SNAP 2008, TED Talks

SNAP 2008 Day One (Yet more)


There were two speakers that really moved me. 

The first was John Perkins, author of New York Times best seller: "Confessions of an Economic Hitman". 
John spoke at last year's conference but this year he laid out some specific examples of how the system of "economic development" works. The book is a must read. 

As he spoke of events that took place 28 years ago, his voice trembled.

Here are the nuts and bolts of how it works…

1. US finds a third-world country (Ecuador,Indonesia, Seychelles, Saudia Arabia) with resources it covets (eg:oil)
2. US convinces third-world country to take a loan to help "develop" the economy
3. World Bank sets up loan with crazy silly interest rate 
4. Money goes straight to US companies to build stuff (powerplants, infrastructure) in third-world country 
5. Third-world country is left holding debt they can never repay with no actual economic development to show for it
6. Default happens and US moves in with demands that third-word country co-operates with the US: votes with the US at the UN or provides US with troops for the upcoming pre-emptive strike. This is what John did. Go in and corrupt a country's leaders. 
7. If John failed, the Jackals go in and take out the leader. 

He failed twice. In Ecuador and Panama in 1981. Both those leaders were taken out. 

The deal done with Saudi Arabia was called the deal of the century. The US committed to keep the House of Saud in power if they:

1. Never increased the price of oil to a level unacceptable to US oil companies (not you and me btw) 
2. Only ever trade oil in USD 

They then thought they could do the same in Iraq with Saddam. They failed to corrupt him so in went the Jackals but his security was excellent. Even when they co-opted his security guards, they couldn't tell who the real Saddam was and who were the look-a-likes. As we know, the US military went into Iraq in 1991 and took out Saddam's military. They thought this would convince Saddam to turn but he still didn't. Cue 2001 invasion…

At this point, you may think this is all very conspiratorial. Go read the book. John has just released the movie: Apology of an Economic Hitman which looks great.

1 thought on “SNAP 2008 Day One (Yet more)”

  1. Your take on the ‘deal’ done between the US and Saudi Arabia is rather cartoonish, not to mention wrong.
    Oil prices were never a part of the bilateral relationship. You might ask the American oil companies about that to get the details. In fact, starting in the 1960s, the Saudi government put increasing pressure on prices that the American oil companies had to pay. Eventually, of course, it pushed the American oil companies out of ARAMCO completely.
    As far a dollar denomination of oil goes, well that’s not quite accurate, either. The Saudis, as well as the other members of Arab OPEC, are discussing redenomination. The economies of the Arab Gulf States–whether beholden to American or British support–are dollar denominated for economic reasons.
    Last year, Kuwait broke with the dollar and other states are considering it as some believe it ties local currencies too closely to the dollar and whatever troubles affect it.
    With the rest of their economies pegged to the dollar, why would any of the Gulf States denominate oil in another currency? The bookkeeping exercise alone would argue against it.
    The ‘deal’ that was made–even before the scale of Saudi reserves was known–was that the Saudis would produce oil for the market (88% of Saudi oil goes to other countries than the US) and that the US would act as the ultimate protector of Saudi Arabia.


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