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Publisher's Summary

The definitive inside account of the 1MDB scandal, "a true life thriller" (Ben Mezrich) about a "modern Gatsby" who managed to swindle over $5 billion with the aid of Goldman Sachs and others - a "must read" (Booklist) "epic tale" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) that exposes the secret nexus of elite wealth, banking, Hollywood, and politics from two award-winning Wall Street Journal reporters.

In 2009, with the dust yet to settle on the financial crisis, a baby-faced, seemingly mild-mannered Wharton grad began setting in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude - one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system. His name is Jho Low, a man whose behavior was so preposterous he might seem made up. 

An epic true tale of hubris and greed, Billion Dollar Whale reveals how this young social climber pulled off one of the biggest heists in history - right under the nose of the global financial industry. Federal agents who helped unravel Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme say the 1MDB affair will become the textbook case of financial fraud in the modern age - and its fallout is already being credited for taking down the prime minister of Malaysia. 

For listeners of Liar's Poker, Den of Thieves, and Bad Blood, Billion Dollar Whale will become a classic, harrowing parable about finance run amok.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Bradley Hope and Tom Wright (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The story of a massive international financial scandal.... As the authors amply prove, the scandal reaches far beyond Low. To succeed, he relied on the naivete, greed, and generally immoral conduct of huge banks as well as corrupt governments." (Kirkus)

"Even the most skilled fiction writer would have trouble conjuring the corrupt and colorful protagonist of Billion Dollar Whale. Bradley Hope and Tom Wright's gripping portrait of Jho Low and his enablers throughout the global financial system will both fascinate and enrage you." (Sheelah Kolhatkar, staff writer at The New Yorker and New York Times best-selling author of Black Edge)

"Wright and Hope transform their investigation of a mind-boggling financial fraud into a nonfiction thriller.... This is an epic tale of white-collar crime on a global scale." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • A lane
  • WINDERMERE, FL, US
  • 10-05-18

Couldn’t stop listening!

I just finished listening to Bad blood and didn’t think this book would come close. It did and may be better. It is just an incredible story. Possibly the greatest heist of all time.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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All too common theft at a colossal level

Excellent book highlighting a great heist of billions of dollars by, corruption, perception, and just outright thievery. The author put a lot of time collating information from investigations, witnesses, and anonymous sources.

What was most interesting was not the scale of the stealing that went, and is still going on, but the celebrity hanger-on-ers, that enjoyed and benefited from the lavish gifts such criminals had to offer. No one wanted to know where the money came from. I would say they probably did but didn’t care.

An all too common occurrence in the modern world where disparity between the haves and have nots correlates with the unethical, and illegal white colour crimes of bankers and most philanthropists. Ironic that the galvanising of the movie The Wolf of Wall-street was partly paid for by the new wolf of Asia. The sad truth of the new superheroes of the 21st century.

No one gets indicted unless they are reckless, and this guy was as reckless as they come. For the rest its business as usual. Interestingly Jho Low “the whale” in hiding is currently trying to cut a deal with the US Gov. where he may keep the Billions he stole from the Malaysian people. As usual the inferred complicity of bankers such as Goldman are only hidden by the Lawyers they put at their defence, where they only have to pay 5 billion + as penalty, to get a no guilty verdict.

Highly recommended book, that will be looked at, in history as just another piece when the whales went nuts, borrowed so much, and have the system crash on them, at the cost of tax payers and future generations.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great story, poor narration and drags on

It is a fascinating story but it seemed to go on and on and I was relieved when it was over. Also, the narrator wasn't very good and mispronounced several words.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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a must read, 90% accurate but...

A must read but for a more accurate depiction of the 1MDB saga, read "The Sarawak Report

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • JR
  • 01-22-19

Would Like To Hear More About The investigation

Hearing about the partying, spending and lavish globe trotting lifestyle got old after a few chapters. It would have been great to hear more about the investigation. And who Jho Low and his inner circle were paying off to keep them from going to prison. Overall a decent book though. What a crazy story!

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Incredible story. Exceptional narration.

Riveting look into the dark corners of the global financial markets and how one man figured out how to mastermind the scam of the century.

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Feeling a little empty after completing the book..

Narrator was great, book was interesting overall. Slightly lengthy but worth the time! May cause confusion due to different people's perspective in different timelines.

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Bold, Brash and Brazen!!

Like all the other books on financial crime I've read, this one did not disappoint.

While I've always enjoyed the depth and breadth of these investigative reports, I'm always left with a sense of anger that the criminals walk away unscathed. Leaving all those with no involvement to carry the burden of their crimes first generations to come.

None the less the Wall Street Journal and their journalists did a stellar job on this piece.

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True crime for the business minded

Interesting story, well done. A lot like Catch Me If You Can. True crime in the finance world with interesting characters.

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Creative thinking

You can't imagine how one can achieve so much money by smooth talking rich people and getting away with it. Til the date anyways. The book has a lot of detail and connections to Hollywood. The story is being pushed out to more viewers so it would be nice if it gets turned into a movie.