The “extraordinary” (Financial Times) and definitive inside account of the 1MDB scandal, a "must read" (Booklist) "epic tale" (Publishers Weekly) that exposes the secret nexus of elite wealth, banking, Hollywood, and politics from two award-winning Wall Street Journal reporters.
In 2009, with the dust yet to settle on the financial crisis, a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude was being set into motion. It began in Malaysia and would spread around the world, touching some of the world’s leading financial firms, A-list Hollywood celebrities, supermodels, Las Vegas casinos and nightclubs, and even the art world. Now known as the 1MDB affair, the scandal would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system.
Federal agents who helped unravel Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme say the 1MDB affair will become the textbook case of financial fraud in the modern age--and its fallout is already being credited for taking down the prime minister of Malaysia. To date, there are investigations in Singapore, the United States, and Switzerland, with money-laundering charges filed in Malaysia. Government authorities have seized assets including a mega-yacht, private jet, and millions of dollars in jewelry. A stunning true-tale of hubris and greed, Billion Dollar Whale reveals how one of the biggest heists in history was pulled off--right under the nose of the global financial industry.
About the Authors
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.
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.
"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
"Billion Dollar Whale does more than dissect a financial fraud of epic proportions; it takes the reader on a fascinating journey inside the heart of a con that was years in the making. Wright and Hope show how perception becomes reality in the hands of a consummate financial illusionist. Billion Dollar Whale proves once again that truth is stranger than fiction."--Gregory A. Coleman, retired FBI Special Agent; Case Agent, "Wolf of Wall Street" Investigation
"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
"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
"The 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 governments."--Kirkus
"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