A groundbreaking investigation of how illicit commerce is changing the world by transforming economies, reshaping politics, and capturing governments.In this fascinating and comprehensive examination of the underside of globalization, Moises Naím illuminates the struggle between traffickers and the hamstrung bureaucracies trying to control them. From illegal migrants to drugs to weapons to laundered money to counterfeit goods, the black market produces enormous profits that are reinvested to create new businesses, enable terrorists, and even to take over governments. Naím reveals the inner workings of these amazingly efficient international organizations and shows why it is so hard — and so necessary to contain them. Riveting and deeply informed, Illicit will change how you see the world around you. From the Trade Paperback edition.
From Moses Naim, the author of The End of Power, which was Mark Zuckerberg's first ever Facebook book club selection. Any newspaper anywhere in the world, any day, carries news about illegal migrants, drug busts, smuggled weapons, laundered money, or counterfeit goods The intense media coverage devoted to the war on terrorism has helped to obscure the other new wars of globalisation.Illicit international trade pits governments against agile, well-financed networks of highly dedicated individuals. Religious zeal or political goals drive terrorists, but profit is no less a motivator for murder, mayhem, and global insecurity than religious fanaticism. Illicit is the first book to reveal the full scale of this dark underground. It uncovers the connections between illegal industries and shows how they join forces to breed new lines of business, feed off political instability, foster violence and enable terrorism. How do pirated movies or CD's find their way to illegal markets worldwide even before they are released? And how, in our free, modern world, have over 30 million women and children - in South East Asia alone - been trafficked in the past ten years?
"A groundbreaking investigation of how unlawful commerce is changing the world by transforming economies, reshaping politics and capturing governments. In this fascinating and comprehensive examination of the underside of globalization, Moises Naim illuminates the struggle between traffickers and the hamstrung bureaucracies trying to confront them. From illegal migrants to drugs to weapons to laundered money to counterfeit goods, the black market produces enormous profits that are converted to create new businesses, enable terrorists, and even take over governments. Naim reveals the inner workings of these amazingly efficient international organizations and shows why it is so hard--and so necessary--to contain them. Riveting and informed, Illicit will change how you see the world around you."--Publisher's description, back cover.
"A deeply insightful book that connects the dots of the hidden systems that have subverted democracy and caused the type of desperation and anger that result in a 9/11. A book that opens our awareness."—John Perkins, author of The New York Times bestseller Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man "Anyone interested in global economic crime should read this book."—Charmian Gooch, a founding director of Global Witness "Global Outlaws is a revealing book about a global trend whose importance is still far from being fully recognized."—Moises Naim, Editor in Chief of Foreign Policy Magazine and author of Illicit: How Smugglers Traffickers and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy "Carolyn Nordstrom's important new book takes us on a dark journey through war-torn landscapes riddled with corruption, violence, and gross inequalities. It is a compelling study—one guided by the norms of scholarly research but also written out of deeply felt experience. A book infused by anger, compassion, but also hope."—Andrew Mack, University of British Columbia "This is a fascinating, insightful, and important ethnographic study of the intersection of crime, finance, and power in the illegal, 'informal', or underground economy. I have read all of Carolyn Nordstrom's books, and this is the best one yet."—Jeff Sluka, Massey University "Carolyn Nordstrom's Global Outlaws is a rare and remarkable fusion of economic anthropology and travel writing. The prose is highly engaging without being sensationalistic. This is a timely and fascinating read for anyone looking for an on-the-ground account of the clandestine underside of globalization."—Peter Andreas, co-author of Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations "Carolyn Nordstrom is the best fieldworker in anthropology, bar none. Yet again she has pioneered new fieldsites and new forms of ethnography in this book, as well as presented a new framework for viewing economics and economic power. This is undoubtedly a highly important work that sets new frontiers for anthropology."—Monique Skidmore, Australian National University
This riveting account reveals the secret corners of our supposedly flat world: black markets where governments are never seen but still spend outrageous amounts of money. Journalist Matt Potter tells the story of Yuri and his crew, a gang of Russian military men who, after the collapse of the Soviet Union found themselves without work or prospects. So they bought a decommissioned Soviet plane-at liquidation prices, straight from the Russian government-and started a shipping business. It wasn't long before Yuri, and many pilots like him, found themselves an unlikely (and ethically dubious) hub of global trading. Men like these are paid by the U.S., the Taliban, and blue-chip multinational companies to bring supplies- some legal, some not-across dangerous borders. In a feat of daring reportage, Potter gets onto the flight deck with these outlaws and tells the story of their fearless missions. Dodging gunfire, Potter is taken from place to place by men trafficking everything from illicit weapons to emergency aid, making enemies everywhere but no reliable friends. As the world changes, we see the options for the crew first explode, then slowly diminish, until, in a desperate maneuver, they move their operations to the most lawless corners of Africa, where they operate to this day. The story of these outlaws is a microcosm of the world since the end of the cold war: secret contracts, guerrilla foreign policy, and conflicts too thorny to be handled in public. Potter uses the story of these men to articulate an underground history of the globalized world. At once thrilling, provocative, and morally circumspect, this book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in espionage, or in how the world works today.
This collection of essays explores the nexus between international criminals and terrorists engaged in smuggling and trafficking everything from weapons of mass destruction to illegal aliens, potentially upsetting regional stability, undermining United States interests abroad, and threatening national security.
This authoritative work examines key issues and debates on sex and labor trafficking, drawing on theoretical, empirical, and comparative material to inform the discussion of major trends and future directions. The text brings together key criminological and sociological literature on migration studies, gender, globalization, human rights, security, victimology, policing, and control to provide the most complete overview available on the subject.
Praise for Merchant of Death "A riveting investigation of the world's most notorious arms dealer--a page-turner that digs deep into the amazing, murky story of Viktor Bout. Farah and Braun have exposed the inner workings of one of the world's most secretive businesses--the international arms trade." —Peter L. Bergen, author of The Osama bin Laden I Know "Viktor Bout is like Osama bin Laden: a major target of U.S. intelligence officials who time and again gets away. Farah and Braun have skillfully documented how this notorious arms dealer has stoked violence around the world and thwarted international sanctions. Even more appalling, they show how Bout ended up getting millions of dollars in U.S. government money to assist the war in Iraq. A truly impressive piece of investigative reporting." —Michael Isikoff, coauthor of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War "Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun are two of the toughest investigative reporters in the country. This is an important book about a hidden world of gunrunning and profiteering in some of the world's poorest countries." —Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 "In Merchant of Death, two of America's finest reporters have performed a major public service, turning over the right rocks that reveal the brutal international arms business at the dawn of the twenty-first century. In Viktor Bout, they have given us a new Lord of War, a man who knows no side but his own, and who has a knack for turning up in every war zone just in time to turn a profit. As Farah and Braun uncover and document his troubling role in the Bush Administration's Global War on Terror, his ties to Washington almost seem inevitable." —James Risen, author of State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration "An extraordinary and timely piece of investigative reporting, Merchant of Death is also a vividly compelling read. The true story of Viktor Bout, a sociopathic Russian gunrunner who has supplied weapons for use in some of the most gruesome conflicts of modern times--and who can count amongst his clients both the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the U.S. military in Iraq--is a stomach-churning indictment of the policy failures and moral contradictions of the world's most powerful governments, including that of the United States." —Jon Lee Anderson, author of The Fall of Baghdad Two respected journalists tell the incredible story of Viktor Bout, the Russian weapons supplier whose global network has changed the way modern warfare is fought. Bout’s vast enterprise of guns, planes, and money has fueled internecine slaughter in Africa and aided both militant Islamic fanatics in Afghanistan and the American military in Iraq. This book combines spy thrills with crucial insights on the shortcomings of a U.S. foreign policy that fails to confront the lucrative and lethal arms trade that erodes global security.
From the award-winning journalist and best-selling author of America's Bitter Pill: a tour de force examination of 1) how and why major American institutions no longer serve us as they should, causing a deep rift between the vulnerable majority and the protected few, and 2) how some individuals and organizations are laying the foundation for real, lasting change. In this revelatory narrative covering the years 1967 to 2017, Steven Brill gives us a stunningly cogent picture of the broken system at the heart of our society. He shows us how, over the last half-century, America's core values--meritocracy, innovation, due process, free speech, and even democracy itself--have somehow managed to power its decline into dysfunction. They have isolated our best and brightest, whose positions at the top have never been more secure or more remote. The result has been an erosion of responsibility and accountability, an epidemic of shortsightedness, an increasingly hollow economic and political center, and millions of Americans gripped by apathy and hopelessness. By examining the people and forces behind the rise of big-money lobbying, legal and financial engineering, the demise of private-sector unions, and a hamstrung bureaucracy, Brill answers the question on everyone's mind: How did we end up this way? Finally, he introduces us to those working quietly and effectively to repair the damages. At once a diagnosis of our national ills, a history of their development, and a prescription for a brighter future, Tailspin is a work of riveting journalism--and a welcome antidote to political despair.
