From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. After looking into how terrorism gets paid for (Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Money Behind Global Terrorism), Napoleoni tackles the whole of capitalism's dark side: the economics of illegal, criminal and terrorist activities worldwide. There's no shortage of material, including the sex trade of Eastern Europe, internet fraud, piracy (both nautical and intellectual), human slavery, drugs and even the subprime mortgage lending scandal. Unsettling, eye-opening statistics abound-one third of all fish eaten in the UK is illegally poached; today, 27 million slaves worldwide generate annual profits of $31 billion; up until 9/11, 80 percent of the $1.5 trillion underworld economy was laundered through the US (the Patriot Act moved much of this business to Europe)-and Napoleoni's bold analysis begs controversy. From page one, she ties the illegal business boom directly to the spread of democracy, pointing to the fall of the Berlin Wall as the moment when "rogue economics" were unleashed in their current, globe-enveloping iteration. Timely and fascinating, Napoleoni's top-notch reporting, in which her attention turns from Viagra to blood diamonds to the banana price wars in a few pages, works in the vein of Freakonomics and Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation, but much grimmer. Like those, this volume doesn't provide many answers, but the questions it raises are profound.
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About the Author
A woman of the Left who garners praise from Noam Chomsky and Greg Palast at the same time as she is quoted respectfully in Forbes
and the Wall Street Journal
, economist LORETTA NAPOLEONI has been an advisor to national governments while being one of the harshest of critics of the underlying principles and policies of the current world banking system. Napoleoni’s books, including Rogue Economics: Capitalism's New Reality
(a Publishers Weekly
Best Book of 2008) and Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Money Behind Global Terrorism
, have been international bestsellers and are translated into eighteen foreign languages. A longtime activist, a former Fulbright Scholar at Johns Hopkins’ Paul H. Nitze School, a Rotary Scholar at the London School of Economics, and chair of the Club de Madrid countering terrorism financing group, Napoleoni has traveled widely in the Middle East and around the world. Her essays and columns have appeared in the Chicago Tribune
, La Stampa
, La Repubblica
, El País
, and Le Monde
. Her most recent book is Maonomics: How Chinese Communists Make Better Capitalists Than We Do.