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Apr 17, 2019

"The scale of corruption in Africa is daunting," warns The Economist. "Corruption a Cause of Poverty in the Developing World," DW tells us. "Why corruption is holding Africa back," CNN laments. Everywhere we turn in elite media and halls of power, we are told the global South is poor, in part or in whole, due to rampant "corruption."
But a closer look at the data – and any effort to put notions of corruption in their proper historical context - reveals our limited, racialized definition of corruption is the geopolitical equivalent of complaining about “black on black” crime. True in a limited, technical sense but, in practice, often functions as a victim-blaming red herring meant to avoid uncomfortable discussions of white supremacy, deliberate economic dispossession and a far greater global regime of corruption leveled by the super-wealthy.
This episode examines the extraction of trillions annually from the global South in illicit transfers of money through the exploitation of tax shelters, so-called "hot money", interests on exploitative IMF loans, trade misinvoicing and a host of other routine and totally unscrutinized financial schemes.
We are joined today by anthropologist and author Jason Hickel.