The Spider Network

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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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. The paperback edition includes a new chapter discussing further fallout from the scandal.

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

  • Paperback | 528 pages
  • 135 x 198 x 33mm | 454g
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062452991
  • 9780062452993
  • 263,189

Back cover copy


In 2006, an oddball group of bankers and traders made a startling realization: with some sly underhandedness, voluminous quantities of booze and strippers, the incompetence of authorities, and the eager support of an eccentric math genius, they could manipulate interest rates to their advantage. David Enrich's page-turning account of their escapades--and the staggering costs to those who fell guilty to their rapacious operation--is not only a rollicking saga of greed and complicity, but a disturbing look inside a world where crookedness is often par for the course.
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Review Text

"[Enrich's] impressive reporting and writing chops are on full display in The Spider Network... From the start, the book reads like a fast-paced John le Carré thriller, and never lets up." William D. Cohan, New York Times Book Review
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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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About David Enrich

Enrich, David

David Enrich is the Finance Editor at the New York Times. He previously was the Financial Enterprise Editor of the Wall Street Journal, heading a team of investigative reporters. Before that, he was the Journal's European Banking Editor, based in London, and a Journal reporter in New York. He has won numerous journalism awards, including the 2016 Gerald Loeb Award for feature writing. His first book, The Spider Network: How a Math Genius and Gang of Scheming Bankers Pulled Off On of The Greatest Scams in History was short-listed for the Financial Times Best Book of the Year award. Enrich grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts, and graduated from Claremont McKenna College in California. He currently lives in New York with his wife and two sons.
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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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