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Moneyland: Why Thieves And Crooks Now Rule The World And How To Take It…

de Oliver Bullough

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1989108,338 (4.13)5
Inc.com 5 Business Thrillers to Read on the Beach This Summer * Amazon Best Book of the Month - Nonfiction * AnEconomist Book of the Year * TheSunday Times Business Book of the Year "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." --John le Carré, author ofA Legacy of Spies An investigative journalist's deep dive into the corrupt workings of the world's kleptocrats. From ruined towns on the edge of Siberia, to Bond-villain lairs in London and Manhattan, something has gone wrong. Kleptocracies, governments run by corrupt leaders that prosper at the expense of their people, are on the rise. 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 stealing, the money would just pile up in his house until he had no rooms left to put it in, or it was eaten by mice. And then some bankers had a bright idea. Join the investigative journalist Oliver Bullough on a journey intoMoneyland--the secret country of the lawless, stateless superrich. Learn how the institutions of Europe and the United States have become money-laundering operations, attacking the foundations of many of the world's most stable countries. Meet the kleptocrats. Meet their awful children. And find out how heroic activists around the world are fighting back. This is the story of wealth and power in the 21st century. It isn't too late to change it.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porpleigh20, NovaNexus, Matt_B, MichaelAScott, MadHun, Yaxx, susieimage
  1. 00
    Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth de Rachel Maddow (M_Clark)
    M_Clark: Blowout expands on some of the oil-related stories from MoneyLand.
  2. 00
    Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction de David Enrich (M_Clark)
    M_Clark: This book describes the unique role that Deutsche Bank has played in aiding the people of MoneyLand.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
An interesting and far-ranging overview of how capital avoids controls through global arbitrage. Include the history of citizenship by investment, offshore banking, and the symbiotic roles of third world corruption and property and banking markets of the first world. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
For those who already know how the wealthiest among us protect their money from the IRS, from law enforcement agencies, and from the scrutiny of other governments, this book will give you an advanced degree in the subject. For those blissfully unaware of the machinations of Moneyland, the book provides a jarring re-adjustment of all of your treasured assumptions about “fair play” and how the world really works.

One of the surprising revelations in Moneyland is that the tax-avoidance manipulations and the shuffling of money to hide it from governments is almost always entirely legal. This book does not reveal how laws are broken. Instead, it reveals how laws are passed, and intentionally customized to provide rabbit holes down which to sink vast fortunes in the hundreds of $billions and even $trillions. The term “rabbit hole” is quaint, because this nether region of $trillions, which the author calls “Moneyland,” where a tiny percentage of the population does business, constitutes an economy as large as the entire global “above-ground” economy.

One of the key facts that makes Moneyland possible, is that money can flow freely across national borders, but law enforcement does not. Law enforcement stops at the border. So the FBI, for example, can do nothing about US Citizens who own dozens of shell companies in other nation states. Some of the Moneyland-friendly nation states specifically legislate to attract Moneylanders. Investigators from the US or other countries cannot gain access to any of the records of incorporation, or bank records, or records of transactions, or even who may have accounts in the Moneyland nation state. By creating corporate structures in various jurisdictions, Moneyland rises above the laws of any one jurisdiction. So the rich figuratively, sometimes literally, are global citizens, above the laws of any single country, in ways that are not possible for the rest of us. That’s how Moneyland legally protects Moneyland.

The foundation of Moneyland’s financial industry rests with these governments whose economy depends upon the world’s wealthiest clients who want secrecy. For some nations, this is their only economy. They generate revenue from the fees they charge for setting up confidential companies and confidential transactions. They deal in citizenship and passports as commodities. For example, if you are a leader of a government, and you squirrel away $billions, you might want to make a quick exit from that country at some point. If you have a ready-made citizenship in a nation state in the Caribbean, and a passport to travel under, you are home free. By moving your $billions around various shell companies incorporated in the Caribbean, you can draw on that money anytime, anywhere, with assured confidentiality. And it’s perfectly legal. Moneyland does not check or care if the original source of the money was legal or ethical. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. But once the money is invested in this shadow global financial industry, it is effectively “laundered,” and legally protected.

The rules of the game are very complicated. Everyone’s financial situation is different. It takes the brightest lawyers to look at an individual’s circumstances, then determine which Moneyland nations’ laws are best suited to protect the secrecy and security of the individual’s wealth, and maximize it. The precise strategies using shell companies and Caribbean accounts is unique for each individual. This is why Moneyland is such a massive invisible industry. The first requirement of the whole system is invisibility, the second requirement is ease of access to the “processed” money.

