The Spider Network

  • by David Enrich
  • Narrated by Mike Chamberlain
  • 15 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.
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 the interest rates on trillions in loans worldwide - was set daily by a small group of easily manipulated functionaries, and that they could reap huge profits by nudging it to suit their trading portfolios. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled mathematician, became the lynchpin of a wild alliance that among others included 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; a broker known as "Village" (short for "Village Idiot") and fascinated with human-animal sex; 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.
The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam, but a provocative examination of a financial system that was crooked throughout, designed to promote envelope-pushing behavior while shielding higher-ups from the consequences of their subordinates' rapacious actions.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent Expose on a Scam and its Naive Ringleader

Anyone involved in finance is aware of the LIBOR rigging scam. It made headlines for quite a while, and was a perfect example of the corruption that goes on in the Derivatives Market. Manipulating a benchmark such as the LIBOR allows traders in derivatives to make millions very easily.

This story is about that rigging, but more importantly, about one of the people involved who was made a scapegoat for the corruption of his colleagues and the industry in general. These colleagues and even his superiors at the different banks he worked for were not only complicit, but in many cases encouraged or even requested the behavior.

An engaging and very enjoyable book, with an equally stellar performance on the audio. Will be of interest to anyone in the financial professions, as well as those interested in white collar crime.
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- Andres Pedraza

Emotional, sad but true mirror of humanity

This story begins slow then turns into a gripping tale that makes a movie like the Big Short seem more like the Little Short.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-21-2017
  • Publisher: HarperAudio