Moneyland: The Inside Story of the Crooks and Kleptocrats Who Rule the World
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 ste...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
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
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 ...more
It use ...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.
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
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
“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
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
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't because it's actually about them." —Jo ...more
We are all too familiar with stories of corrupt officials, and politicians robbing much-needed funds and depositing them safely outside their country. This type of criminal activity takes place only because the mechanisms to make it happen (law, banking, etc.) are made available in London, New York, Zurich. We focus on where the 'bribes' and 'dirty money' is acquired, rather than where it is laundered.
A fascinating insight in ...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
Now, this is an extremely complex subject, where truly unbearable trade-offs between on one side, fundamental, essential values of liberty and privacy and, on the other side, the social fairness and justice that are essential to live in a decent world (as people with money now have ways of stashing their money in ways that make their fortunes unaccountable and make this world of ours ev ...more
In this book Bullough delves into the shady world of offshore accounts, and shady it is!
What is Moneyland? Moneyland is the name Bullough has given to the mystery place where the world’s richest people hide their money.
‘Why are rich people hiding their money?’ You may ask. Why exactly? I think you’re intelligent enough to think up suggestions for yourselves.
It’s not easy being a millionaire and protecting your money is ...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