"For Misha Glenny, a journalist specializing in the Balkans and author of the new book 'McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld,' the smuggling operation was a prime example of what he calls the "internationalization of organized crime," a phenomenon that has flourished over the past two decades. Estimates suggest that crime accounts for almost one-fifth of the planet's gross domestic product, he reports, and "McMafia" is a sprawling, pell-mell tour of the world's shadow economies, ranging from Russia to Israel to the Mideast, as well as India, Africa and Latin America. Glenny even makes it to western Canada, a seemingly mellow region that, due to the proliferating industry of marijuana cultivation, "is home to the largest per capita concentration of organized criminal syndicates in the world."(...)The reasons for this outrageous blossoming of so many flowers of evil are, according to Glenny, essentially twofold. 'The collapse of ... the Soviet Union is the single most important event prompting the exponential growth of organized crime around the world in the past two decades,' he writes. A key event in that breakdown was the bizarrely selective deregulation of the Soviet economy. The officials under Boris Yeltsin who executed this 'reform,' for reasons not entirely clear, liberalized the prices of everything but Russia's natural resources: oil, gas, diamonds and metals. Those lucky enough to get ahold of these commodities at the artificially low, state-mandated prices could turn around and sell them at market rate to the rest of the world. The result was the overnight creation of a generation of Russian oligarchs and 'quite simply the grandest larceny in history.'"
Friday, April 03, 2009
Em Criminals of the world, unite and take over