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Rogue Economics Hardcover – March 18, 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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, LORETTA NAPOLEONI was born in 1955 in Rome. In the mid 1970s she became an active member of the feminist movement in Italy, and later studied as a Fulbright Scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. She began her career as an economist, and went on to work as London correspondent and columnist for La Stampa, La Repubblica and La Paîs. Napoleoni is the author of the international bestsellers Rogue Economics: Capitalism’s New Reality and Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Money Behind Global Terrorism. She has served as the Chairman of the countering terrorism financing group for the Club de Madrid, and lectures regularly around the world on economics, money laundering and terrorism. Napoleoni lives in London and Montana. 

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press (March 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583228241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583228241
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,697,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Loretta Napoleoni's first book, the bestselling Terror Inc: Tracing the Money Behind Global Terrorism, has been translated into twelve languages; her second, Insurgent Iraq was an early look at the growing insurgency led by al-Zarqawi (and came out just as American media and government were recognizing his power). Napoleoni holds an MA in international relations and economics from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in terrorism from the London School of Economics. For her work as a consultant for the commodities markets, she met often with officials of many Middle Eastern nations. Her latest book is Rogue Economics: Capitalism's New Reality (Seven Stories Press).

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An interesting, eye-opening, provocative book; very outside-the-box. But also a very self-indulgent one. Conceptually, its oddest feature is the lack of any discussion of the corporation as a socioeconomic institution, with no sustained discussion of the most important political institution, the state. Napoleoni is perhaps typical of certain lightweight Italian intellectuals inclined to portentousness (e.g. Julien Benda, Nicola Chiaromonte). Napoleoni does not use terms precisely and does not define terms, including "rogue economics" (in her Mar, 31, 2008, interview on Democracy Now! she asserted that "all Western economies are rogue economies," but she does not use the term "rogue economy" in this book); "GDP" is used for for annual growth in GDP (45); she misspells Philip Bobbitt as "Philip Bobbit" (79, 295) but also gets it right once (162); a key reference to Hannah Arendt refers only to an anthology in Italian, not the original (275n.23). Her rambling discursive style may be due to her desire to incorporate topics to which she has devoted journalistic work. Napoleoni also writes in a journalistic style, using short, simplistic, punchy sentences. She tends to toss out statistics, then move on. There is a regrettable tendency to hyperbole in her writing: "American middle-class families cannot plan holidays, birthday parties, even a future for their children, because they do not know if tomorrow they will still have a home" (43). "China's overwhelming and unchallenged absolute advantage revolves around an endless supply of cheap labor, a resource so powerful that it has stripped industrialized economies of their comparative advantage" (35).Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Brilliantly informative and interesting. Having lived personally through the changes of the world since the collapse of the WALL initially as a Soviet Analyst based in Geneva Switzerland, and through the downsizing and offshoring of the Multinational world as a manufacturing exec, it is the closest approach to my own observations of the changes in the world. Growing hidden & open forms of slavery emerging across the world. The undermining or destruction of the market supervision capabilities of National Governments and inefectiveness of the International Organizations in the face of the mushrooming grey offshore universes of the Internet and extra-National (or offshore) financial markets.

WOW - private sector currencies developing on the net.
- Muslim Banking pushing for a return of their ancient Gold
Standard currency.

My own obserbvations re the collapse of the USSR and the parallels today in the erroading public faith in our own system frighten me, and this well written and catching book is both fair and non-alarmist, but provides insite into major frightening trends that are shaping the new order.

BRAVO Loretta Napoleoni
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Format: Hardcover
A rather breathless roundup of various dimensions of deviant globalization. Some chapters are quite good, in particular chapter 3, which talks about the rise of the 'Ndragheta inItaly and the Mafiya in Russia as a response to the marketization of the post-Cold War state in Europe. The problems with this book are, first, that it's a total theoretical mess - a messy conflation of Gramscian cultural analysis (hiphop as global resistance: yay!), Arendtian political ethics, and a lament against the rise of the "market state" (as theorized by Philip Bobbitt). The problem is that none of this is brought together in any kind of a coherent whole, much less accurately mapped to the empirical cases. (For example, it's just not accurate to describe Chavez's Venezuela as a "market state" - if anything, Chavez is pushing the other direction.) She also slips in arguments that almost laughably contradict the theoretical framework she seems to want to construct. (For example, "economic growth eventually and always trickles down and brings progress and modernization to those who survive," p. 187. What?) This is connected more broadly to a tedious writing style - ex. "Modern gangs fight fear with violence, and violence has become a way of life. As in China, violence is encoded in people's emotional DNA," p. 225. What does that mean? Finally, the book closes with a ridiculous plea to recast the global economy on the basis of... (wait for it)... Islamic finance! Which she argues can become the basis for a "new social contract." Whaa?
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Format: Hardcover
It would take an independent publishing house like A Seven Stories Press plus a striking Italian intrepid investigative writer to cast a light upon the coming darkness: Rogue Economics. It is a recurrent phenomenom in history caused by a sudden unexpected great transformation; unfortunately, in this eternal battle between politics and economics, globalized politics has been SLAMMED to the economic mat in a stranglehold of slave labor, piracy of the internet & seas, of fraud & fakes, of theft & money laundering, pornography & prostitution, usury & sweat shops, Fascism with Capital, Communism with Capital, & capitalism without capital!
In this global economy of today it is increasingly difficult for politics to regulate the market. In 50 years, less than a lifetime, the American dream has turned into an American nightmare where globalization has laid the groundwork for the socioeconomic decline of Middle-Class America, the backbone of the victorious U.S./ Corporations outsourced jobs and relocated production abroad. Dismantling of communism can be compared to the melting of the North Pole's ice cap: cheap labor flooded the market redesigning the economies of entire markets.
Global capitalism, driven by speculation & finance is robbing the middle class of its share of the productivity & new wealth. Aggressive and unethical groups of hedge funds are today among the most powerful of globaliization's outlaws. They are the bullies of finance, using the size of their portfolios to crush industry and circumvent legislation, because they are unregulated they elude national monetary & financial controls.
The author gives specifics in many areas of the "outlaw economy".
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