Billion Dollar Whale by Tom Wright

Billion Dollar Whale

An epic true-tale of hubris and greed from two Pulitzer-finalist Wall Street Journal reporters, Billion Dollar Whale reveals how a young social climber pulled off one of the biggest financial heists in history--right under the nose of the global financial industry--exposing the shocking secret nexus of elite wealth, banking, Hollywood, and politics. The dust had yet to settle on the global financial crisis in 2009 when an unlikely Wharton grad wa...

Details Billion Dollar Whale

TitleBillion Dollar Whale
Release DateSep 18th, 2018
PublisherHachette Books
GenreNonfiction, Business, Mystery, Crime, History, Biography, True Crime

Reviews Billion Dollar Whale

  • Syahira Sharif
    Being a Malaysian and trying to come up with a perfectly objective review is impossible when it hit so close to home. Nothing against to the wonderful people who contributed to this publication. But there has never have been a book that filled me with so much rage and disgust. Therefore, I shall not self-censor myself to the barrage of insults that I shall unleash. Because at this moment, I am too sober and too angry to be nice.Billion Dollar Wha...
  • Stacey Sim
    If you have never followed the 1MDB scandal closely, you should read this to catch up. If you are bored and looking for a good thriller, you should read this book. If you are Malaysian you should read this book. If you work in the finance industry, you should read this book. If you're looking for Hollywood mixed financial crime-scandal, you should read this book. If you're looking to feel infuriated, you should read this book.In general, you shou...
  • Anas
    Its hard to put down this book, as if the stories were fantasies. The heist commited by Jho Low is definitely bigger than Bernie Maddoff ponzi scheme, well at least Bernie’s inverstors got their ‘profits’ back.Jho Low represents a desperate figure who wants companionship, recognition and love (even if it is fake) through money. His acts, cowardly hiding behind without holding an official position in 1MDB undoubtedly shady, but not a problem...
  • Paul Ark
    "Bad Blood" meets "Crazy Rich Asians"
  • Venky
    Since the publication of All The President’s Men, Barbarians At The Gate and Too Big To Fail, there have been few books of this genre that have gripped the imagination of the reader – until the arrival of Billion Dollar Whale. A ‘whale’ is a high rolling gambler who consistently wagers large amounts of money. High rollers often receive lavish “comps” from casinos to lure them onto the gambling floors, such as free private jet transfer...
  • Shemah
    Absolutely riveting. It plays out like a train wreck you can't tear your eyes away from.. happening in slow motion with the ppl of Malaysia being the casualties. How everything happened is just... unfathomable.
  • Jie Hui
    Skillful journalism and writing that detailed the most outrageous theft of people's money from Malaysia. It is ridiculous that nobody even care to do further due diligence as long as they get a cut from the cake. I couldn't contain my anger towards the events depicted in the book, yet was amazed at the extend of human greed that would make our future generations suffer, while the beneficiaries suffer no or minimal punishment.
  • Andrew Tollemache
    In Wall Street 2 Gordon Gekko tells Shia Laboeuf (I forgot character name): "A fisherman always sees a fisherman from afar" which basically means it takes one, to know one. Thus we learn midway through "Billion Dollar Whale" that one of the 1st to spot that Jho Low was a fraud and was playing with stolen money was Jordan Belfort aka The Wolf of Wall Street. Ironically, Jho Low was the one who bankrolled the Leo DiCaprio movie about Belfort, "The ...
  • Rekha
    Heart breaking, riveting read. How millions were robbed and so casually spent, with no consequence.It was fascinating to see how the “haves” live their lives off the backs of the “have nots.”
  • Tina
    I was not super familiar with the 1MDB scandal. I had heard a little bit in the news about the Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, but hadn't paid too close attention. The details of this book are unbelievable and serve as further maddening proof of the power of greed in this world. Jho Low dupes everyone, from bankers to politicians to A-list celebrities, all because they want a taste of his riches. They never ask too much about where or how ...
  • John Spiller
    "Billion Dollar Whale" is an engrossing and infuriating saga of theft and waste on an incomprehensible scale. Just reflecting on the magnitude of frittering away of billions --BILLIONS -- of dollars sets my blood pressure skyrocketing. If you want further specifics regarding the details of the book, you will find them in some of the detailed reviews below. In short, this book rivals "Bad Blood" as the book on corporate malfeasance for 2018.Despit...
  • Losh
    As an aspiring investigative journalist, I am so impressed with the amount of hard work, time, effort and determination put into writing this book. I have the highest levels of respect for both Wright and Hope. I have yet to write anything remotely this explosive, so I can only imagine the number of long hours, and courage it must have taken to pen this.As an English major, there are parts where I feel could have been written better. Some section...
  • Albert
    This isn't a book I would've picked up had my wife not mentioned it. As much as I found Najib's ousting a few months ago an interesting socio-political development in Malaysia, it wasn't something I was going to delve into. But then she started reading it so I thought I'd read it too. "Truth is always stranger than fiction" definitely applies to this book. Had Kevin Kwan wrote such over-the-top skimming/stealing scheme in "Crazy Rich Asians" it w...
  • Jee Hooked On Bookz
    He took the mickey out of everyone. He lied, scanned, bought favors to get favors, and isn't stopping. This wanted fugitive is still at it. This book is well-written and thoroughly researched. A must-read! Full review here:
  • CK Koay
    Wow. My brain is fried from reading this. I've been following the 1MDB scandal closely ever since it was raised by Sarawak Report. And I have talked to innocent acquaintances who had worked there as well. But nothing could have prepared me for the scale and scope of the 1MDB scandal that has been vividly retold in this grippingly well researched book. Told in a linear timeline, Hope and Wright brought clarity on how Jho Low built a progressively ...
  • Lucas Brandl
    Most people will have heard of the celebrities in this book like Paris Hilton and Leonardo DiCaprio. But the main "character" Jho Low will be a virtual unknown, and that seems to be how he wanted it. Despite his anonymity, he basically lived the rich, party lifestyle glorified in hip hop songs- times a thousand. He had parties in Vegas where he would tip the staff a million dollars in one night. He had a birthday party where Britney Spears came o...
  • Soo Yen
    Not really loving the current hottest book in Malaysia. Too much money and too many characters/banks/fake companies /parties to keep track of. There's a lot of long technical financial details that are not easily understood for the laypeople. The book is more suited for those in the banking or finance industry.
  • Karthik Karunanithy
    One of the best expose put together in such an engaging manner. Page turner, as every page had me going "wow, really". It's also interesting how the news I have read over the years have all been tied together in a single book -- and the way it's written by Wright and Hope leaves me wondering how did they achieve to write it in a way that is descriptive yet non judgemental. You'd almost think Najib was just an ultimate fool who kept trusting the w...
  • Danielle Fung
    It is very detailed and accurate yet written in a way that is light for what a complex story it is. Love this so much!
  • Baljit
    A great read especially as it’s so close to home. On what is the largest scandal in the financial world the intricacies of the deals are broken down to bite sized chapters making it easy to handle. The writers describe the various characters involved to give the reader enough detail to picture him or her, hence it does not come across as a dry report, more as a mini series
  • Hdspce
    This book is about the biggest kleptocracy the world has ever seen. Billions of dollars siphoned from the small economy of Malaysia (and more from loans guaranteed by the country) into fake bank accounts established in tax havens, eventually reaching the pockets of a select few, amongst which, the (ex) prime minister of Malaysia.The grand architect - a young, round chinese man with a boyish grin (who some say looks like a panda). A man who's life...
  • Wei Li
    A compelling read from start to finish, broken only by odd repetition of facts. When news about the 1MDB scandal first broke out, it was hard to process. Each breaking news article has only a piece of a puzzle that people didn’t know existed. This book is the closest I’ve read so far to explaining the picture of that puzzle. The scandal was confusing because it involved multiple government officials, transfers, scams, banks, and auditors. The...
  • David Dayen
    I imagine all financial journalists have "the one that got away," the story they wanted to cover but didn't for some reason. Maybe they got scooped, maybe they didn't have the resources to make it happen. For me, the tale of the theft of 1MDB, a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, is that story. I was asked to write about it by a publication that changed its mind. But in preparing for that, I learned enough about the surface details and the cast of ...
  • Aman
    A page turning thriller and a wider indictment are a rare combination that most business books (arguably books in general) books fail to pull off. This one does, spectacularly - though I'm not sure if it's the reporting or the sheer crazy of reality. I have a high tolerance for the crazies - very high tbh. But there are some things so crazy as to make one incredible about their veracity - this book's Jordan Belfort moment tops my list of those th...
  • PikGuan Wong
    Definitely the read of the year for all Malaysians. This book captures in all chronological details from the beginning to the explosion of the scandals of all the unscrupulous parties involved in the worst kleptocracy in history. Can't wait for the fall from grace of the despicable Jho Low.
  • David Vernich
    The next Big Short financial thriller!When BIG money is involved, most people will give the benefit of the doubt to the person with the capacity to spend big.From big (and not so big) banks, politicians, movie stars, and models, the upper .001 on the wealth scale know how to play the game to the point that a bluff is as good as the real thing.Regulators cannot regulate something they don’t even understand to begin with and any rule they set up,...
  • Taylor
    Wow! What great storytelling! Combined with master journalism... hard to beat!
  • Pang Khong yun
    The authors had made Jho Low an interesting fictional character in the book. Jho Low from a rich family in Penang, with his father's help which enable him to leverage the people around him included Riza Aziz, son of Najib Razak, Leonardo Dicaprio, Otaiba, ambassador from Saudi Arabia and many more by organizing various big parties. With his connection with Saudi Arabia, United States and Najib, they together exploit the money from 1MDB with diffe...
  • Robert Walzer
    Amazing book! Riveting and reflective of a particular 21st century malady in the global economy and politics.
  • George
    Quick read, right out of the headlines.It basically fleshes out the story of what was a bit of a puzzle in NY for a little while a few years ago - who was this mysterious Malaysian guy throwing absolute shit-tons of money around NY and Vegas clubs, cavorting with celebrities, seemingly out of the blue? And where was this money from?As people in finance know, this kind of money doesn't come out of nowhere, especially in the age of AML and KYC in b...