The Cocaine Trade: Who’s Really Bumping Up Prices?

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2010/05/10/Nils_Gilman_Deviant_Globalization

Author Nils Gilman traces cocaine sales from production to retail, noting the profit margin is highest at the stage of U.S. importation due to increased regulatory pressure from narcotics agents. The DEA “think they’re in the drug eradication business,” says Gilman. “They’re actually in the drug regulation business.”


Nils Gilman on “Deviant Globalization.” This program was recorded in collaboration with the Long Now Foundation, on May 10, 2010.

Nils Gilman describes deviant globalization as “the unpleasant underside of transnational integration.”

There’s nice tourism, and then sex tourism, such as in Thailand and Switzerland. The vast pharmacology industry is matched by a vast traffic in illegal drugs. The underside of waste disposal is the criminal dumping in the developing world of toxic wastes from the developed world. Military activities worldwide are fed by a huge gray market in weapons. Internet communications are undermined by floods of malware doubling every year. Among the commodities shipped around the world are exotic hardwoods, endangered species, blood diamonds, and stolen art worth billions in ransom.

These are not marginal, “informal” activities. These are enormous, complex businesses straight out of the Harvard Business Review. The drug business in Mexico, for example, employs 400,000 people. A thousand-dollar kilo of cocaine grows in value by 1400-percent when it crosses into the U.S. — nice profit margin there. – Long Now Foundation

Nils Gilman is a consultant with Monitor 360, with a focus on national economic development and security. He has led projects on topics as diverse as the security implications of climate change, the culture of hackers, and the global narcotics trade. Prior to joining Monitor in 2006, Gilman spent six years leading competitive intelligence and product marketing teams at enterprise software companies such as BEA Systems and Salesforce.com.

Gilman holds a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in intellectual history from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War America (2003) and the forthcoming Deviant Globalization, an anthology that explores how globalized black market economies are challenging traditional state authority. He is also the co-editor of Humanity, an international journal of human rights, humanitarianism, and development, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.



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