Libya: It's Not About Oil, It's About Currency and Loans

Libya: It’s Not About Oil, It’s About Currency and Loans 

By John Perkins

 WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- World Bank President Robert Zoellick Thursday said he hopes the institution will have a role rebuilding Libya as it emerges from current unrest.

Zoellick at a panel discussion noted the bank’s early role in the reconstruction of France, Japan and other nations after World War II.

“Reconstruction now means (Ivory Coast), it means southern Sudan, it means Liberia, it means Sri Lanka, I hope it will mean Libya,” Zoellick said.

On Ivory Coast, Zoellick said he hoped that within “a couple weeks” the bank would move forward with “some hundred millions of dollars of emergency support.”( By Jeffrey Sparshott, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES –full article here – .)

We listen to U.S. spokespeople try to explain why we’re suddenly now entangled in another Middle East war. Many of us find ourselves questioning the official justifications. We are aware that the true causes of our engagement are rarely discussed in the media or by our government.

While many of the rationalizations describe resources, especially oil, as the reasons why we should be in that country, there are also an increasing number of dissenting voices.  For the most part, these revolve around Libya’s financial relationship with the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and multinational corporations.

According to the IMF, Libya’s Central Bank is 100% state owned. The IMF estimates that the bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults. It is significant that in the months running up to the UN resolution that allowed the US and its allies to send troops into Libya, Muammar al-Qaddafi was openly advocating the creation of a new currency that would rival the dollar and the euro. In fact, he called upon African and Muslim nations to join an alliance that would make this new currency, the gold dinar, their primary form of money and foreign exchange. They would sell oil and other resources to the US and the rest of the world only for gold dinars. 

The US, the other G-8 countries, the World Bank, IMF, BIS, and multinational corporations do not look kindly on leaders who threaten their dominance over world currency markets or who appear to be moving away from the international banking system that favors the corporatocracy. Saddam Hussein had advocated policies similar to those expressed by Qaddafi shortly before the US sent troops into Iraq.

In my talks, I often find it necessary to remind audiences of a point that seems obvious to me but is misunderstood by so many: that the World Bank is not really a world bank at all; it is, rather a U. S. bank. Ditto, its closest sibling, the IMF. In fact, if one looks at the World Bank and IMF executive boards and the votes each member of the board has, one sees that the United States controls about 16 percent of the votes in the World Bank –  (Compared with Japan at about 7%, the second largest member, China at 4.5%, Germany with 4.00%, and the United Kingdom and France with about 3.8% each), nearly 17% of the IMF votes (Compared with Japan and Germany at about 6% and UK and France at nearly 5%), and the US holds veto power over all major decisions. Furthermore, the United States President appoints the World Bank President.

So, we might ask ourselves: What happens when a “rogue” country threatens to bring the banking system that benefits the corporatocracy to its knees? What happens to an “empire” when it can no longer effectively be overtly imperialistic?

One definition of “Empire” (per my book The Secret History of the American Empire) states that an empire is a nation that dominates other nations by imposing its own currency on the lands under its control. The empire maintains a large standing military that is ready to protect the currency and the entire economic system that depends on it through extreme violence, if necessary. The ancient Romans did this. So did the Spanish and the British during their days of empire-building. Now, the US or, more to the point, the corporatocracy, is doing it and is determined to punish any individual who tries to stop them. Qaddafi is but the latest example.

Understanding the war against Quaddafi as a war in defense of empire is another step in the direction of helping us ask ourselves whether we want to continue along this path of empire-building. Or do we instead want to honor the democratic principles we are taught to believe are the foundations of our country? 

History teaches that empires do not endure; they collapse or are overthrown. Wars ensue and another empire fills the vacuum. The past sends a compelling message. We must change. We cannot afford to watch history repeat itself.

Let us not allow this empire to collapse and be replaced by another. Instead, let us all vow to create a new consciousness. Let the grass-roots movements in the Middle East – fostered by the young who must live with the future and are fueled through social networks – inspire us to demand that our country, our financial institutions and the corporations that depend on us to buy their goods and services commit themselves to fashioning a world that is sustainable, just, peaceful, and prosperous for all.

We stand at the threshold. It is time for you and me to step across that threshold, to move out of the dark void of brutal exploitation and greed into the light of compassion and cooperation.  

