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. The paperback edition includes a new chapter discussing further fallout from the scandal. 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 interest rates on trillions in loans worldwide--was set daily by a small group of easily manipulated functionaries. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled mathematician, became the lynchpin of shadowy team that used hook and crook to take over the process and set rates that made them a fortune, no matter the cost to others. Among the motley crew was 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; 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. Praised as reading like a fast-paced John le Carr' thriller ( New York Times ), compelling ( Washington Post ) and jaw-dropping ( Financial Times ), The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam, but a provocative examination of a financial system that was warped and shady throughout.
From the Back Cover
SHORT-LISTED FOR THE FINANCIAL TIMES BEST BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR In 2006, an oddball group of bankers and traders made a startling realization: with some sly underhandedness, voluminous quantities of booze and strippers, the incompetence of authorities, and the eager support of an eccentric math genius, they could manipulate interest rates to their advantage. David Enrich's page-turning account of their escapades--and the staggering costs to those who fell guilty to their rapacious operation--is not only a rollicking saga of greed and complicity, but a disturbing look inside a world where crookedness is often par for the course.