Monthly Archives: February 2010

New Economic Hitmen & New Targets

In 2004 John Perkins published the book Confessions of An Economic Hitman, which described the tactics employed by economic super powers like the United States to make developing countries indebted to them and, therefore, dependent on them.

Soon after I read that book I came across World On Fire by Dr. Amy Chua of Yale, who described through a case study approach how ethnic minorities become economic majorities within largely developing nations.  She includes examples of both small and large countries and the sects within them that lead economic disparity to conflict.

The two of these books taken together, both of which I highly recommend, paint a powerfully poignant picture of the institutional difficulties that developing countries face in trying to establish a viable economy.  In the recent years, however, it seems that developing nations are not the only ones that are subject to the forces of economic hitmen.

Today New York Times reports that the recent financial turmoil in Greece was partially exacerbated by US-based investment banks who helped shift billions in debt around outside the scrutiny of the Greek citizens and the EU.  It is this type of activity that serves as further proof of our absolute need for financial reform.

I am 100% for innovation.  As an entrepreneur 3 times over, that is in my DNA and the lifeblood of our country.

But new products that result in less forward motion or, in the worst cases, backwards motion are not innovative, they are just new.  Technology and math theories have fueled this economic crisis and it is time to employ those tools to ensure we are safe going forward both in public and private financial sectors.  I am with Paul Volcker on this wholeheartedly.

At the end of the day, they both hit us hard.