Nation states actually engage these Moneyland lawyers to help write their laws to make sure Moneylanders will do business in their country. When you see the annual “wealthiest people in the world” listed in a finance magazine, the one thing you can be sure of, is that those are NOT the wealthiest people in the world. The wealthiest are invisible, and will never be included in such a list.

If you happen to slip up, or get a bad lawyer, who leaves a loophole open where your money machinations broke a law in some country, exposing you to law enforcement, there is one other commodity you can buy for extra safety: Diplomatic Immunity. For the right price, you can be come an official designee from a willing nation state to the United Nations. Once you have a nation state’s citizenship, passport, and add “diplomat” to your credentials, you have the ultimate checkmate over the US or any other country’s legal jurisdiction.

Moneylanders are sometimes referred to as “UHNWs” or Ultra-High-Net-Worth people. In a world of 7 billion people, there are about 230,000 UHNWs. The wealth of these 230,000 people is about $27 trillion. The UHNW population is expected to grow to about 300,000 in the next couple of years, with wealth increasing to about $36 trillion.

A shell company can be owned by another shell company, and so on with no end to the layers. There are plenty of buildings in London, New York, and around the world that no one knows who owns. In one example, the US government didn’t know who owned a third of the buildings leased by its own General Services Administration (98). Apparently shell-company ownership is so routine to those “in the know,” the government doesn’t even care if it leases from anonymous companies.

Towards the end of the book, the author makes a weak (perhaps obligatory) attempt to encourage the reader that Moneyland can still be changed, even dismantled. But that attempt is so lame, it actually reinforces the permanence and unchangeability of the $trillion financial industry known as Moneyland.

In the final analysis, Moneyland is here to stay. Secrecy ensures a good portion of the wealth in Moneyland will continue to come from illegal sources (corrupt government officials, tax evaders, organized crime figures). But much comes legally, though perhaps not ethically, by way of shell companies that feed tax-free cash into the system. The book names names of some Moneylanders (from American businesses to foreign dictators to sundry international entrepreneurs), cites attempted legal cases and lawsuits, identifies the nation states most closely identified with shell companies and Moneylanders. These are not included in this book review. You’ll have to buy the book for that information.

The book tells a gripping story, a story that is rigorously factual and documented in every detail. An unexpected bonus of this book—it is beautifully written. Bullough is an excellent writer who knows how to craft a sentence as well as how to tell a story. It’s a compelling story and a pleasure to read. ( )
  Coutre | Dec 23, 2020 |
Moneyland is well written and very readable even for one who is not an economist by any means. That being said, the implications presented for the well-being of democracy are terrifying. This book should be read for not other reason than to bring people to grips with the damage being done by the kleptocrats. ( )
  spclarke | Apr 8, 2020 |
This is a comprehensive but readable look at how the very wealthy hide their wealth aided by the legal and financial experts in London and the USA. After reading this, you will feel outraged. ( )
  M_Clark | Apr 6, 2020 |
Be prepared to be pissed off. ( )
  Christina_E_Mitchell | Jul 10, 2019 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Bullough, Oliverautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Luipen, Arjanne vanTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Nijs Bik-Plasman, Nannie deTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Palm, MarianneTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Inc.com 5 Business Thrillers to Read on the Beach This Summer * Amazon Best Book of the Month - Nonfiction * AnEconomist Book of the Year * TheSunday Times Business Book of the Year "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." --John le Carré, author ofA Legacy of Spies An investigative journalist's deep dive into the corrupt workings of the world's kleptocrats. From ruined towns on the edge of Siberia, to Bond-villain lairs in London and Manhattan, something has gone wrong. Kleptocracies, governments run by corrupt leaders that prosper at the expense of their people, are on the rise. 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 stealing, the money would just pile up in his house until he had no rooms left to put it in, or it was eaten by mice. And then some bankers had a bright idea. Join the investigative journalist Oliver Bullough on a journey intoMoneyland--the secret country of the lawless, stateless superrich. Learn how the institutions of Europe and the United States have become money-laundering operations, attacking the foundations of many of the world's most stable countries. Meet the kleptocrats. Meet their awful children. And find out how heroic activists around the world are fighting back. This is the story of wealth and power in the 21st century. It isn't too late to change it.

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