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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.
Wall Street Journal correspondents Wright and Hope transform their investigation of a mind-boggling financial fraud into a nonfiction thriller tracking the rise and fall of Jho Low, the "alleged mastermind of a multi-billion-dollar scam." In 2003, Low convinced an adviser to the rulers of the United Arab Emirates that he could broker deals between Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian governments. He then parlayed that connection into a relationship with a Goldman Sachs banker, who helped set up a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund in 2009, which was overseen by Najib Razak, the prime minister of Malaysia and Low's family friend. The authors contend that Razak turned a blind eye while Low siphoned billions of dollars from the state fund into a "byzantine labyrinth of bank accounts, offshore companies, and other complex financial structures." Low, still a fugitive, used the stolen loot to "build a Hollywood production company, commission one of the world's grandest yachts, and throw wildly decadent parties around the globe." The authors explain how lax oversight enabled Low to carry out such a scheme. Complete with an epigraph from Jordan Belfort of Wolf of Wall Street fame, this is an epic tale of white-collar crime on a global scale.