Headline November 24 2019/ '' ' BLOWOUT : RACHEL MADDOW ' ''

'' ' BLOWOUT : 


Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth By : Rachel Maddow.

''BLOWOUT'' is a rollickingly well-written book, filled with fascinating, exciting and alarming stories about the impact of oil and gas industry on the world today.

While she is clearly animated by a concern about How much Cash? Maddow tells incredible, depressing story of

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of long-serving dictator of Equatorial Guinea, a country that saw its oil revenues grow from $2.1 million in 1993 to $3.9 billion in 2007.

Despite these billions pouring into the state coffers, an NGO observed in 2009, ''77 percent of the population lives in poverty, 35 percent die before the age of 40 and 57 percent lack access to safe water.''

But life at that time is good for Teodoro, who owns a $100 million house in Paris, a $30 million beach house in Malibu, Calif., a $ 7 million vacation home in South Africa, one of the world's largest yachts and dozens of race-cars.

When his driver takes one of Teodoro's many girlfriends shopping, they are given a shoe box filled with $80,000 in cash for a single outing.

His bill for one spree at an auction house in 2010, Maddow notes, would have paid the entire annual wages of 3,300 of his countrymen, since three-quarters of them live on $2 a day.
[Teodoro does now face international investigations and pressure on various fronts]. 

For those who have watched Rachel Maddow's television show, the opening scene of the book will feel familiar in its eyes for a compelling anecdote.

She tells the 2003 story of a small new business in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood that is about to be inaugurated by a head of a state, in fact, ''one of the most powerful men on the planet.''

We're intrigued. It turns out that business is a gas station. What's going on? Four paragraphs later, we learn the mystery man is Vladimir Putin, who is publicizing one of a string of American gas stations acquired by the Russian giant Lukoil.

Having piqued your interest, Maddow now broadens her narrative and explains why this anecdote is an apt illustration of the book's larger point - the centrality and influence of the oil and gas industry.

''Blowout'' is a rollickingly well-written book filled with fascinating, exciting and alarming stories about the impact of the oil and gas industry on the world today.

While she is clearly animated about by a concern about climate change, Maddow mostly describes the political consequences of an industry that has empowered some of the strongest people in the United States and the most unsavory ones abroad.

It is ''essentially a big casino'' she writes, ''that can produce both power and triumphant great gobs of cash, often with little regard for merit.''

While there are many colourful tales about villains, scoundrels, and adventurers, the thought-line of this book is the story of the rise of Vladimir Putin.

The most important geopolitical consequence of the oil and gas boon of the last 20 years has been Russia's development into a full-blown prostrate.

Putin's consolidation of power and his determination to use this capacity to protect himself and disrupt the West.

Maddow carefully takes us through the manner in which Putin asserted greater and greater control over Russia's vast oil and gas resources The key move was the takeover what was then its largest oil company, Yukos, run by a brilliant entrepreneur. Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

By 2003, he had built Yukos into a $36 billion company, providing an estimated 5 percent of the total  tax revenue of the Russian government, and was planning to acquire a competitor, Sibneft, which would make the conglomerate the world's fourth-largest oil producer.

This was not to be. By the end of 2003, Khodorkovsky had been jailed for tax evasion, fraud and embezzlement. The Russian government charged that Yukos owed $27.5 billion in taxes and penalties.

In 2004, the company was sold in an auction that lasted six minutes.

The Honor and serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Corruption and Democracy, continues. The World Students Society thanks most profoundly, review author Fareed Zakaria.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all on The World Students Society - for every subject in the world - : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Dirt Drop '''

Good Night and God Bless

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