Rogue Economics gets a nicely written review and 4/5 stars from Christine:
If you adore misguided rock stars, bungling politicians or stories about the seedy side of town, then this book is for you! Rogue Economics masterfully explores the underbelly of governments and organizations – both legitimate and criminal - around the world and tells us how their shady business practices contribute to the global economy.
With the deftness of a globetrotting investigative journalist, Napoleoni masterfully sources and extracts pertinent information on the organizational behaviour, political philosophies, and business practices of some of the world’s most ruthless criminal organizations, political dictators, and law-skirting legitimate businesses. Experts from all walks of life – academics, activists, business executives, NGO staffers, and members of the very organizations whose practices she is documenting – are called upon to give the reader a comprehensive and relatively balanced glimpse at the abundance, tenacity, and prosperity of illegitimate enterprises and their impact on the global economy.
From piracy on the high seas and erosion of the Arctic ice caps by uncontrolled polluters aiding global warming to guerrilla warfare on the famine-stricken African continent and prostitution along the eastern European trade borders, Napoleoni examines a plethora of illegitimate enterprises and analyzes some of the political, economic, and social conditions conducive to their development and success. To support her findings, Napoleoni specifically explores the role of governments – both democracies and dictatorships alike – and legitimate businesses in sustaining the illegitimate or so-called rogue enterprises. In the end, it is crystal clear that, on a global scale, illegitimate ventures are shockingly plentiful and the individuals who operate them around the world tend to be considerably wealthier and more powerful than even the largest, most upstanding, and fiscally secure governments and legitimate multinationals.
Rogue Economics is definitely a current affairs book. It does not pretend to be a dry academic textbook nor does it attempt to offer the in depth theoretical economic analysis that one might mistakenly expect based on title alone. Readers that may want to use Rogue Economics as a springboard to additional reading or personal research, therefore, will be pleased that some of Napoleoni’s impressive research is detailed in 24 pages of endnotes that often prove to be as enlightening as the main text of the book, itself. Canadians and readers interested in Canadian current affairs may be disappointed, however, by the scarcity of Canadian references and the lack of endnotes supporting the author’s references to domestic issues, such as fish farming in British Columbia or the sale of a potential far north seaport to an American investor for a meager seven loonies or so.
Canadian omissions notwithstanding, Rogue Economics is a well written and intriguingly comprehensive book with few oversights. It is a shining star within its genre. Highly recommended.