ISBN : 9780190940706
Billions of dollars stolen from citizens are circling the globe, enriching powerful individuals, altering political outcomes, and disadvantaging everyday people. News headlines provide glimpses of how this corruption works and why it matters: President Trump's businesses struck deals with oligarchs and sold property to secretive shell companies; the Panama Papers leak triggered investigations in 79 countries; and, corruption scandals toppled heads of state in Brazil, South Africa, and South Korea. But how do these pieces fit together? And if the corruption is so vast and so tied up with powerful interests, how do we begin to fight back?
To find answers, Crude Intentions examines the corruption crisis that erupted during the recent oil boom. From 2008 to 2014, oil prices shot through the roof. Motivated by more than nine trillion dollars in new oil money, corruption followed apace. Examining the oil boom is like placing a drop of dye in the circulatory system of global corruption, and watching as it reveals the system's channels and pathways.
Company bosses signed off on risky schemes to snap up choice oil blocks. Politicians in Brazil and Nigeria stole billions to build up their election war chests. Kleptocrats in Angola, Azerbaijan, and Russia seized upon the oil wealth to cement their hold on power. And an army of bankers, accountants, and lawyers lined up to help these corrupt actors stash their loot in the global system of shell companies and tax havens that serves today's super-rich. The money then bought yachts, mansions, and even a few foreign politicians.
Drawing on information exposed by intrepid journalists, prosecutors, and whistle blowers, Crude Intentions tells jaw-dropping stories of corruption and asks what we can learn from them. The cases reveal common tactics, but also vulnerabilities in this web of fraud. These are the starting points for building a smarter fight against corruption, in the oil sector and well beyond.
Chapter 1: The Crisis of Corruption
Chapter 2: "Being a Friend in a Nest of Vipers"
Chapter 3: Corruption and the Competition for Power
Chapter 4: The Kleptocracy Kings
Chapter 5: "An Octopus that Reaches around the Globe"
Chapter 6: Corruption's Motley Foes
Chapter 7: We Know How to Fight Corruption
"Alexandra Gillies has written an essential primer on the new world order, in which kleptocrats are hijacking the global economy. She writes with the courage and insight of someone who has spent many years infuriating those kleptocrats. Crude Intentions is comprehensive: it needs to be, given the oil industry's scorched-earth approach to the truth. Yet at times it reads like a crime thriller. Gillies shows us how, from Goldman Sachs to Goodluck Jonathan, Rosneft to the Republican Party, the corruption pandemic has spread worldwide. Her book pulses with a spirit not of despair but of action: don't let them get away with it." - Tom Burgis, author of The Looting Machine
"This is a superlative book by one of the stars of the effort to investigate the opaque and dangerous world of oil corruption. The practices laid out here are widespread. Her section on the United States demonstrates that wealthy countries aren't just the beneficiaries of corrupt money: it undermines their democracies too. And, as a glance at the U.S. states of West Virginia or Louisiana, or Alberta, Canada testifies, it leaves 'sacrifice zones' in those countries just as it does in Nigeria or Brazil. Gillies concludes with some common sense approaches to addressing this peril." - Sarah Chayes, author of Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security
"This extraordinary book brings together the most outrageous cases of how corruption in oil, gas, and other extractive industries contaminates the world. Having dealt with the gory details and catastrophic costs of corruption for more than a quarter century as leader of Transparency International (TI), I was so fascinated by this brilliant record of the grim reality and often heroic defense against it, that I could hardly stop reading. Yes, the spectacular cases presented in great detail for Brasil, Malaysia, Nigeria, the United States and other countries are depressing, even when their discovery and sanction gives some hope and sense of progress. The credit for these international wins goes to the interaction of governments, business, civil society, and the media-a conclusion shared by TI and other multi-stakeholder approaches to fighting corruption." - Peter Eigen, Founder and Advisory Council Chairman, Transparency International"
"Readers will be gripped by a disciplined and magnificent exploration of the vast landscape of kleptocracy in resource-rich countries. Literatures on corruption tend to be voyeuristic, but what we encounter here is the sensitive management of facts and an affective concern for the communities Gillies writes about. These two factors, plus a healthy ethical intellectual imagination, ultimately liberate this hugely important book from the voguish predilection to merely tickle and jeer."-" - Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher of Premium Times, Nigeria
"We live in a golden age for kleptocrats. The governments and firms that control the supply of petroleum-the world's most valuable commodity-have enjoyed 20 years of windfall profits. In this gripping, deeply-informed, book, Alex Gillies reveals the intricate deceptions, unwitting enablers, and extravagant fraud that has turned this oil into staggering wealth, power, and corruption. This is a uniquely enlightening book with a wealth of insights about how these crimes happen and what we must do to fix them."-" - Michael Ross, Professor of Political Science, UCLA, and author of The Oil Curse