Asian Godfathers

Asian Godfathers : Money and Power in Hong Kong and South East Asia

3.84 (327 ratings by Goodreads)
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The economies of Hong Kong and south-east Asia are dominated by only forty or fifty families. Their interests range from banking to property, from shipping to sugar, from gambling to lumber. At their peak, eight of the world's two dozen richest families were south-east Asian, yet they are largely unknown outside the region. A complex mythology surrounds them, one which informs Asian views on culture, entrepreneurialism and economics. In this explosive account, Joe Studwell finds that the facts are even more remarkable than the myths, as he lifts the lid on a world of hypocrisy, power and enormous wealth.This tour of Asia's richest includes Hong Kong's Li Ka-shing, the king of the billionaires; Stanley Ho, casino mogul, father of seventeen and flamboyant ballroom dancer; Malaysia's Lim Goh Tong, creator of the vast Genting Highlands casino; Indonesian born-again Christian bankers; and the Philippines' Lucio Tan, a tobacco billionaire who started out as a janitor. Through the hidden lives of these mysterious and fascinating men, Studwell explores the broader economic and political issues facing a region of 500 million people: how the Asian tycoons took such a strong hold over their local economies, how they survived the Asian financial crisis that began in 1997, and what their endurance teaches us about the real state of the countries they live more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 152 x 232 x 30mm | 480.81g
  • Profile Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 1861977018
  • 9781861977014

About Joe Studwell

Joe Studwell is the editor of the China Economic Quarterly ( He lived and worked as a freelance journalist in Hong Kong and Beijing from 1991 to 2000. He is author of The China Dream (Profile, ISBN 978 1 86197 948 7).show more

Review quote

"'Its clarity of expression will make it hard for even the most determined dreamers to refute... Implacable, cool, convincing and well-armed Spectator 'An astonishing book' Sunday Independent"show more

Rating details

327 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 25% (81)
4 43% (139)
3 26% (84)
2 6% (21)
1 1% (2)
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