The Spider Network
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The Spider Network : How a Math Genius and a Gang of Scheming Bankers Pulled Off One of the Greatest Scams in History

4.06 (2,777 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

SHORT-LISTED FOR THE FINANCIAL TIMES BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR

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 interest rates on trillions in loans worldwide--was set daily by a small group of easily manipulated functionaries. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled mathematician, became the lynchpin of shadowy team that used hook and crook to take over the process and set rates that made them a fortune, no matter the cost to others. Among the motley crew was 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; 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.

Praised as reading "like a fast-paced John le Carré thriller" (New York Times), "compelling" (Washington Post) and "jaw-dropping" (Financial Times), The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam, but a provocative examination of a financial system that was warped and shady throughout.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 528 pages
  • 155 x 229 x 41mm | 680g
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0062452983
  • 9780062452986
  • 325,845

Back cover copy

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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Review quote

"Dare I say it, but The Spider Network will snare you in its web of deceit, lies, corruption, manipulation and colorful characters. David Enrich's brilliant investigative expose will reverberate from Wall Street to Main Street."--Harlan Coben, bestselling author of Home and Fool Me Once
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Rating details

2,777 ratings
4.06 out of 5 stars
5 33% (929)
4 44% (1,225)
3 18% (509)
2 3% (97)
1 1% (17)
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