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

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To Enrich’s considerable credit, he does his very best to remain objective about the Libor scandal and Hayes’s principal role in causing it to happen.
-NY Times

Synopsis

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.

 

About David Enrich

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DAVID ENRICH is a veteran writer and editor at the Wall Street Journal. He currently is the Journal's Financial Enterprise Editor, heading a team of investigative reporters. He previously served as the Journal's European banking editor, based in London. He has won numerous journalism awards, including the 2016 Gerald Loeb Award for his coverage of Tom Hayes and the Libor scandal. A Massachusetts native and a graduate of Claremont McKenna College in California, he lives in New York with his wife and two sons. Author Image 1
 
Published March 21, 2017 by Custom House. 528 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Spider Network
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

AV Club

Above average
Reviewed by Alex McLevy on Mar 20 2017

It’s an entertaining and outrageous story, full of smiling scum who pride themselves on being cool, fun-loving guys as they screw over 99 percent of the population, but it’s also a tough one to begin.

Read Full Review of The Spider Network: The Wild ... | See more reviews from AV Club

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by William D. Cohan on Apr 04 2017

To Enrich’s considerable credit, he does his very best to remain objective about the Libor scandal and Hayes’s principal role in causing it to happen.

Read Full Review of The Spider Network: The Wild ... | See more reviews from NY Times

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