A National Book Award Finalist and New York Times Bestseller The Green Zone, Baghdad, Iraq, 2003: in this walled-off compound of swimming pools and luxurious amenities, Paul Bremer and his Coalition Provisional Authority set out to fashion a new, democratic Iraq. Staffed by idealistic aides chosen primarily for their views on issues such as abortion and capital punishment, the CPA spent the crucial first year of occupation pursuing goals that had little to do with the immediate needs of a postwar nation: flat taxes instead of electricity and deregulated health care instead of emergency medical supplies. In this acclaimed firsthand account, the former Baghdad bureau chief of The Washington Post gives us an intimate portrait of life inside this Oz-like bubble, which continued unaffected by the growing mayhem outside. This is a quietly devastating tale of imperial folly, and the definitive history of those early days when things went irrevocably wrong in Iraq.
Illegal, inhuman, and impervious to recession, there is one trade that continues to thrive, just out of sight. The international sex trade criss-crosses the entire globe, a sinister network made up of criminal masterminds, local handlers, corrupt policemen, willfully blind politicians, eager consumers, and countless hapless women and children. In this ground-breaking work of investigative reporting, the celebrated journalist Lydia Cacho follows the trail of the traffickers and their victims from Mexico to Turkey, Thailand to Iraq, Georgia to the UK, to expose the trade's hidden links with the tourist industry, internet pornography, drugs and arms smuggling, the selling of body organs, money laundering, and even terrorism. This is an underground economy in which a sex slave can be bought for the price of a gun, but Cacho's powerful first-person interviews with mafiosi, pimps, prostitutes, and those who managed to escape from captivity makes it impossible to ignore the terrible human cost of this lucrative exchange. Shocking and sobering, Slavery Inc, is an exceptional book, both for the colossal scope of its enquiry, and for the tenacious bravery with which Cacho pursues the truth.
The utterly gripping story of the most outrageous case of cyber piracy prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice. A former U.S. Navy intelligence officer, David Locke Hall was a federal prosecutor when a bizarre-sounding website, CRACK99, came to his attention. It looked like Craigslist on acid, but what it sold was anything but amateurish: thousands of high-tech software products used largely by the military, and for mere pennies on the dollar. Want to purchase satellite tracking software? No problem. Aerospace and aviation simulations? No problem. Communications systems designs? No problem. Software for Marine One, the presidential helicopter? No problem. With delivery times and customer service to rival the world’s most successful e-tailers, anybody, anywhere—including rogue regimes, terrorists, and countries forbidden from doing business with the United States—had access to these goods for any purpose whatsoever. But who was behind CRACK99, and where were they? The Justice Department discouraged potentially costly, risky cases like this, preferring the low-hanging fruit that scored points from politicians and the public. But Hall and his colleagues were determined to find the culprit. They bought CRACK99's products for delivery in the United States, buying more and more to appeal to the budding entrepreneur in the man they identified as Xiang Li. After winning his confidence, they lured him to Saipan—a U.S. commonwealth territory where Hall’s own father had stormed the beaches with the marines during World War II. There they set up an audacious sting that culminated in Xiang Li's capture and imprisonment. The value of the goods offered by CRACK99? A cool $100 million. An eye-opening look at cybercrime and its chilling consequences for national security, CRACK99 reads like a caper that resonates with every amazing detail.
What drug lords learned from big business How does a budding cartel boss succeed (and survive) in the 300 billion illegal drug business? By learning from the best, of course. From creating brand value to fine-tuning customer service, the folks running cartels have been attentive students of the strategy and tactics used by corporations such as Walmart, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola. And what can government learn to combat this scourge? By analyzing the cartels as companies, law enforcers might better understand how they work—and stop throwing away 100 billion a year in a futile effort to win the “war” against this global, highly organized business. Your intrepid guide to the most exotic and brutal industry on earth is Tom Wainwright. Picking his way through Andean cocaine fields, Central American prisons, Colorado pot shops, and the online drug dens of the Dark Web, Wainwright provides a fresh, innovative look into the drug trade and its 250 million customers. The cast of characters includes “Bin Laden,” the Bolivian coca guide; “Old Lin,” the Salvadoran gang leader; “Starboy,” the millionaire New Zealand pill maker; and a cozy Mexican grandmother who cooks blueberry pancakes while plotting murder. Along with presidents, cops, and teenage hitmen, they explain such matters as the business purpose for head-to-toe tattoos, how gangs decide whether to compete or collude, and why cartels care a surprising amount about corporate social responsibility. More than just an investigation of how drug cartels do business, Narconomics is also a blueprint for how to defeat them.
The extraordinary real stories that inspired the major BBC series Have you ever illegally downloaded a DVD? Taken drugs? Fallen for a phishing scam? Organised crime is part of all our worlds - often without us even knowing. McMafia is a journey through the new world of international organised crime, from gunrunners in Ukraine to money launderers in Dubai, by way of drug syndicates in Canada and cyber criminals in Brazil. This edition comes with a new introduction and epilogue from author Misha Glenny.
