Narconomics by Tom Wainwright

How To Run A Drug Cartel

REBEL Editorial || March 16th

As addictive than a bag of illicit drugs (I mean, I guess), this book takes a look at the multi-billion dollar global drug industry in an entirely different way, viewing it as a business and showcasing its different business functions. Narconomics, the economics of narcotics, in other words.

This is not just a book about drugs but a look at many areas of business and economics through a practical lens. It is all strangely addictive, informative and engaging. The Daily Mail newspaper need not fear; this book does not advocate the taking of illegal drugs or put the drug cartels on a pedestal in any way. As a business worth conservatively over £300 billion a year, clearly those running it know what they are doing. No matter about the law, you just cannot run something of this scale or size without having finely tuned structures in place. If anything, the operation could arguably be even larger and certainly run more efficiently were it legal.

You can look at the book in two distinct ways, either learning more about the global drugs trade and seeing how it uses big-business techniques to good effect, or you can use the examples given as a way to understanding business concepts that are often swamped in theory and can be difficult to understand. It serves both well, packaged in an easy-to-read, informative form.

The author shows how business practices such as mergers and acquisitions, competition and collusion, social responsibility, media relations, human resources, franchising and strong management oversight are used within the drugs business in the same way as any multinational company would. You might not look at it in the same light ever again.

You do not need to be interested in business to get a lot out of this book. It is great for a general reader and eminently suitable for anyone with an interest in business or the global drugs industry. Once you pick it up, it can be hard to put down though!

Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel, by Tom Wainwright. Elbury Press £14.99