Three new books delve into the recesses of the market, a gamut of new practices — some legal, some illegal — that operate out of public view
The most eye-opening—indeed eye-popping—of these books is Dark Commerce by Louise Shelley, a professor at George Mason University and surely the doyenne of Illicit Studies, if there is such a field. (And if not, there clearly should be.) For readers not yet exposed to one of the classic volumes on this subject, Misha Glenny’s McMafia or Moisés Naím’s Illicit, or to one of Shelley’s previous books, it may come as a shock to learn how deep and wide is the extent of contemporary economic illegality.
The initiative, it seems safe to say, lies with the wicked. The amount and quality of energy and invention going into the nefarious activities described in these three books could easily vanquish poverty, inequality, international conflict, and climate change.
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