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, 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.