Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy
The Secret World of Corporate Espionage
By Eamon Javers
(HarperBusiness, Hardcover, 9780061697203, 320pp.)
Publication Date: February 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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In this penetrating work of investigative and historical journalism, Eamon Javers explores the dangerous and combustible power spies hold over international business.
Today's global economy has a dark underbelly: the world of corporate espionage. Using cutting-edge technology, age-old techniques of deceit and manipulation, and sheer talent, spies act as the hidden puppeteers of globalized businesses. They control markets, determine prices, influence corporate decisions, and manage the flow of data and information of some of the world's biggest corporations. In his gripping and alarming book, Eamon Javers takes the reader inside this hidden global industry. Readers meet the spies who conduct surveillance operations, satellite analysts who peer down on corporate targets from the skies, veteran CIA officers who work for hedge funds, and even a Soviet military intelligence officer who now sells his services to American companies.
This industry has tentacles in almost every industry in almost every corner of the globe. Intelligence companies and the spies they employ are setting up fake Web sites to elicit information, trailing individuals and mirroring travel itiner-aries, Dumpster-diving in household and corporate trash, using ultrasophisticated satellite surveillance to spy on facilities, acting as impostors to take jobs within companies or to gain access to corporations, concocting elaborate schemes of fraud and deceit, and hacking e-mail and secure computer networks. The work of this industry can be ingenious, but it also raises crucial moral and legal questions in a world where global conflicts are as likely to be corporation versus corporation as they are to be nation versus nation.
This globalized industry is not a recent phenomenon, but rather a continuation of a fascinating history. The story begins with Allan Pinkerton, the nation's first true "private eye," and extends through the annals of a rich history that includes tycoons and playboys, presidents and FBI operatives, CEOs and accountants, Cold War veterans and military personnel. Built on exclusive reporting and unprecedented access, this book features accounts of Howard Hughes's private CIA, the extensive spying that took place in a battle between two global food companies, and interviews with some of the world's top corporate surveillance experts.
A Washington reporter for CNBC, Eamon Javers was previously a correspondent for Politico and a Washington correspondent for BusinessWeek. The recipient of an award from the Medill School of Journalism for his investigative reporting, Javers has appeared on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife and two children.
“Eamon Javers has produced a remarkable book about the secret world of business warfare—a world filled with corporate spies and covert ops and skullduggery. This is an important book that has the added pleasure of reading like a spy novel.”
-David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z
“Eamon Javers is one of Washington’s best reporters. In Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy, he has told a wonderfully readable tale with great characters and high stakes, and the dubious practices by corporations and intelligence agents he exposes are going to ignite an important public debate.”
-John F. Harris, author of The Survivor
“If only the mainstream press would follow Eamon Javers’ lead and expose the powerful saboteurs and predators of the corporate underworld, this would be a different country. But it’s not too late. Read this book and roll up your sleeves.”
“Turns out there are far more cloaks and quite a few more daggers in this country than most of us realized. That’s one of the many lessons of this terrific book. Eamon Javers is as talented a writer as he is a reporter. What a great read.”
“This is a must-read, excellent book.”
“From early wiretaps to the use of satellites, the author expertly explains how spies help clients sabotage corporate competitors or buy and sell stocks based on expected fluctuations in the price of corn.”
-John Stewart, The Daily Show