When we think of the informal
economy, we tend to think of crime: prostitution, gun running, drug
trafficking. Stealth of
Nations opens up this underground realm, showing how the
worldwide informal economy deals mostly in legal products and is, in fact, a
ten-trillion-dollar industry, making it the second-largest economy in the
world, after that of the United States.
Having penetrated this closed
world and persuaded its inhabitants to open up to him, Robert Neuwirth makes
clear that this informal method of transaction dates back as far as humans have
existed and traded, that it provides essential services and crucial employment
that fill the gaps in formal systems, and that this unregulated market works
smoothly and effectively, with its own codes and unwritten rules.
Combining a vivid travelogue
with a firm grasp on global economic strategy—along with a healthy dose of
irreverence and skepticism toward conventional perceptions—Neuwirth gives us an
eye-opening account of a world that is always operating around us, hidden in
plain sight. Download and start listening now!