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Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now
Named a Best Book of 2018 by the Financial Times and Fortune, this "thrilling" (Bill Gates) New York Times bestseller exposes how a "modern Gatsby" swindled over $5 billion with the aid of Goldman Sachs in "the heist of the century" (Axios).
Now a #1 international bestseller, Billion Dollar Whale is "an epic tale of white-collar crime on a global scale" (Publishers Weekly), revealing how a young social climber from Malaysia pulled off one of the biggest heists in history.
In 2009, a chubby, mild-mannered graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business named Jho Low set in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude--one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system. Over a decade, Low, with the aid of Goldman Sachs and others, siphoned billions of dollars from an investment fund--right under the nose of global financial industry watchdogs. Low used the money to finance elections, purchase luxury real estate, throw champagne-drenched parties, and even to finance Hollywood films like The Wolf of Wall Street.
By early 2019, with his yacht and private jet reportedly seized by authorities and facing criminal charges in Malaysia and in the United States, Low had become an international fugitive, even as the U.S. Department of Justice continued its investigation.
Billion Dollar Whale has joined the ranks of Liar's Poker, Den of Thieves, and Bad Blood as a classic harrowing parable of hubris and greed in the financial world.
About the Author
Tom Wright was one of the first journalists to arrive at the scene of the raid in which Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden. In 2013, he spearheaded coverage of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh, which killed over 1,000 people, earning the Wall Street Journal a Sigma Delta Chi award from The Society of Professional Journalists. He is a Pulitzer finalist, a Loeb winner, and has garnered numerous awards from the Society of Publishers in Asia, which in 2016 named him "Journalist of the Year." He speaks English, Malay, French and Italian.
Bradley Hope has worked for the Wall Street Journal for the last four years, covering finance and malfeasance from New York City and London. Before that, he spent six years as a correspondent in the Middle East, where he covered the Arab Spring uprisings from Cairo, Tripoli, Tunis, and Beirut. He was detained by authorities in Bahrain, reported from the front lines of the Libyan civil war, and has been teargassed in raucous Egyptian protests. Bradley is a Pulitzer finalist and a Loeb winner, and also author of Last Days of the Pharaoh, a chronicle of the final days and hours of the presidency of Hosni Mubarak.
A Fortune magazine Best Book of 2018
A Financial Times Best Book of 2018
"As Bad Blood is to biotech, Billion Dollar Whale is to international finance... a wonderful read... Thrilling."—Bill Gates
"What a blast to
read! A true life thriller that reads like a Hollywood movie, Billion Dollar
Whale traces the exploits of the most mercurial, mysterious big player in
history. Jho Low is Gatsby with twice the bank
account and ten times the ambition, and the stories surrounding his
exploits leap right off the page!"—Ben Mezrich, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down The House
"If you like global intrigue, financial crime, wealth
porn, and absurdity, Billion Dollar Whale, by Tom Wright and Bradley
Hope, is for you.... It almost seems made up. Still, anyone who has followed the
news out of Malaysia will know that the story is all too real."—The New Yorker
"Wright and Hope
deliver a scintillating and prodigiously reported tale of a globe-spanning
modern Gatsby and his audacious fraud."—Jesse Eisinger, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for ProPublica and author of The Chickenshit Club
"This story of a Wharton graduate who carried out the
$5 billion swindle known as 1MDB offers a textbook case of financial fraud in
the modern age."—New York Times
"An incredible story.... If you need some billionaires to despise--look no further than these charlatans."—Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit
"Just finished reading Billion Dollar Whale and was blown away. I thought I had seen it all with Russian kleptocracy, but the story of the money stolen in Malaysia in 1MDB and all the enthusiastic Western enablers was unbelievable."
—Bill Browder, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Notice
"Even the most
skilled fiction writer would have trouble conjuring the corrupt and colorful
protagonist of Billion Dollar Whale. Bradley Hope and Tom Wright's
gripping portrait of Jho Low and his enablers throughout the global financial
system will both fascinate and enrage you."—Sheelah Kolhatkar, staff writer at The New Yorker and New York Times bestselling author of Black Edge
story of a massive international financial scandal... As the authors amply
prove, the scandal reaches far beyond Low. To succeed, he relied on the naivete, greed, and generally immoral conduct of huge banks as well as corrupt
"An amazing tale of greed.... juicy and
entertaining."—Library Journal (starred review)
"Wright and Hope transform their
investigation of a mind-boggling financial fraud into a nonfiction thriller...
This is an epic tale of white-collar crime on a global scale."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Well-researched and well-documented.... Reveals
how Low used a bag of tricks, including financial fraud, to make himself seem
more powerful, more influential, and more successful than he actually was... This
is a must-read."—Booklist
"An extraordinary tale.... richly woven...[with] dogged
reporting.... Like all good business stories, Billion Dollar Whale is
bigger than the immediate one it tells. It is a story of emerging markets
crippled by corruption and cronyism and comes from the era of egregious--and
mostly punishment-free--banking.... One thing is clear. If ever Hollywood gets
round to telling the story on screen, here is perfect material for the script."—Financial Times
"Gripping.... The heist of the century."—Axios
"I highly recommend this rip-roaring story of brazen fraud..., political corruption..., and investment-banker callousness."—Adam Lashinsky, FORTUNE
one chubby Malaysian business school graduate. Mix with Middle Eastern sheikhs
and greedy Southeast Asian politicians. Add Wall Street investment banks, law
firms and Swiss wealth managers. Then mix in superyachts, five-star hotels,
luxury apartments, nightclubs, models, A-list movie stars--and bathtubs of
champagne... [This] richly reported page-turner is meticulously pieced together
from interviews, documents and emails by Wall Street Journal reporters
Tom Wright and Bradley Hope."—Peter Thal Larsen, Reuters
"Compelling."—Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A wonderful book... A rip-roaring, absolutely
delightful account of one of the biggest financial cons in the history of the
world.... If you liked Bad Blood, you might well enjoy Billion Dollar
Whale... An incredible story of a con artist at the height of his game."—David Plotz, Slate "Political Gabfest"
"A cracking read."—Unreserved Media
"An incredible story."—Knowledge@Wharton
"One of the best business books in a long time."—Brian Sullivan, CNBC
"One of the most important books of 2018."—MoneyLaundering.com
"[The] extraordinaire saga of Malaysian entrepreneur Jho Low [is] chronicled in juicy detail.... A mind-boggling picture of Low's thievery, grandiose spending and disappearance."—Financial Advisor
"1MDB book is a whale of a tale.... Readers who have followed the 1MDB scandal will be expecting heavy doses of both opulence and corruption. What Billion Dollar Whale does best is show just how dizzyingly far-reaching the scheme was.... shocking - and an essential read."—Financial News of London
"A must-read for fugitive financiers...a belter of a financial scandal takedown...great fun....A breathless collation of excellent investigative reporting, it shows real life really can be stranger than fiction."—Bloomberg.com