Terrorism economics: best-selling author Loretta Napoleoni speaks at Sydney

26 August 2010

International expert on terrorist financing Loretta Napoleoni will give a lecture at the University of Sydney.
International expert on terrorist financing Loretta Napoleoni will give a lecture at the University of Sydney.

An international expert on terrorist financing will reveal how the war on terror contributed to the global financial crisis in a lecture to be held at the University of Sydney on Monday 30 August.

Loretta Napoleoni, the Italian-born UK-based economist and author of the best-selling Rogue Economics, will discuss her latest research into the connections between the response to 9/11 and the credit crunch and her most recent book, Terrorism and the Economy: How the War on Terror is Bankrupting the World.

Her lecture, titled How the War on Terror Contributed to the Credit Crunch and to the Crisis of the Euro is part of the Sydney Ideas public lecture series and is co-presented with the Italian Institute of Culture.

According to Napoleoni, former US President George W Bush's introduction of the Patriot Act in 2001 - which effectively lifted restrictions on US authorities to monitor telephone, email and financial records - led to a boom on the black market. It also prompted, she says, a rise in oil prices that distracted governments from the trillion-dollar machinations of Wall Street.

"As American troops prepare to leave Iraq, the economic consequences of the 'preventative' strike against Saddam Hussein will continue to play a bit role in the deepening of the US economic crisis," says the economics commentator. "A new world order is emerging, one where the West will no longer have an hegemonic role."

In addition to Rogue Economics and Terrorism and the Economy, Napoleoni is the author of several fiction books and other works of non-fiction including Terror Incorporated and Insurgent Iraq. Her work has been translated into 18 languages including Chinese and Arabic.

She is an expert on the financing of terrorism and advises governments and international organisations on counter-terrorism. As Chair of the countering terrorism financing group for the Club de Madrid, Napoleoni brought heads of states together to create a new strategy for combating the financing of terror networks. As an economist, she has worked for several banks and international organisations in Europe and the US. In the early 1980s she worked at the National Bank of Hungary on the convertibility of the forint that became the blue print for the convertibility of the ruble a decade later.

Napoleoni was a Fulbright scholar at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC and a Rotary Scholar at the London School of Economics. She has a PhD in economics and a Masters of Philosophy in international relations and one in terrorism. She also teaches a course on "the Shadow Economy" at Cambridge University.

Loretta Napoleoni is in Australia as a guest of the 2010 Melbourne Writers' Festival.

Event details
What:How the War on Terror Contributed to the Credit Crunch and the Crisis of the Euro - Loretta Napoleoni at Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney's international public lecture series
When: 6.30pm, Monday 30 August
Where: Seymour Centre, corner of City Road and Cleveland Street, Chippendale
Bookings: 9352 7940 or on the Sydney Ideas website.

Media enquiries: Sarah Stock, 9114 0748, 0419 278 715,