In the 1990s, few countries were more lionized than Argentina for its efforts to join the club of wealthy nations. Argentina's policies drew enthusiastic applause from the IMF, the World Bank and Wall Street. But the club has a disturbing propensity to turn its back on arrivistes and cast them out. That was what happened in 2001, when Argentina suffered one of the most spectacular crashes in modern history. With it came appalling social and political chaos, a collapse of the peso, and a wrenching downturn that threw millions into poverty and left nearly one-quarter of the workforce unemployed. Paul Blustein, whose book about the IMF, The Chastening, was called "gripping, often frightening" by The Economist and lauded by the Wall Street Journal as "a superbly reported and skillfully woven story," now gets right inside Argentina's rise and fall in a dramatic account based on hundreds of interviews with top policymakers and financial market players as well as reams of internal documents. He shows how the IMF turned a blind eye to the vulnerabilities of its star pupil, and exposes the conduct of global financial market players in Argentina as redolent of the scandals — like those at Enron, WorldCom and Global Crossing — that rocked Wall Street in recent years. By going behind the scenes of Argentina's debacle, Blustein shows with unmistakable clarity how sadly elusive the path of hope and progress remains to the great bulk of humanity still mired in poverty and underdevelopment.
The Laundry Man by Ken Rijock - Memoirs of a multi-million money launderer - Mr Nice meets Catch Me If You Can 'Extraordinary' Mail on Sunday 'A remarkable story of an ordinary man caught up in an extraordinary life' Underground Book Club Meet Ken Rijock. Twice decorated Vietnam veteran. High flying lawyer. And one of the world's biggest money launderers. In 1980s Miami Ken Rijock was the middle man between the Columbians and the Mafia flooding America's streets with cocaine and marijuana. Every Friday, carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars in a tattered suitcase, he would fly by private jet to a tax haven in the Caribbean. Rijock's operation was responsible for 'cleaning' over $200 million of dirty cash. And all the time he was in love with a cop. It finally came crashing down when a client testified against him. He agreed go undercover for the FBI, and he now works with banks and governments to track the new generation of money launderers. Set in the evocative world of Miami Vice, The Laundry Man is a classic true crime story. Kenneth Rijock is a financial crime consultant based in Miami. He has more than 25 year's experience in the field of money laundering, as a practising laundryman, financial compliance consultant, and trainer/lecturer to law and intelligence agencies including the FBI. He has testified three times before US Congress committees. Rijock is a veteran of the conflict in Vietnam and Cambodia, and holds the Combat Infantryman's Badge and Bronze Star Medal.
Political and economic reform is at the top of national agendas around the world. This book based on Moises Naim's participation in the Venezuelan reform experience and as executive director at the World Bank raises questions and explores problems crucial to achieving national reform strategies. Naim's lucid analysis grapples with the problems of dealing with entrenched interests bent on derailing reform; allaying the corrosive effects of corruption and public outcry over inequitable burdens; coping with the political instability brought on by decimated public institutions; managing the impact of reforms on the military establishment; and mobilizing public support for measures as essential as they are painful. The heady days of revolution are gone and these and other dilemmas now confront besieged reform governments everywhere. The problem of managing these in the real world is the subject this book tackles.
We know that power is shifting: From West to East and North to South, from presidential palaces to public squares, from once formidable corporate behemoths to nimble startups and, slowly but surely, from men to women. But power is not merely shifting and dispersing. It is also decaying. Those in power today are more constrained in what they can do with it and more at risk of losing it than ever before. In The End of Power, award-winning columnist and former Foreign Policy editor Moisés Naím illuminates the struggle between once-dominant megaplayers and the new micropowers challenging them in every field of human endeavor. Drawing on provocative, original research, Naím shows how the antiestablishment drive of micropowers can topple tyrants, dislodge monopolies, and open remarkable new opportunities, but it can also lead to chaos and paralysis. Naím deftly covers the seismic changes underway in business, religion, education, within families, and in all matters of war and peace. Examples abound in all walks of life: In 1977, eighty-nine countries were ruled by autocrats while today more than half the world's population lives in democracies. CEO's are more constrained and have shorter tenures than their predecessors. Modern tools of war, cheaper and more accessible, make it possible for groups like Hezbollah to afford their own drones. In the second half of 2010, the top ten hedge funds earned more than the world's largest six banks combined. Those in power retain it by erecting powerful barriers to keep challengers at bay. Today, insurgent forces dismantle those barriers more quickly and easily than ever, only to find that they themselves become vulnerable in the process. Accessible and captivating, Naím offers a revolutionary look at the inevitable end of power—and how it will change your world.