John Perkins

Twitter: @economic_hitman

37 thoughts on “Libya: It's Not About Oil, It's About Currency and Loans

  1. John, what’s your view on the “planet x” and Anunnaki idea of creation and the impending 2012 prophecy. After much research I’ve found some of these arguments very compelling based on the history of certain ancient civilizations and the stories associated with them. Thoughts?

  2. Yes Mr. Perkins it is about curreny and loans but also to seize the agricultural lands of Africa for the oncoming food crisis

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  4. The Roman civilization was built on the backs of slaves. The fact that we have oil is equivalent to each of us having, on average, seven slaves. Oil is depleting rapidly. What happened to the Romans?
    Let’s not mention that we are experiencing the first plague of humans in the history of the planet.

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  6. Intresting the world bank mention Sri Lanka, i have been on this island last 4 years. and i have seen the country taking the loans, build the mega projects that is for no use for the poor people. Exactly what mr Perkins says….

    I have seen multi international companies taking over the market. ” Water on bottle” The goverment and the companies doing there best to distrub the “free village tap water supply” closing it down ones in availe so the people need to buy the water in Plastic bottles more often.

    Mcdonalds, KFC, Pizza hut, 7 11 all these mega companies now spreading on the island like a wild fire .
    Sadly to see this 2500 year old buddist socitiy with so great history of civilisation to really lose there virginity …:(

  7. Don’t hold your breath for American grassroots resistance to corporatocracy. But international global solidarity that disregards nation-state fragmentation can allow grassroots movements to subvert the imperial hegemony you mention.

  8. Very bad for this universe and worst for its human inhabitants, this US hegemony and economic colonialism. Reportedly brother of Alqaida leader Abu Yahyah Al-Libbi, who was just released from Guantanamo prison, is now commanding Alqaida forces in uprising in Libya. Here Alqaida and NATO are one in fight against Gaddafi in Libya while in Afghanistan both are at war against each other. This is strange as how long this open deception of public opinion and cheating of nations can continue and who will rise to stop this. No doubt John Perkins is there and has been spreading awareness about the arrogance of the few at the top in the white house however common American should feel their responsibilities as after all they will be the ultimate beneficiaries in case journey on wrong track continue unhindered. Libyan crisis are deciding the fate of the region therefore its going in wrong hands may face world peace with extreme challenges. Once again thank’s John Perkins for speaking the truth

  9. Mr. should get a pulitizer for this important contribution to our understanding the story behind the story in Libya. I have been researching Libya, Egypt and Oil and posting at my blog the answers that fall out of my investigation. With that background and my 10 years as a member of the NYS Banking Board your essay on an OPEC curency just fell into place with a loud ring of truth. You seem to think it is too late..that we stayed too long at the “Colonialism/Imperialism Fair”. I must say I now see the formation of an OPEC/Arabaian/African Currency invebtiable..and the ricing of oil in that currency as inevitable. And of course the consequences inevitable. Is there anything we can do?

  10. This is an excellent article, however, I’m not sure how far along or how much influence the gold dinar had in forcing NATO’s hand. Several other countries including Malaysia have the gold dinar for everyday trade and the head of Malaysia advocate the gold dinar for international trade. No one had invaded them yet :-) Of course they don’t have oil, so perhaps I’m speaking out of turn.

    Right now, it’s very hard on an international basis to have trade settlement in gold. Until the dollar loses most of it’s value and cannot be trusted, gold will remain out of the loop but, that may just be another year or two. Digital gold currency allows instant settlement at very low rates. Trade based on gold is far superior to paper currency and that includes the dollar. Unfortunately, myself and some friends are only the ones who recognize this at the present time. See

  11. It is absolutely mind boggling that it is possible in this day and age to
    invade and pillage another country without political consequences.
    Yet that is what happened in Iraq. Where some people profited immensely.
    And now the vultures are gathering yet again for another feast.

    I was living in Malaysia during the Asian financial crisis in ’97-’98. I remember then US Trade Rep Mickey Kantor urging the use of
    the IMF as a battering ram to break open the Asian economies to US business.
    Fortunately for Malaysia, PM Mahathir Mohamad fought them off.
    At least the US did not go around bombing other countries on a regular basis back then.

    Expect some of Libya’s frozen assets to end up “missing”, just like what
    happened to the Iraqi assets in 2003-,and after the fall of the Shah of Iran.
    The USAF looks more like Ghengis Khan’s murdering and pillaging hordes by the day.

