Kleptocracy
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Episode 160
Featuring Tom Burgis
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Tom Burgis of the Financial Times about the rise of a new, international kleptocracy. The trillions of dollars looted by members of this cabal every year are enough to buy the political power needed to sustain a virtuous cycle of fraud, criminality, and wide-spread corruption.

In Episode 160 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Tom Burgis, an investigations correspondent at the Financial Times who is also the author of Kletopia, a book that chronicles the world of dirty money, with its complex web of criminals, money launderers, and politicians who enable it.  

In recent decades, we have witnessed in the west the rise of a new kleptocracy that knows no boundaries, obeys few laws, and which is enabled by a sort of political consensus to loot. This looting has become so pervasive that the money extracted by members of this is enough to buy the political power, to change the laws, to loot some more, in a self-perpetuating cycle of fraud, criminality, and wide-spread corruption of the system of liberal, democratic capitalism upon which these same kleptocrats depend for their own survival.  

Unfortunately, the conduits through which we learn about this phenomenon are themselves often held captive, to one degree or another, by these same forces. The more obvious their looting becomes and the more our elected officials choose to ignore it or divert our attention away from it, the more radicalized and susceptible the electorate becomes to the promises of candidates who seek to fill the vacuum of trust left by our politicians with power.  

In their conversation today, Demetri and Tom discuss the nature of this problem and why it poses such a serious threat to the very systems that it seeks to exploit.

You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application.

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Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

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Episode Recorded on 10/19/2020

Tom Burgis is an investigations correspondent at the Financial Times, based in London. Previously, he was the paper's west Africa correspondent, based in Lagos, and Johannesburg correspondent. His latest book, “Kleptopia: How Dirty Money Is Conquering the World,” chronicles the world of dirty money and its complex web of criminals, money launderers, and politicians who enable it. The Washington Post calls it a “magisterial account of the money and violence behind the world’s most powerful dictatorships.” His book, "The Looting Machine: Warlords, Tycoons, Smugglers and the Systematic Theft of Africa's Wealth," was published in 2015. The New York Times called it a "brave, defiant book." Burgis won top prize for investigative reporting at the 2015 Society of Publishers in Asia awards and FT's Jones-Mauthner Memorial Prize in 2013, and was short-listed in 2015 for the European Press Prize and Young Journalist of the Year at the 2010 British Press Awards. Before joining the FT, he did a stint in Chile and traveled the world covering globalization and its discontents.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.



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