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Publisher's Summary

When most people think of the drama of global finance, they think of stocks and bonds, venture capital, high-tech IPOs, and complex mortgage backed securities. But commodities? Crude oil and soybeans? Copper and wheat? What could be more boring?

That’s exactly what the elite commodity traders want you to think. They don’t seek the media spotlight. They don’t want to be as famous as Warren Buffett or Bill Gross. Their astonishing wealth was created in near-total obscurity, because they dwelled either in closely held private companies or deep within large banks and corporations, where commodity profits and losses weren’t broken out.

But if the individual participants in the great commodities boom of the 2000s went unnoticed, their impact did not. Over several years the size of the market exploded, and so did prices for raw materials - raising serious questions about whether the big traders were intentionally jacking up the cost of gasoline, food, and other essentials bought by ordinary people around the world. What was really driving all those price spikes?

Now Kate Kelly, the bestselling author of Street Fighters, takes us inside this secretive inner circle that controls so many things we all depend on. She gets closer than any previous reporter to understanding these whip-smart, aggressive, and often egomaniacal men (yes, they are nearly all men). They work hard, play hard, flaunt their wealth, and bet millions every day on a blend of facts, analysis, and pure gut instinct.

Drawing on her exclusive access to the secret club, and following the trail from New York to Houston, London, Dubai, and beyond, Kelly reveals the immense power in the hands of a few, and the so-far contentious efforts by the Obama administration to rein in the cowboys.

©2014 Katherine Kelly (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with Portfolio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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Author clearly out of their depth

Way too much soft reporting on commodity trading and financial constructs and not enough about Andurand's wedding! What was Elton John's and the Bolshoi's setlist?!

I thought this would be a book about the secret club, but it was about the authors biased opinion on capitalism, traders are evil and regulators are the unsung heroes on the holy quest to vanquish the industry, never mind the gradient minutiae on either side, that would be far too hard and well beyond the scope of this book. The author makes a nefarious link to all commodity traders (some good and bad) to MF Global that directly stole money from client accounts.
This seems like mostly information from WSJ and FT articles sprinkled in with some information from the few people that responded to the author and authors opinion the fill in factual gaps. You can tell who answered questions, those who did not were painted as villains.
Author finds financial concepts hard and just skips over them to get to get back to their protagonists, the regulators.

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Meh... not what i thought

It is good for some who like to see the insider trading. I seek knowledge of how to trade more effectively. overall its a goof book have as it can drive ambition hearing the stories.

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Narrator makes this a tough one

The narrator was terrible. I thought I was listening to the computerized text read program from the internet videos.

Book is pretty interesting though, just wish someone who was capable of portraying some sort of emotion was narrating.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Good

Remarkable how some were making money during what felt like an utter collapse of the U.S. banking industry in 2008.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful