Loretta NapoleoniBut Loretta Napoleoni feels fine. Sort of. The author of Rogue economics spoke with Mark Sainsbury about the grey areas of the global economy, rogue entrepreneurs, prostitution, slavery, piracy and the political void created by the fall of the Berlin Wall.

You’d think this heavy stuff would be a burden, but Napoleoni is a optimist and a possesser of strong and well argued opinions (she was recently in the media for paying out Bono).

This was an interesting session, ably chaired by Mark Sainsbury. Loretta explored the world post the fall of the Berlin Wall – the emergence of Russian oligarchs, slavery (including women forced into prostitution, and she noted that the French fashion industry has many Chinese slaves working on textiles), the counterfeit industry – particularly scary in relation to medicine (apparently 9 out of 10 pills in Nigeria are fake).

Rogue economicsI noticed a few people leave, clearly a little distressed by the issues mentioned by Loretta. She believes the seismic shifts in the world’s political and economic sphere are leading to a new axis of power – it will be a Beijing/Middle East/Africa conjunction and within 30-50 years we will be in this “new world order”.

Some more stunning facts raised in this session (I am sure I spent a lot of time here with mouth wide open, gobsmacked):

  • Female unemployment in the former Communist bloc went up to 80% post Berlin Wall coming down – which explains the vulnerable group entrapped into promises of employment in the West and ending up as sex slaves.
  • The ILO (International Labour Organisation) reported increasing slavery – approx. 27 million at the end of the 1990s in countries moving towards democracy
  • There is massive overfishing going on in the Baltic
  • COUNTERFEIT VIAGRA GENERATES MORE MONEY THAN HEROIN – and Iraq was the largest producer of fake Viagra!!
  • “Chinese cannot distinguish between real and fake. Buying/producing fake is normal”
  • The Matrix movies led Loretta to start considering this new world, she knew she felt “uncomfortable inside the global village” and seeing the movie made her aware of the “web of illusions” we live in.
  • Islamic finance is the one system that is working as its principles are more resilient
  • She doesn’t believe the US will fight wars as they go down because “By the time they realise, it will be broken”.