one of the array of instruments of oppression used by these colonialists to deliberately make poor countries worse off than they were.
In 1991, we witnessed the sinister workings of the IMF at play in Ethiopia. Meles Zenawi defeated the bloody Marxist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam. The US was quick to want to assist the new Ethiopian government of Zenawi to rebuild the country. Through the IMF loans were streaming in, but what the US and IMF cronies underestimated was Zenawi’s deeper understanding of economic principles and certainly a greater knowledge of the circumstances in his country than many of the international economic bureaucrats. This was at the time when Osama Bin Laden was growing in popularity among the Muslims across the world. Ethiopia for the US was a strategic location for the establishment of its military bases in order to reign in on what they call “Islamic fundamentalists” in the region. We know what happened in neighbouring Somalia a few years later in 1993. The US left Somalia with a bloodied nose.
In spite of decreasing inflation, growing output and sustained economic growth, in 1997 the IMF suspended funding to the Ethiopian government. This obviously after realising that its deceitful structural adjustment programmes have failed to achieve their aims — deepen Ethiopia into further economic crises and debt in order to for the US to have bargaining power to establish their military base. Zenawi did not budge and fought the IMF tooth and nail.
The fact that the debt burden placed on developing countries would deprive its poor citizens of health, education, and other social services for decades to come was never a consideration for the US. The gluttonous consumption of resources from developing countries and ridiculous profits generated by multinationals has always been key priority. The dominance of world resources and influence on political and economic arena was to be achieved by the US by any means necessary.