Loretta Napoleoni (born 1955) is an Italian economist, author, journalist and political analyst. She is an expert on the financing of terrorism and is well known internationally for having calculated the size of the terror economy.
Napoleoni was born and raised in Rome, Italy.
An active member of the feminist movement in the mid 1970s, she was a Fulbright scholar at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., and a Rotary Scholar at the London School of Economics (LSE). She has a M.Phil. in Terrorism from LSE, a Master's in International Relations from SAIS, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Rome.
As an economist Napoleoni has worked for several banks and international organizations in Europe and the United States. In the early 1980s she worked at the National Bank of Hungary on the convertibility of the Hungarian forint that became the blue print for the convertibility of the ruble a decade later.
As well as lecturing regularly on the financing of terrorism, Napoleoni advises several governments on counter-terrorism. As chairman of the counter terrorism financing group for the Club de Madrid, she brought heads of state from around the world together to create a new strategy for combatting the financing of terror networks.
Napoleoni lives in London, England, and Whitefish, Montana, with her husband and children.
She is a member of the scientific committee of the Fundacion IDEAS, Spain's Socialist Party's think tank.
Since 2007 she has been Director of the first Italian investigative journalism course., and lectured at Cambridge University's Judge Business School.
Once it was easy to know where our money was going. Now we live under a system Loretta Napoleoni has dubbed "rogue economics," where the blurry histories of the products we consume and the cash we invest make us complicit in financing barely legal credit schemes -- and even crime, if it's the slavery producing the beans for our lattes or the guts of our mobile phones.
The reach of the newly global market, as Napoleoni argues in her new book, Rogue Economics: Capitalism's New Reality, connects us all to the dark side, regardless of our intentions to be responsible -- and, she says, our deep connection to fishy credit and unregulated finance has laid the groundwork for the current economic crisis. Her previous book, Terror Incorporated, dives into the true economic impact of terrorism.
"Napoleoni argues that the crisis won't end until the excesses of globalization -- which include growing criminal markets in sex slaves and counterfeit drugs -- are brought under control."
Temma Ehrenfeld, Newsweek
Quotes from her TED Talk:
“I had failed the psychological profiling of a terrorist. The central committee of the Red Brigades had judged me too single-minded and too opinionated to become a good terrorist. My friend, on the other hand, she was a good terrorist because she was very good at following orders.”
“Contrary to what many people believe, terrorism is actually a very expensive business.”
Her talk, am thinking she is another obvious Rational:
Loretta Napoleoni: The intricate economics of terrorism
I'm going to show you how terrorismactually interacts with our daily life.15 years ago I received a phone call from a friend.At the time he was looking after the rights of political prisonersin Italian jails.He asked me if I wanted to interview the Red Brigades.Now, as many of you may remember,the Red Brigades was a terrorist, Marxist organizationwhich was very active in Italyfrom the 1960s until the mid-1980s.As part of their strategythe Red Brigades never spoke with anybody, not even with their lawyers.They sat in silence through their trails,waving occasionally at family and friends.
In 1993 they declared the end of the armed struggle.And they drew a list of people with whom they would talk,and tell their story.And I was one of those people.When I asked my friend why the Red Brigades want to talk to me,he said that the female members of the organizationhad actually supported my name.In particular, one person had put it forward.She was my childhood friend.She had joined the Red Brigadesand became a leader of the organization.
Naturally, I didn't know thatuntil the day she was arrested.In fact, I read it in the newspaper.At the time of the phone callI just had a baby,I successfully completed a management buyoutto the company I was working with,and the last thing I wanted to do was to go back homeand touring the high-security prisons.But this is exactly what I didbecause I wanted to knowwhat had turned my best friendinto a terrorist,and why she'd never tried to recruit me.(Laughter)(Applause)
So, this is exactly what I did.Now, I found the answer very quickly.I actually had failedthe psychological profiling of a terrorist.The center committee of the Red Brigadeshad judged me too single-mindedand too opinionated to become a good terrorist.My friend, on the other hand, she was a good terroristbecause she was very good at following orders.She also embraced violence.Because she believed that the only wayto unblock what, at the time,was known as a blocked democracy,Italy, a country run by the same party for 35 yearswas the arms struggle.
At the same time, while I was interviewing the Red Brigades,I also discovered that their life was not ruledby politics or ideology,but actually was ruled by economics...