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The Blood Bankers: Tales from the Global Underground Economy [Paperback]

Bill Bradley , James S. Henry

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Book Description

9 Jun 2005
Like tentacles on a vast octopus, the firsthand investigations in The Blood Bankers all lead to one core. A financial detective of sorts, investigative journalist Jim Henry analyzes a range of scandals, including the looting of the Philippines by the Marcos family and the financial collapse of nations throughout the developing world. A rogues' gallery of international criminals owes its existence to the dramatic growth of the underground global economy over the last two decades. Our world is being reshaped, often in sinister fashion, by wide open capital markets and an international banking network that exists to launder hundreds of billions of dollars in ill-gotten gains. Here is an inside look at globalization's dark sidethe new high growth global markets for influence-peddling, capital flight, money laundering, weapons, drugs, tax evasion, child labor, illegal immigration, and other forms of transnational crime.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press; Reprint edition (9 Jun 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560257156
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560257158
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 15.1 x 3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 612,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

An attorney, former chief economist for McKinsey & Co., and vice president for strategy for IBM/Lotus, James S. Henry is also an investigative journalist who has written for many publications, including The New Republic, New York Times, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, and many other magazines and newspapers. One of the original "Nader Raiders," he is founder and managing director of the Sag Harbor Group (www.sagharbor.com), a strategy consulting firm with a special focus on technology strategy and business development. He has managed projects on a wide variety of competitive strategy issues for many global companies, including AT&T, GE, GM, IBM/ Lotus, Merrill Lynch, and the Samsung Group. He also serves as an advisor and board member of Peoplink.org, a nonprofit that focuses on bringing the benefits of e-commerce to developing countries, and an advisor to Ashoka, a "reverse Peace Corps" that sponsors more than 1500 fellows working on social and environmental issues in 30 developing countries. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, a member of the New York Bar, and received a master's degree in economics from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

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"One major piece of the puzzle about where all the money loaned to developing countries went, in addition to capital flight, involved wasteful projects." Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The hidden truth of third world debt 25 Feb 2004
By R. J. C. Roeber - Published on Amazon.com
We have heard much about the crisis of third world debt and what to do about it from liberal ("forgive the debt") and right-wing ("bankrupt the suckers") commentators. James Henry asks a more fundamental question, where did the money go? Why is there so little to show for the more than $2.7 trillion of debt, aid, and investment made available to the developing world since the 1970s? One answer is that it was not spent but stolen and wasted, maybe as little as one-third of it ending up on the ground. Much of the rest has gone to provide the political elites of recipient countries with retirement homes in pleasant places.
Henry, a lawyer and economist by training and an investigative journalist by avocation, has been working on this story since the late 1980s. He travelled to more than 50 countries in pursuit of it and his book contains original, first-hand accounts of decades of unscrupulous financial behavior in the Philippines, Brazil, Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Mexico.
What started off as an economist's enquiry into the paradox of third world debt has ended up as an indictment of the first world corporations that helped to create it. Henry tells how many of the world's leading banks and financial groups have, often with the complicity of their governments and supranational institutions, created and fuelled the new high-growth global markets for dirty debt, capital flight, money laundering, tax evasion, corruption, illicit weapons traffic, and other new transnational forms of dubious economic activity.
This is an essential book. Corruption is the scandal of third world debt. Attempts to relieve it must include the means to prevent its happening again.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting new material about Latin America, ME 2 Jan 2004
By RClark - Published on Amazon.com
I'm a Latin American scholar. Henry's well-written book manages to get below the surface, and deliver some amazing new revelations about Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, in particular. I was also interested to find out exactly where Paraguay's General Stroessner, the Phillipines' Marcos, Pakistan's Bhutto, Zaire's Mobutu, and quite a few other Third World thugs kept their foreign loot -- and not only in Switzerland! Not easy reading, but it will definitely change your perspective on the global economy....
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Blood Bankers Made Me See Red 18 Dec 2003
By christine andrews - Published on Amazon.com
The Blood Bankers:Tales from the Global Underground Economy is a non-fiction financial thriller/whodunit that illuminates the sordid, self-serving, elitist international money trail and the greedy creatures who travel shamelessly on it. Mr. Henry courageously lifts the veil of monetary indecency and carefully guarded fiscal secrecy as he takes the reader on an insider's guided tour of global corruption and greed. Truth is indeed, stranger than fiction and The Blood Bankers is a shocking account of unbridled greed, run wild in plain sight around the world. It features a virtual perp walk of duplicitous international bankers, beyond-corrupt politicans and heads of state, and a whole supporting cast of money launderers, corporate con men and underworld predators. If you're ready to lose your intellectual virginity, read this book. The world will never look the same.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Development Economics To The Next Level 20 May 2005
By Matt Clifford - Published on Amazon.com
"The Blood Bankers" is an important contribution to our understanding of global financial instability. Most often, liberalized (legitimate) capital markets, international trade, state power, and international regulatory institutions are cited as the causes of destabilization. However, J. Henry allows us to look behind these forces and bodies to see how the liberalization of the global economy has unleashed illicit and/ or immoral financial forces, often acting through otherwise legitimate enterprises. Thus, "The Blood Bankers" gives us another level of understanding and critique of the agents of globalization. Without understanding the underground players, it would be impossible to fully understand the instability of modern international markets.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Economic Journalist Explores The Third World 17 May 2005
By Noah Enelow - Published on Amazon.com
Major U.S. banks have knowingly dealt with the corrupt elites of the world's developing countries.
They have harbored capital flight from wealthy investors who had lost confidence in their country.
They have extended loans to corrupt industrialists, who promptly skimmed the profits and, through their political connections, convinced the national governments to guarantee the loans, placing the burden on the backs of the poor.
They have lent money to violently repressive military dictators.
They have accepted bribes; they have offered bribes; they have turned a blind eye to untold human suffering.
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