Billion Dollar Whale (Hardcover)

The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World

By Tom Wright, Bradley Hope

Hachette Books, 9780316436502, 400pp.

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

List Price: 28.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Named a Best Book of 2018 by the Financial Times and Fortune, this New York Times bestseller about the 1MDB scandal exposes how a "modern Gatsby" swindled over $5 billion with the aid of Goldman Sachs in "the heist of the century" (Axios).

In 2009, with the dust yet to settle on the financial crisis, a mild-mannered Wharton grad set in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude--one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system. The scandal is known as 1MDB, and the man behind it, Jho Low, is a figure so preposterous he might seem made up.

"An epic tale of white-collar crime on a global scale" (Publishers Weekly, starred review), Billion Dollar Whale reveals how this young social climber pulled off one of the biggest heists in history. Over a half decade, Low siphoned billions from an investment fund--right under the nose of the global financial industry. Low used the money to finance elections, purchase luxury real estate, throw champagne-drenched parties, and even to finance Hollywood films like The Wolf of Wall Street.

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. With his yacht and private jet reportedly seized by authorities and facing money-laundering charges in Malaysia, an Interpol red notice, and an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice Investigation, Low has become an international fugitive.

Billion Dollar Whale will join the ranks of Liar's Poker, Den of Thieves, and Bad Blood as a classic harrowing parable of the financial world, hubris, and greed.

About the Author

Tom Wright was one of the first journalists to arrive at the scene of the raid in which Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden. In 2013, he spearheaded coverage of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh, which killed over 1,000 people, earning the Wall Street Journal a Sigma Delta Chi award from The Society of Professional Journalists. He is a Pulitzer finalist, a Loeb winner, and has garnered numerous awards from the Society of Publishers in Asia, which in 2016 named him "Journalist of the Year." He speaks English, Malay, French and Italian.

Bradley Hope has worked for the Wall Street Journal for the last four years, covering finance and malfeasance from New York City and London. Before that, he spent six years as a correspondent in the Middle East, where he covered the Arab Spring uprisings from Cairo, Tripoli, Tunis, and Beirut. He was detained by authorities in Bahrain, reported from the front lines of the Libyan civil war, and has been teargassed in raucous Egyptian protests. Bradley is a Pulitzer finalist and a Loeb winner, and also author of Last Days of the Pharaoh, a chronicle of the final days and hours of the presidency of Hosni Mubarak.

Praise For Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World

A Financial Times Best Book of 2018

A Fortune magazine Best Book of 2018

"What a blast to
read! A true life thriller that reads like a Hollywood movie, Billion Dollar
traces the exploits of the most mercurial, mysterious big player in
history. Jho Low is Gatsby with twice the bank
account and ten times the ambition, and the stories surrounding his
exploits leap right off the page!"—Ben Mezrich, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down The House

"If you like global intrigue, financial crime, wealth
porn, and absurdity, Billion Dollar Whale, by Tom Wright and Bradley
Hope, is for you.... It almost seems made up. Still, anyone who has followed the
news out of Malaysia will know that the story is all too real."—The New Yorker

"Wright and Hope
deliver a scintillating and prodigiously reported tale of a globe-spanning
modern Gatsby and his audacious fraud."—Jesse Eisinger, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for ProPublica and author of The Chickenshit Club

"This story of a Wharton graduate who carried out the
$5 billion swindle known as 1MDB offers a textbook case of financial fraud in
the modern age."—New York Times

"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 bestselling author of Black Edge

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

"An amazing tale of greed.... juicy and
entertaining."—Library Journal (starred review)

"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)

"Well-researched and well-documented.... Reveals
how Low used a bag of tricks, including financial fraud, to make himself seem
more powerful, more influential, and more successful than he actually was... This
is a must-read."—Booklist

"An extraordinary tale.... richly woven...[with] dogged
reporting.... Like all good business stories, Billion Dollar Whale is
bigger than the immediate one it tells. It is a story of emerging markets
crippled by corruption and cronyism and comes from the era of egregious--and
mostly punishment-free--banking.... One thing is clear. If ever Hollywood gets
round to telling the story on screen, here is perfect material for the script."—Financial Times

"Gripping.... The heist of the century."—Axios

one chubby Malaysian business school graduate. Mix with Middle Eastern sheikhs
and greedy Southeast Asian politicians. Add Wall Street investment banks, law
firms and Swiss wealth managers. Then mix in superyachts, five-star hotels,
luxury apartments, nightclubs, models, A-list movie stars--and bathtubs of
champagne... [This] richly reported page-turner is meticulously pieced together
from interviews, documents and emails by Wall Street Journal reporters
Tom Wright and Bradley Hope."—Peter Thal Larsen, Reuters

"Compelling."—Minneapolis Star Tribune

"A wonderful book... A rip-roaring, absolutely
delightful account of one of the biggest financial cons in the history of the
world.... If you liked Bad Blood, you might well enjoy Billion Dollar
... An incredible story of a con artist at the height of his game."—David Plotz, Slate "Political Gabfest"