  12. I’m just reading “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” which led me to John Perkins’ blog and the article his understanding of the reasons behind the invasion of Libya.
    The west does not go in and remove all gruesome dictators. Too many of them are “our” friends. So in the case of agression towards Arab states, we have a tendency to think it’s mostly about oil. But Gadaffi’s regime was friendly towards the west and Libya’s oil readily available. So why?? It’s easy to think there must be something else behind the invasion. I think Perkins’ hypothesis presents an alternative and interesting perspective worth considering.

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  14. This is very interesting.and I want to say that this is Very bad for this universe and worst for its human inhabitants, this US hegemony and economic colonialism.
    Finally, I hope that brave men like you should have your idea because sincerely I wish these institutions realize what they are doing to others. one day, and near i hope , it will come back when they realize but its too late for them.

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  16. Libya is full of oil.
    Libya is full of fresh water – scarce in desert countries. Few know this.
    Libya wanted to have an African currency,the Dinar.

    Libya can become fertile with this underground water – can feed much of Africa. This will make Libya economically self-sufficient.
    Libya has just completed the harnessing of the water from underground aquifers. Few know this.

    Libya financed harnessing the water by not borrowing from the USA, IMF, etc.
    Libya has not started its agricultural and other projects as the water is just coming on line.

    The hit men moved into Libya before Libya could complete its plans.

  17. Thank you for your comment and also the article link. Very interesting!


  18. You say:

    «(…) a world that is sustainable, just, peaceful, and prosperous for all.

    We stand at the threshold. It is time for you and me to step across that threshold, to move out of the dark void of brutal exploitation and greed into the light of compassion and cooperation.»

    And I tell you:

    «they won’t even listen to you. Do you mean to say a politician will listen to you? Or a priest or anybody who is absolutely caught in his own conclusion? Because there he’s completely safe, completely secure. And you come and disturb him, either he worships you or kills you, which is the same.»

    (J. Krishnamurti 1895 – 1986)

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  20. In my opinion the issue of Lybia is much more sinister than anyone can think of.
    It is most likely part of the program that will usher us into WW3.
    It is called destabilisation.
    Iraq was the first, Iran will be the last. We are now somewhere in the middle.

  21. This analysis does make sens…I think I heard the president of the Front National in France saying the same.

  22. “There may be opportunities for increased private sector cooperation with U.S. banks and opportunities for the USG to help train Libya’s next generation of bankers. End Summary.” US State Dept. cable –

  23. We are trying to make a difference in American Politics and in how America operates. Based on Common Sense and Logical thinking, we have no party affiliation and call on Scientists, Teachers, and Doctors to stand up and run for office. Too many attorneys and businessmen in office will crumble our country. John Perkins could be a person of interest to run for office, you could be a person of interest to run for office. Common people shaped this country then we handed it off to lawyers and businessmen that have hidden agendas and do not want to leave the country and the earth in a better place for the generations to come. Please join us. and @phoenixmovement on twitter.

  24. We are trying to make a difference in American Politics and in how America operates. Based on Common Sense and Logical thinking, we have no party affiliation and call on Scientists, Teachers, and Doctors to stand up and run for office. Too many attorneys and businessmen in office will crumble our country. John Perkins could be a person of interest to run for office, you could be a person of interest to run for office. Common people shaped this country then we handed it off to lawyers and businessmen that have hidden agendas and do not want to leave the country and the earth in a better place for the generations to come. Please join us. @phoenixmovement on twitter.

  25. Pingback: African Nations Must Rise Up & Defend Each Other Against Anglo/European Wars Of Agrression! – This weblog is for sounding DIVINE TRUTH in the ears of the dead!

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  28. John, I listed to your entire interview with WIBC in Indianapolis while driving north tonight. I traveled in sales throughout europe the middle east, canada and some in central america in the 80s and 90s. I had some idea that things like this went on with planning for U.S. interests alone through IMF loans and USAID loan for american goods which our firm exported under each year due to my boss and his wisdom. It was good for business but I did see a lot of waist and did not understand why many people did not use our water related products to better their systems like we had thought they would.
    I will admit however that it seems that a lot of the problem also falls on the back of the rich and powerful in those developing countries. They have an aristocratic view of those who are not born into certain families or do not have a European or american higher education or connections.
    When someone from Europe or america comes in to offer them something they jump on the exploitation without much thought of those in their country who are in need or the impact it will have on their countries environment. In some senses they are even more exploitative than we are. You can see it in the growing Asian economies now. Their value for life and who people are as humans truly seems to be like the old kings of Europe. Use the people and then when they do not do what we want them to just get rid of them somehow or at best just replace them.
    I will have to get one of your books. Thanks for taking the time to do the interview for many of us in Indiana.

