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Moneyland: The Inside Story of the Crooks and Kleptocrats Who Rule the World
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Moneyland: The Inside Story of the Crooks and Kleptocrats Who Rule the World

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,175 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by St. Martin's Press (first published September 6th 2018)
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Marie Lindstrom Not sure I understand your question but yes, there used to be primarily industrial tychoons who did use slave labour and generally shitty methods to…moreNot sure I understand your question but yes, there used to be primarily industrial tychoons who did use slave labour and generally shitty methods to build empires and amass wealth. They often developed a concience in their old age and donated money to public goods, often libraries and hospitals. The ultra wealthy today hide their money in tax havens and often put it into property in London and New York. I thoroughly recommend reading they book.(less)

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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  1,175 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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D.  St. Germain
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In Moneyland: Why Thieves And Crooks Now Rule The World And How To Take It Back, Oliver Bullough sets out to illuminate the means and methods First World tax dodgers and Third World kleptocrats use to hide their businesses and wealth from the rest of us.

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
Maru Kun
This book is quite outstanding and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I say this from the perspective of a qualified accountant who spent thirty odd years working in financial services dealing with the nuts and bolts of the issues this book discusses.

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
Bruce Beckham
This book is a ‘how to’ manual for would-be kleptocrats and budding tax avoiders. At an early stage, you get the feeling there will be no happy ending. This is essentially because you know that the world’s super-rich continue to plunder their compatriots and abuse their power. They have their yachts, penthouses and private jets strategically scattered about the globe. Chapter upon chapter explains how they do it, aided and abetted by ‘law abiding’ accountants and financiers, and ‘law abiding’ na ...more
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bullough has spent much time in researching this book and it did not disappoint. He chronicled the rise of Moneyland where some stole, hid and then spent money, outside the jurisdiction of all countries.

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
Loring Wirbel
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Between the relatively melodramatic title of this book and the fact that the author begins with mad leaps from Paul Manafort in the Ukraine to Malaysia and on to the emirates, one might suppose this book would be a bit sensational and superficial. The length would suggest a shallow stone-skipping over some deep subject matter, but the deftness with which the author covers a very tough topic is surprising, and makes for a lively read. Yes, Moneyland has preferred lenses, stemming from the years t ...more
David Wineberg
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The world is far more corrupt than anyone imagines. The ruling classes feel entitled to steal tax money at will, stash it in overseas accounts, and spend it like it was legitimate through shell companies and trusts. The “country” that enables this is one Oliver Bullough calls Moneyland. It has no borders, no government, and no taxes, but gets it power and support from all of those. Its citizens are welcomed worldwide, no questions asked. The richer they are, the wider the doors swing open.

It use
P N J van Welzen
Less is 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.
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A first rate tour of the financial plumbing of the global plutocratic insurgency. Bullough spins an Infuriating tale of how well-heeled accountants and lawyers in “offshore finance” and elites in tax haven states enable globalized gangsters, callous kleptocrats, and banal nabobs to evade justice.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, non-fiction, 2018
What happens with corrupt money? Where does it come from and where does it go?

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
Jeff Kaye
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oliver Bullough has written a thoroughly entertaining account of the global phenomenon: how the very rich ensure that their wealth is protected by its non-statism.

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'
Samarth Gupta
Ran out of characters for my notes. This book is a phenomenal exposé in the world of tax evasion, money laundering, etc. It's truly infuriating what people with so much means do to evade their share of responsibility when the rest of the world suffers. Especially in countries in deep poverty.

“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
David W. W.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What happens if the rule of law is too weak to constrain the rich and powerful? The rich become even richer, siphoning off vast sums of money via bribes, extortions, tax evasion, and downright thievery - in the process defrauding the public sector of much needed resources. They achieve this end with the help of professional lawyers, accountants, and bankers, who devise increasingly ingenious ways of helping their mega-rich clients to run rings around honest government officials.

