Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks Now Rule the World and How To Take It Back
From ruined towns on the edge of Siberia, to Bond-villain lairs in Knightsbridge and Manhattan, something has gone wrong with the workings of the world.
Once upon a time, if an official stole money, there wasn't much he could do with it. He could buy himself a new car or build himself a nice house or give it to his friends and family, but that was about it. If he kept steal...more
Here are some of its strengths:
It does a great job of filling a gap in the picture of how inequality is growing and undermining civil society. There are books that address the economic side of this process such as Capital in the Twenty-First Centu ...more
Moneyland is a place, he argues, where those with assets can buy passports wherever they like, and apply the laws where they are most advantageous to their businesses. It is a virtual space with “American privacy, Panamanian shell companies, Jer ...more
1. Bretton Woods: system in place to control hot money
2. Eurodollar: American dollars deposited in London which is not under the control of any jurisdiction.
3. Eurobond: Warburg & Fraser issued them in Schiphol Airport in Holland, interest paid in Luxembourg, but listed in London. Borrower was ...more
It use ...more
The problem for me is that the book lacks connection ...more
This book lacks structure. It seems more like a rambling essay and hops from one example to the next and then returns to an earlier one without an obvious reason. It also contains quite a bit of irrelevant material. The author should have focused on a smaller number of examples (for example Ukraine) . This would have made the (important) message more powerful and serious. The book and message are now more anecdotal.
Best bit of advise I can give about this book: read The New Poverty alongside it. It documents in journalistic fashion what modern poverty looks like in the UK right now. I'm pretty desensitised to the reality of the world, but this book made me feel seriously unnerved, and when you read this book alongside it, I can guarantee your blood will boil higher than you ever thought possible.
In effect, money in the 21st century confounds the ability of individual nations to identify it let alone tax it. From suitcases packed with cash, the digital age means that the touch of a computer keyboard button transforms an account into a tax-free one by internationalising it.
This has had terrible consequences for the 'developing' ...more
It doesn't matter if they gained their riches honestly or criminally, pliable governments and corrupt institutions help shield these individuals and their assets for a cut a the profits. The methods recorded in this book are numerous, but all take advantage of the legal loopholes between ...more
Most corruption works in three stages: steal - hide - spend. This book focuses on the middle stage, and shows how the 'offshore' finance industry has grown out of the fledgling 'euro-dollar' bond market in the 1950's into an enormous business with trillions of dollars sloshing around more-or-less shady tax havens, such as Nevis, Jersey and Delaware.
While the ostensible purpose of many offshore schemes is to hide slight ...more
NOT ALL ARE WILLING PARTICIPANTS IN CORRUPTION
- As one lawyer in Ukraine put it: “The choice isn’t between taking a bribe or being honest; it’s between taking a bribe or your children being killed. Of course you take the bribe.”
THE WEST IS COMPLICIT
- Corr ...more
“Wherever money is stolen from, it ends up in the same places: London, New York, Miami. And wherever it ends up, it is laundered in the same ways, through shell companies or other ...more
That may all soun ...more
Thankfully, there are sections of the book where our better selves seem ...more
Oliver Bullough wrote a thoroughly researched and quite depressing book about how, if you're rich enough, there is very little a government can do to stop you from taking your money offshore, avoiding taxation and depriving the citizens of your country of vital services paid for by those taxes. The main focus is on those countries with young, previously emerging democracies following decades of communism or centuries of being part of an empire. The ou ...more
From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.
"If you want to know why international crooks and their eminently respectable financial advisors walk tall and only the little people pay taxes, this is the ideal book for you. Every politician and moneyman on the planet should read it, but they won' ...more
A spectre is haunting Europe (and the world)- kleptomania! Oliver Bullough, investigative journalist based in London, who has lived in Russia and spent a lot of time in the UK goes on an international journey to ascertain how officials in power pillage their countries and how they get away with it. He tracks the journey of stolen loot from ‘departures’ to ‘customs’ (nothing to declare!) and t ...more
The next year I moved to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, then joined Reuters news agency, which sent me to Moscow. The first major story I reported on was the Mo ...more