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Wages of Crime

Wages of Crime: Black Markets, Illegal Finance, and the Underworld Economy

R. T. Naylor
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 270
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  • Book Info
    Wages of Crime
    Book Description:

    Outraged by recent encroachments on citizens' rights that have been justified by claims that new and more restrictive laws will combat the ravages of international crime, Naylor contends that no police campaign that fails to address the demand for illegal goods and services has ever succeeded. He supports this claim with detailed - and often entertaining - accounts of past criminal operations and law enforcement's attempts to stop them. Wages of Crime makes a persuasive case for the need to address the underlying economic and political factors that encourage criminal enterprises rather than relying on restrictive laws.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7045-0
    Subjects: Economics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-xiv)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)

    President George W. Bush does not believe in the greenhouse effect, shrugs off acid rain, and cannot see any hole in the ozone layer no matter how hard he squints. But he does agree with major law enforcement agencies that the sky is falling. The main thing knocking out the supports is a global tidal wave of crime and the torrents of dirty money that flow along with it.

    Politicians, press, and police alike rush to tell the public that great crime “cartels” are hell-bent on world conquest. Worse, their acts of economic insurgency have increasingly coalesced with acts of...

  5. CHAPTER 1 Mafias, Myths, and Markets
    (pp. 13-43)

    A new specter is haunting the West, the specter of “a Worldwide Mafia International, the first in history.”¹ Thus, U.S. Senator John Kerry insists that today “Organized crime is the new communism, the new monolithic threat.” East has allegedly met West in summits of the G-6 of criminal underworlds, with representatives of the United States, Italy, Colombia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Russia in attendance. The main item on the summit agenda is how to carve up the globe so that great transnational crime cartels can better exploit its wealth for their nefarious ends.

    This phenomenon of “organized crime” is allegedly...

  6. CHAPTER 2 The Insurgent Economy: Black Market Operations of Guerrilla Groups
    (pp. 44-87)

    Today’s archetypical terrorist no longer crouches in a moldy basement, its cracked windows draped with black cloth, humming the “Internationale” as he wires a windup alarm clock to a box of stolen dynamite. Instead, he boots up his laptop to check if the latest tax-deductible donations received by his U.S.-based “charitable” organization have been deposited in his Swiss bank account. Then he mutters a softallahu akbarwhile dialing up FedEx to arrange delivery to the nearest synagogue of a load of anthrax bacilli recently purchased from an ex–KGB officer.

    Such a stereotype has led alarmed governments to pass...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Loose Cannons: Covert Commerce and Underground Finance in the Modern Arms Black Market
    (pp. 88-132)

    Thanks to the drugs that coursed through their territory and the thriving arms bazaar just across the border in Afghanistan, some tribal chiefs in Pakistan’s rugged and lawless North-West Frontier Province moved from mud-walled forts guarded by a few kinsmen with bolt-action rifles into marble-floored, Jacuzzi-equipped mansions protected by antiaircraft missiles.¹ Nor are they the only ones for whom smuggling turns mud into marble. Around the world, a similar symbiosis of political insurgency, contraband trade, and arms proliferation has occurred with a frequency that even the National Rifle Association might have trouble applauding.

    On the face of it, this bounty...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Treasure Island: Offshore Havens, Bank Secrecy, and Money Laundering
    (pp. 133-195)

    To exorcise the demon of money laundering, the United States is leading the civilized world in a crusade that rivals in fervor the anti-Western jihad supposedly proclaimed by Middle Eastern fundamentalists. The State Department hands out brownie points (in its annual narcotics report) to countries according to how well they imitate U.S. legal initiatives. Nor is that mere exhortation. President Bill Clinton celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations by denouncing, before the General Assembly, the menace of organized crime and by threatening with economic sanctions countries that “sponsor” money laundering or that fail to bring their regulations into...

  9. CHAPTER 5 The Underworld of Gold
    (pp. 196-246)

    “Gold” is more than a word—it is an incantation. It conjures up many images: Spanish conquistadors slaughtering aboriginal peoples while plundering the New World; masked highwaymen waving down coaches at pistol point to relieve passengers of purses bursting with coin; big-city sharpies in top hats hawking claims to acres of empty sand while gold fever rages in the boondocks; and shifty Levantine merchants sitting cross-legged before heaps of glittering jewelry while water pipes bubble in the background.¹

    But that was supposed to be history. Well before John Maynard Keynes, in the 1930s, declared gold a barbarous relic, its role...

  10. CHAPTER 6 Washout: Follow-the-Money Methods in Crime Control Policy
    (pp. 247-286)

    Once upon a time, not so long ago, the Harlem pimp with a diamond stickpin, seated behind the wheel of a fur-upholstered Cadillac convertible, seemed the quintessence of criminality. If the pimp wound up in the slammer, justice was declared done, and no one paid much heed to the fate of the stickpin or the Cadillac. Today the public’s imagination is more likely titillated by the image of the Colombian narco-baron reclining in a gold-plated bathtub while lighting Havana cigars with hundred dollar bills—until the Feds kick down the door, hustle the manacled trafficker off to a waiting paddy...

  11. AFTERWORD Satanic Purse: Osama bin Laden and the Financing of Terror
    (pp. 287-300)

    Much contemporary crime-control policy is based on three interrelated assumptions: that the worst acts of crime are the work of large, hierarchically structured organizations; that those organizations are under the control of one or a few powerful individuals; and that the sums generated are enormous. From these assumptions, a major conclusion follows—that the best way to deal with the presumed epidemic of crime is to find, freeze, and forfeit the money.¹

    After the September 11, 2001, tragedy in the United States, when terrorists hijacked civilian airliners and used them as weapons of mass destruction in New York and Washington,...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 301-330)
  13. Index
    (pp. 331-336)