Loretta Napoleoni makes the case that terrorist groups are filled not so much with ideological zealots as cold, calculating economists who are more akin to investment bankers. Using insider access to terror networks and an economic analysis of "terror" finance, she has followed the money trail that has allowed terrorist cells to flourish well before 9/11.
In her address at the Melbourne Writers' Festival, Napoleoni discusses the difficulties of tracking terrorist cash, which doesn't officially become dirty money until it's used for dirty purposes. She also argues that instead of funding the wars supposedly aimed at spreading democracy, the West should focus on ending the bankrolling of terrorism.
Napoleoni was joined by RMIT's Professor of Globalisation and Cultural Diversity, Paul James.
Paul James is Director of the Global Cities Institute (RMIT) and Director of the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme. He is Professor of Globalization and Cultural Diversity in the Globalism Research Centre (RMIT), an editor of Arena Journal, and on the Council of the Institute of Postcolonial Studies. He has received a number of awards including the Japan-Australia Foundation Fellowship, an Australian Research Council Fellowship, and the Crisp Medal by the Australasian Political Studies Association for the best book in the field of political studies. Invitations have been received to deliver addresses in more than twenty different countries including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel-Palestine, Japan, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Taiwan and the United States.
He is author or editor of twenty-four books including, Nation Formation: Towards a Theory of Abstract Community (Sage, 1996) and Globalism, Nationalism Tribalism: Bringing Theory Back In (Sage, 2006) and the first twelve volumes of a projected sixteen-volume series mapping the field of globalization (Sage, 2006, 2007). He has been an advisor to a number of agencies and governments including the Helsinki Process, the Canadian Prime Minister G20 Forum (2004), the National Economic Advisory Council of Malaysia, and the Commission on Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor. His work for the Papua New Guinea Minister for Community Development became the basis for their Integrated Community Development Policy (2004-09).
Loretta Napoleoni is the author of Rogue Economics and the bestselling Terror Inc.: Tracing the Money behind Global Terrorism, which has been translated into 12 languages.
She is an economist and has worked for international banks and financial organizations. One of the world's leading experts on money laundering and terror financing, she has worked as London correspondent and columnist for La Stampa, Le Monde and other newspapers.
A former Fulbright scholar, Napoleoni holds an MA in International Relations and Economics from SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, and a MPhil in terrorism from the London School of Economics.
In the early 1990s, Napoleoni was one of the few people to interview the Italian Red Brigades. For her work as a consultant on the commodities markets, she traveled regularly to Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and other Middle Eastern countries, where she met senior financial and political leaders. She lives in London.
Economist Loretta Napoleoni discusses the illegal siphoning of cash from the United States money supply into the shadow economy from the late 1960s until 2001, and the effect these activities had on the U.S. economy.