A Game as Old as Empire

By Steven Hiatt and John Perkins

Notes made by Russ Faure-Brac

  • What multinational corporations do:
    • Offshore banking – to hide income, avoid payment of a total of $500 billion in US taxes and to launder dirty money from corrupt regimes.
    • Use of mercenaries – to finance private armies (mercenaries) to protect resource extraction from foreign countries. China does this too.
    • Hijacking oil – Foreign oil companies extract billions in negotiations with weak governments, robbing those counties of needed revenue.
    • Arms sales – Industrialized countries use “Export Credit Agencies (ECA’s) to finance arms sales and to finance projects that cause great environmental destruction.
    • Prevent Democratic Change in developing countries.
  • What US banks and the World Bank/IMF do:
    • Neoliberalism – This is corporate-based development, an export based development model, rather than government-led economic development –
    • Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP’s) –

SAP’s benefit foreign corporations, not the financial health and economic independence of developing countries

  • Debt Relief (Loan Forgiveness) – As practiced, it only addresses a fraction of the problem and still leaves countries in poverty.  Multilateral Debt Relief Programs (MDRI) are intended to help Heavily Indebted Poor Counties (HIPC’ s), but debt relief only reaches a small fraction of the total debt owed by countries.
  • Unnecessary debt – They peddle loans (that they can’t pay back) to developing countries to finance dubious projects.  The World Bank makes loans to corrupt regimes for projects that never get built, don’t bring progress to the developing world or support export of goods rather than addressing pressing domestic needs. The result is dictatorship, poverty and a crushing debt burden.  Much of foreign debt is wasted through poor planning, corruption and theft.  Loans result in defaults that are used to extract concessions for US corporations that want to establish resource extraction operations and for US military basing. Payments on third world debt are a “Marshall Plan in reverse.”


  • What the US Military does:
    • Protection of American business – “A globally deployed forced configured not for self-defense but for coercion”
    • Military aid funds genocide


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