023: Loretta Napoleoni on Financing Terrorism and the Creation of the Islamic State
As Chairman of the countering terrorism financing group for the Club de Madrid, Loretta brought heads of state from around the world together to create a new strategy for combating the financing of terror networks.
Loretta is a regular media commentator for CNN, Sky and the BBC and advises several banks on strategies to counter the current ongoing crisis. She lectures regularly around the world on economics, terrorism and money laundering.
Loretta is also a columnist and writes about terrorism, money laundering and the economy for several European financial papers including El Pais, The Guardian and Le Monde.
Loretta began her career as an economist, working for several banks and international organizations in Europe and the US. She has a Phd in economics and a Masters of Philosophy in International Relations and one in terrorism.
She is the bestselling author of numerous books including The Islamist Phoenix, Maoanomics, Rogue Economics, Terror Incorporated and Insurgent Iraq.
Her books are translated into 18 languages including Chinese and Arabic.
“I studied economics because I thought that economics was the way to change the world” – Loretta Napoleoni.
In this interview, Loretta mentions and discusses: Islamic Finance, gold, barter, quantitative easing, reserve currency, consumerism, the Marshall Plan, labor, wages, sex trade, slavery, demand, profit, trade unions, capitalism and growth.
In this interview, Loretta mentions: Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, John Stuart Mills and John Maynard Keynes.
The key is to always search for the truth. It is important to listen to the experts because otherwise you get the wrong picture – Loretta Napoleoni.
- about Loretta’s involvement in the feminist revolution in the 1970s in Italy where she was one of the founding members of the Italian Feminist Movement.
- why she studied economics and the subsequent irony of working for a Russian bank.
- why Loretta sold her company to do a PhD in terrorism at the London School of Economics.
- about Loretta’s contact with the Italian Marxist organisation, The Red Brigade.
- how terrorists fund their activities.
- who initially sponsored ISIS or the Islamic State initially and how they may regret this.
- why Jihadi John and others were attracted to the Islamic State.
- how Saudi Arabia’s sponsor of a war by proxy against the Assad regime in Syria resulted in the creation of IS.
- about The Caliphate and why IS wants to re-create a modern version of this region.
- about the functioning economy of the Islamic State.
- if the Islamic State has a functioning banking system.
- if the Islamic State is using gold coins, dollars or a bartering system.
- about the how women are treated in the Islamic State.
- why Loretta believes that the feminist movement ultimately failed.
- if the US policy of quantitative easing is making it easier to finance terrorism due to the increase in the money supply.
- the meaning of the Patriot Act and how every transaction made in US dollars is tracked and traced everywhere in the world.
- whether the US should stop their foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa.
- how the world is being shaped by dark economic forces based on the fantasy world of consumerism.
- how an increase in the number of democratic countries has resulted in an increase in modern-day slavery.
- about the sex trade and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
- how the Chinese are better capitalists than Western countries.
- how we can learn from the Chinese economy.
- whether Africa will benefit from the Chinese model of capitalism.
- why there is a ‘race to the bottom’ in todays economy.
- why Loretta believes that we need a new theory in economics.
- about the problem of mathematics in economics.
- the advice Loretta gives for writing a book.
The Caliphate and Islamic State
The Caliphate is a way to formulate the Muslim political utopia, whereby for centuries, Muslims have dreamt of the creation of a State but have failed. The political reality of their world has been dictatorship, foreign power, colonization or the tribal system.
The Caliphate is the only political expression that the Muslims have produced. The ancient Caliphate was a splendid civilization, very different from the Caliphate of the Islamic State because it was very tolerant. Jews, Christians and Muslims lived together in peace without any problems.
Today, the economy of the Islamic State is a closed economy in which the trading of goods and services is done within the State. There is some degree of smuggling going on. Loretta Napoleoni believes that the rise of the Islamic State is a European problem because of colonialization.
Quantitative Easing, the US Dollar and the Illegal Arms Market
The US can borrow against the stock of dollars in circulation all over the world since the dollar is the reserve currency. What this means is that the US prints more dollars, not only for the demand inside the US but also for the demand outside the US. The illegal arms market is run in dollars. Since this is a market that grows, it therefore needs to be fed an increasing supply of dollars. If the Islamic State is using dollars, then they will benefit indirectly from the printing of money inside the United States.
Slavery and the Link with Consumerism
This economy, this rogue economics, is very much an economy that is driven on one end by consumption, this endless consumption. And to feed this monster of endless consumption, you have to produce at a cheaper level. So you use anything you can. – Loretta Napoleoni.
The sex trade boomed with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Some women had no alternative but to prostitute themselves to feed their family because of the collapse of the Communist economy.
“There is too much maths. Everything is reduced to mathematical models. They want to predict everything with numbers. Economics is a social science so you can’t predict people’s behavior.”
“If you want to write a book, you start now and you stop when you finish. You don’t stop in the middle, you don’t do many things. All you do is work, work, work.” – Loretta Napoleoni.
- The Islamist Phoenix: Islamic State and the Redrawing of the Middle East by Loretta Napoleoni.
- Maonomics: Why Chinese Communists Make Better Capitalists than We Do by Loretta Napoleoni.
- 10 Years That Shook the World by Loretta Napoleoni.
- Terrorism and the Economy: How the War on Terror is Bankrupting the World by Loretta Napoleoni.
- Rogue Economics: Capitalism’s New Reality by Loretta Napoleoni.
- Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks by Loretta Napoleoni.
- The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
- The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith