Where did the fabled riches of the Congo go, and what happened to all the capital accumulated by colonial history? Why is Zaire still underdeveloped, while the Belgian ecomy w thrives? Tapping many and varied sources, this book challenges dominant historiographical assumptions and practice while analysing the past and present impact of Belgian joint stock companies on the Zairean ecomy. The author, an academic and specialist on African historiography and methodology, argues that colonialism paved the way for the triumphant return of other colonizers - the multinational corporations under the hegemony of the WorldBank and the International Monetary Fund, with structural adjustment replacing pacification. The author's contention is that his investigation of the Zairean ecomic history overturns colonial assumptions, rooting its analyses in the people's own history, raising questions both about the colonial past, but also about the framework underlying previous analyses.