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, Economics, Finance, Biography, Crime, True Crime, Mystery, History

Reviews Billion Dollar Whale

  • Syahira
    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...
  • Paul Ark
    "Bad Blood" meets "Crazy Rich Asians"
  • 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...
  • Schuberino
    This is a hard one to rate - the story itself is astounding and outrageous, and I think an incredibly important story to know. The writing, on the other a good case study in why journalists are not necessarily authors. Full sentences repeated themselves throughout the book, countless details re-introduced over and over including exciting facts like Bangkok is the capital of Thailand (sigh). The authors twisted themselves into introducin...
  • Nabilah Firdaus
    The amount of money being spent casually at the expense of the Malaysian citizens was giving me anxiety. The book is clear and well written although it kind of require some basic financial/economic knowledge throughout the pages (thanks Google!) Can’t believe that I’m living through one of the biggest financial heists in history. I hope Low and his associates are soon captured and put behind the bars for his massive graft and corruption.
  • 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...
  • Mehrsa
    First of all, the author makes this clear at the end, but not nearly clear enough: This is not a story about some random Malaysian conman--it's a story about Goldman sacks and hollywood and the Saudis and how greed allowed someone to lie and cheat his way to partying with Leonardo DiCaprio and Paris Hilton. Everyone can be bought. That's the moral of the story. There was some hyperbole here on the financial crime. Though Wright tries several time...
  • 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.
  • Scott Hitchcock
    Epic avarice on a global level. If you don't think the financial markets are rigged for the rich in corruption that spans continents you need to read this. The tie-ins to Hollywood and American pop culture gives a new perspective to just how rich these people are and how their greed knows no bounds and their consciences are nonexistant.
  • Athan Tolis
    The Wall Street Journal seems to be doing something right, Rupert Murdoch ownership notwithstanding, because for the second time in 2018 I find myself reading a truly amazing book that’s based on investigative work done by its correspondents.Not only that, but it can be said with some certainty that in both instances (Elizabeth Holmes’ pseudo-science in “Bad Blood” and Jho Low’s / Najib Razhak’s stolen billions in “Billion Dollar Wh...
  • 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.
  • Murtaza
    This book was an absolutely infuriating glimpse at the unhinged excesses of the global elite, through the prism of 1MDB (1 Malaysia Development Bank) a sovereign wealth fund that became the vehicle for the biggest criminal enterprise on the planet. Jho Low, a young Chinese-Malaysian Wharton graduate managed to get control of billions of dollars of dollars by manipulating his relationships with his elite school contacts and Malaysia's corrupt form...
  • Zak
    A riveting read which culminates (forgivably) in a little sense of schadenfreude. Details of the myriad financial transactions and corporate structures concocted to pull off the heist seem credible. As to the non-curricular activities revealed with much gusto in the book, I have no way of verifying their accuracy. The disappointing part about this book is, towards the end, the authors seem to attempt to inject more sensationalism into their story...
  • 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.
  • 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 ...
  • Julian Lees
    The greed....oh the greed!
  • 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...
  • Lisa
    Recommended after finishing Bad Blood, “maybe even better”. Not even close. This is in need of a good editor. The color of Paris Hilton’s nail polish or Leonardo’s ball cap add absolutely nothing to the very complicated story. I had to power through it to finish.I've seen several reviews saying that because this was written by journalists the story was poorly told. Being a journalist does not excuse poor writing or editing; Bad Blood is a...
  • Nicky Lim
    Even after reading, I can't fully wrap my head around the whole scandal. If anything, this book reveals that there are unscrupulous people out there and you might meet these kind of people in your course of life. It is important to hold on to your morals and do good work, even if the temptation of money presents itself.
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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.”
  • Nilesh
    Billion Dollar Whale shines because of the authors' ability to narrate a story. And, therein might lie some rubs too.BDW is almost a movie script. The book is exceptionally well-written. Its focus on the main topic is exemplary. The authors do not digress to loosely-associated other stories, which are a feature of real-life. The focus is on Jho Low and some of the powerful people close to him. The discussion is almost completely about their crime...
  • Akmal A.
    Billion Dollar WhaleKes 1MDB ini kalau kita fikirkan dalam-dalam taklah muncul begitu je. Bukan disebabkan Jho Low atau Najib Razak atau Rosmah semata walaupun mereka adalah peran utama dalam skandal ini, tapi ianya disebabkan telah lamanya iklim rasuah wujud dalam pentadbiran dari peringkat atas sehinggalah peringkat bawah. Rasuah kalau kita faham bukan habis setakat hulur duit bawah meja sahaja, rasuah ini wujud sehingga ke institusi pendidikan...
  • 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 ...
  • Mbogo J
    The corrupting effect of money should never be underestimated, it has been wrecking havoc since we invented the concept of the money, and this book chronicles one story from this rich vein. The title having sold the contents well, I particularly liked Tom Wright's style of writing. It is written in a kind of thriller way and before you know it, you've burned through 200 pages in a few hours. I had initially intended to read this book a bit later ...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • Fikri
    Fascinating and infuriating. Like everyone else I’ve been catching bits and pieces of the 1MDB saga over the years, but reading this book is way better than piecing it together yourself via the news. I don’t think I’d fully appreciated the sheer scale and audacity of the scheme till now.The authors are WSJ reporters and it shows. The writing is clear and easy to follow, though nothing particularly memorable — the narrative propels forward...