    Jim Burd

  29. Hi John

    I was wondering if you are aware of Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya’s articles on Global Research? He has a three part series where he looks at the use of Human Rights Organisations to bolster the case for War. He also looks at the Wealth Redistribution Scheme that the Libyan Government were due to implement with strong opposition from Jalil the new NTC leader. A former Government Minister with ties to the banned Islmic group tied to Alqueda who Saif Al Islam was persuaded to put in to power by the countries that would later attack. After the Iraq invasion, Gadhafi in particular felt vulnerable to attack. With no more Russia and the consistent way they had been after him since the ousting of the Monarch King Idris, he knew he had to do something. He thought mistakenly he could make it work in his favour. He started to allow some privitisation, in addition to his son attending the London School of Economics (the downfall of the Libyan government can be seen from this point). Off course, the relationship was one way. The US and its allies were never going to allow this old foe into their ‘good dictator’ fold. They made him disarm his weapons (WMD), allow inspectors to all his weapons depots – which they would later target effectively, laid down the law on which weapons could go through the arms emabrgo – ie. those weapons that would not cause a threat to our pilots when they were due to be deployed. The whole thing was carefully planned. The TNC was being formed France as far back as 2010 when the Libyan Government was looking at disbanding the government in order to activate’Wealth Destribution Plan’. This plan was due to the large scale corruption that came about directly after privitisation- Jalil ran to Sarkozy. Many of the NTC members were the very people who were implicated in the corruption and some were due to be taken to court.

    Unfortunately, the UN and other member states were not informed of these plans because Gadhafi – the Libyan Government was due to receive the Human Rights, Ethical Governance and pioneer of equality and justice award. He was due to receive it March 2011. Although I had to fish long and hard for the award, the Libyan Free Press have it on their website now with names of all the countries who voted for Libya and also voted to invade.

  30. Unlike any other war, the sheer level of media complicity, regardless of network or political persuation has been breathtaking. The Libyan Goodie bag is to rich for anyone to be left out, hence the complete hammer approach with the War Propaganda. The poor bomb hit Libyans not only have their videos hijacked by the ‘revolution’ for their propaganda, but the same clips are being used to show Syrian brutality. A war on all fronts. The new manipulation of Youtube and Google to support the war, makes it difficult to challenge the status quo.

    Another very important question for me if anyone can answer it? How have the CIA asset Alqueada become so powerful? They not only proxy hold many Dailies and Broadsheet newspapers they also hold interests in SKY and other major networks. The ‘renditions’ held frontpage news and stories for months yet Libyans under seige and bombed in Sirte, Abu Walid, Sabhe etc had no coverage.

    The Libyan spokesman claimed that he had been ringing Amnesty International nonstop to pass evidence of war crimes to no avail. He surely most know that George Soros was a key player for the war in Libya therefore would be very much, not available to record Libyan deaths. I also wonder if he is dead? He was at the Rixios Hotel where the massacre took place.

  31. Dear Mr. Perkins,
    I hope you get to read that. I’m 18 and come from Switzerland. I red your book, confessions of an ehc, when i was like 16. It shocked me, made me angry, gave me a whole new, frightening view to the situation we live in today. When it is really true what you wrote, I’m glad that I heard that truth. I don’t want it to go on like that. The corporatocracy is destroying the world, the nature that has built itself up during thousands of years, in just a few years. I’m so sad about all that, and the worst part is that the public, all my friends don’t even know it. They still see the USA as the good ones, they dont know whats goin on behind the curtains, that their corporatogratic empire is even worse than countries like russia and china. I also think that the USA, who are so fighting against terrorism, are themselves the biggest terrorists ever and are even responsible for the development of islamic terrorism. It kills me that nobody knows that or thinks that way. It can’t go on like that. And in this blog here you say something that i thought about too. This empire will fall, but it mustn’t be replaced by another one! This is my generation who has to fight for that.! Thanks for your courage to write that book! I really hope its the truth, otherwise i’d feel very cheated.
    PS: What did you think about 9/11? I think the USA didnt necessarily plan it, but they we’re glad it happended so they could start a war ( the ones that have the power). And I think its riddiculous what drama they make around that, when they are themselves killing as many civilians as were killed on 9/11 every year minimally! How can people be like that?