Summary of Moneyland

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  • Eye Opening
  • Concrete Examples
  • Insider's Take


London journalist Oliver Bullough once romanticized the fall of the Berlin Wall and the promise of new liberal democracies in former Iron Curtain nations. He moved from his home in Britain to Russia in the 1990s and stayed for several years. As he watched Russia and the new nations of the East move away from freedom and toward despotism and despair, he investigated the causes. Bullough discovered an entire world of thieves and their enablers, stretching from the Kremlin to the Dakotas. He found that global money laundering is so large it nearly forms a nation of its own, which he calls “Moneyland.” In this overview, he describes its corruption and recounts the foul deeds people perform to gain, protect, and enjoy power and wealth. His reports of the West’s facilitation of international thieves and murderers might shock you. Among his revelations: The United States is now the best place on Earth for international criminals to conduct business. Despite the dismay of learning what Moneyland holds, you’ll be intrigued by this journey through the world’s financial underbelly.

About the Author

London journalist Oliver Bullough investigates and writes extensively about the activities of the world’s kleptocrats and oligarchs. He notes that some of his discoveries are so shocking that no one will print them for fear of libel lawsuits.




When Ukrainian rebels overthrew their government in 2014, they discovered that their ex-president Viktor Yanukovich had stolen hundreds of millions of dollars. They found financial records documenting every transaction floating in the Dnieper River below the presidential palace. The money trail involved so many intermediaries across numerous nations that it proved impossible to unravel.

Yanukovich’s greed and the ways he masked his theft are standard operating procedures for kleptocrats and oligarchs. They steal and conceal more than a trillion dollars of their people’s money annually. International finance rules and loopholes allow thieves to hide their gains offshore and indulge in opulence. Whether they desire houses, art, yachts or jewelry, a network of banks and operators help them get what they want while masking ownership behind a web of international companies and trusts. This activity destroys countries, like Libya and Afghanistan, where systemic corruption enables terrorism. Corruption has eroded Ukraine’s ability to govern and its will to defend itself.

More on this topic

Lying for Money
The Ukrainian Night
Ill Winds
Global Inequality
Anti-System Politics
China's Great Wall of Debt

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