Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - Chapter 15 Summary & Analysis

John Perkins
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Chapter 15 Summary and Analysis

In 1974, John met with a diplomat from Saudi Arabia and learned that Saudi society was puritanical idealism, and its leaders made sure that people followed the Koran very strictly. Their religion went hand in hand with their politics. Because the U.S. defended Israel in the October, 1973 Arab attack, the Saudis announced a seventy percent increase in oil prices. Other Arab countries took less radical steps to affect the oil supply. President Nixon didn't take this seriously and sent $2.2 billion in aid to Israel, which led to a total embargo on oil to the U.S that lasted until March 18th, 1974. Protecting the U.S. oil supply moved from a priority to an obsession. Washington realized was that Saudi Arabia's good will was essential and also that it lacked the skills to manage the wealth it was getting. The U.S. decided to "help" Saudi Arabia by creating administrative and institutional frameworks for such wealth.

Just after the embargo, the U.S. gave the Saudis technical support, military equipment and training and help modernizing in exchange for petrodollars and the assurance that they would never have another embargo. The negotiations created the United States-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission, or JECOR which "relied on Saudi money to hire American firms to build up Saudi Arabia." There was no U.S. funding involved in JECOR, but the U.S. managed the money and spent it as it saw fit. The Department of the Treasury called on MAIN to advise on the process. John was brought in and told that his job was highly confidential and he never knew the extent of his input in the laundering affair. He needed to develop the usual forecasts that justified investing billions into Saudi Arabia, but this time the goal was to find ways to make sure that petrodollars made their way back to the U.S., and making Saudi Arabia increasingly dependent and intertwined with the U.S. economy.

John ended up making two lists, one for the design and construction and the other for maintenance of the structures. He sent his project in to his superiors and they named it SAMA - the Saudi Arabian Money-laundering Affair. Everyone was excited about the prospects and John's proposal, which got more specific and extensive with time. Everything was moving along smoothly until it came time to convince the Saudis. Prince W, who was a good Wahhabi, didn't want to see his country fall to the pressures of Western commercialism. The Prince did have one weakness, though, and that was tall blondes.

This section contains 433 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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