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The Spider Network: The Wild Story of a Math Genius, a Gang of Backstabbing Bankers, and One of the Greatest Scams in Financial History

David Enrich

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ISBN 10: 1470855992 / ISBN 13: 9781470855994
Published by HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio, 2017
Condition: Good
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Spider Network: The Wild Story of a Math...

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio

Publication Date: 2017

Binding: Audio CD

Book Condition: Good

Edition: Unabridged AUDIO.

About this title

Synopsis:

[Read by Mike Chamberlain]

The Wall Street Journal's award-winning business reporter unveils the bizarre and sinister story of how a math genius named Tom Hayes, a handful of outrageous confederates, and a deeply corrupt banking system ignited one of the greatest financial scandals in history.

In 2006, an oddball group of bankers, traders and brokers from some of the world's largest financial institutions made a startling realization: Libor -- the London interbank offered rate, which determines the interest rates on trillions in loans worldwide -- was set daily by a small group of easily manipulated functionaries, and that they could reap huge profits by nudging it to suit their trading portfolios. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled mathematician, became the lynchpin of a wild alliance that among others included a French trader nicknamed ''Gollum''; the broker ''Abbo,'' who liked to publicly strip naked when drinking; a Kazakh chicken farmer turned something short of financial whiz kid; a broker known as ''Village'' (short for ''Village Idiot'') and fascinated with human-animal sex; an executive called ''Clumpy'' because of his patchwork hair loss; and a broker uncreatively nicknamed ''Big Nose.'' Eventually known as the ''Spider Network,'' Hayes's circle generated untold riches -- until it all unraveled in spectacularly vicious, backstabbing fashion.

The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam, but a provocative examination of a financial system that was crooked throughout, designed to promote envelope-pushing behavior while shielding higher-ups from the consequences of their subordinates' rapacious actions.

From the Back Cover:

Each day your financial life is governed by interest rates—your credit card, your car payments, your mortgage, your college loans. It would be natural to assume that those rates are set in the marketplace, the product of supply and demand and the usual intervention by the Federal Reserve. This is the story of the guys who gleefully realized that you had no idea what was actually going on.

In 2006, an oddball group of bankers and traders from some of the world’s largest financial institutions made a startling realization: Libor—the London interbank offered rate, which determines the interest rates on trillions of dollars in loans worldwide—was set daily by a small team of easily manipulated functionaries, and that they could reap huge profits by nudging it to suit their trading portfolios. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled math genius, became the linchpin of a wild alliance that included a French trader nicknamed “Gollum”; a Kazakh chicken farmer turned something short of a financial whiz kid; a Swiss banker with a tendency to drunkenly accost women in bars; a karaoke-loving executive who would falsely boast about his role in a 1990s rock band; and a not-very-bright broker who spent much of his leisure time wiping out on his motorcycle. Hayes’s circle would produce the era’s most covert and most substantial financial scandal—until it all unraveled in a spectacularly vicious fashion.

Deeply investigated by award-winning Wall Street Journal reporter David Enrich, The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam but a provocative examination of a crooked financial system, full of wheeler-dealers able to concoct elaborate connections between dollars and doughnuts, but not their rapacious actions and the law.

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