That may all soun
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened, money, finance
Moneyland is about ultra-wealth management and how the financial infrastructure for naughty money is the same vehicle for dirty money. It’s an incredible documentary related to one of the most talked about issues of the current decades, wealth inequality. The thesis of the book is money is not constrained by borders, but the monetary laws are. But the laws didn’t have to be after WWII, don’t have to be now, and should not be.

Thankfully, there are sections of the book where our better selves seem
"...the root cause of Moneyland, which is that money is international while laws are not. As long as some jurisdictions allow things that other jurisdictions do not, Moneyland’s gatekeepers will always find a way of exploiting the mismatches..."

- 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.”

- Corr
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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
"When there's big money on the table, no one asks too many questions."

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
Sean Lynn
In Moneyland, author Oliver Bullough explores one major theme, 'Laws have borders, money does not.' Through thorough investigation, Bullough tracks the ways the wealthy shifts, hides, and protects their wealth.

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
Lorenzo E. Fränkel
A fantastically frustrating trip through a non-existent country, whose siren sound for dark money is driving global inequality.
Paul Wilcock
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The world is an utterly corrupt cesspool and there's nothing we can do about it. Hooray!
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such an eye opening book and one which everyone should read to even begin to understand the corruption which is embedded in modern society!
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Eye opening, compelling, and engrossing. Quick read.
Pantelis Paliouras
The book itself is an excellent feat of journalism, uncovering a lot of the mechanisms through which the corrupt steal-hide-spend their money. However, there did not seem to be a development or progression in his argument, but instead it was just an ever-growing list of anecdotes. The stories themselves can be interesting but for me personally it got boring reading the same sort of story over again in a new country by a new thief. In short the book feels like more an exposé than a book. So if yo ...more
Raph Zindi
Some interesting themes but a little dull at times. Author could have got to the facts much quicker!
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Magnificent. Oliver Bullough dismantles the complicated and deliberately confusing world that is called Moneyland, not by zooming in on the technicalities (the 'how') but exposing the consequences the existence of Moneyland has on us all. From Ukrainian hospitals to Say Yes to the Dress, it is a riveting read, and Oliver is a master of telling stories. I haven't learnt how these complex schemes work, but Oliver has achieved something far greater by shedding his light on the stories of Moneyland ...more
Ian Goodrich
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant book, I can thoroughly recommend it. Bullough describes the processes, people and problems surrounding "Moneyland", a transnational space where vast sums of wealth are stored and hidden between mismatches in national legislation. It's an engrossing read, which makes a complex and at times abstract subject accessible and meaningful.
Bruce Turner
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who cares about democracy, economic opportunity, or simple human decency needs to read this book and then (depending upon your jurisdiction) go vote! Bullough provides a detailed and well-sourced history of how money can be stripped from nations and peoples, hidden in the gaps between laws, and then spent in ways that can be corrosive to democratic society. He’s got some reasons for hope at the end, but it’s clear that this is an ongoing problem.
Ivar Dale
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The perfect guide to an almost incomprehensible topic. Bullough writes with splendid humour throughout, while also managing to explain the madness of the invisible world of corruption that surrounds us.
Daniel Lambauer
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really accessible, but depressing book, outlining how the rich have become even more invincible from any type of justice than the aristocracy. stealing, hiding, and spending money with new impunity across the world. and every country is involved. a tragedy.
Pedro L. Fragoso
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Important, relevant, well researched, compellingly structured and told. Very much worth reading and discussing.

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
Lydia Smith
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can watch my full review of this book here:
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
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I moved to Russia in 1999, after growing up in mid-Wales and studying at Oxford University. I had no particular plan, beyond a desire to learn Russian, but got a job at a local magazine and realised I liked finding things out and writing about them.

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
“All money corrupts, and big money corrupts bigly.” 0 likes
“In the British case, some £133 billion had entered the economy since the mid-1970s, without anyone noticing, with £96 billion of that in the last decade. (The rate is accelerating, with current inflows totalling around a billion pounds a month.)” 0 likes
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