The Asylum: Inside the Rise and Ruin of the Global Oil Market

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9780061766282: The Asylum: Inside the Rise and Ruin of the Global Oil Market

The Asylum is a stunning exposé by a seasoned Wall Street journalist that once and for all reveals the truth behind America’s oil addiction in all its unscripted and dysfunctional glory.

In the tradition of Too Big to Fail and Liar’s Poker, author Leah McGrath Goodman tells the amazing-but-true story of a band of struggling, hardscrabble traders who, after enduring decades of scorn from New York’s stuffy financial establishment, overcame more than a century of failure, infighting, and brinksmanship to build the world’s reigning oil empire—entirely by accident.

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From the Back Cover:

For the first time, hear the story of the rise and ruin of the global oil market— in the words of the oil traders who built it.

Meet the self-anointed kings of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the place where global oil prices are set to this day. In some ways, they are everything you would expect them to be: a secretive, members-only club of men and women who live lavish lifestyles; cavort with politicians, strippers, and celebrities; and blissfully jack up oil prices while profiting off the misery of the working class.

In other ways, they are nothing you can imagine: many come from working-class families themselves, the progeny of Jewish, Irish, and Italian immigrants who escaped war-torn Europe to claw their way to the top.

Led by the reluctant son of a produce merchant, the rough-and-tumble traders of Nymex usurped the power of Big Oil in the 1980s to create an even bigger and more dangerous colossus—an all-too-human experiment in how raw ambition and the endless quest for wealth can change the very nature of both man and market.

Part oral history and part exposé, The Asylum ventures deep into the belly of the beast, revealing how the unchecked and incestuous relationships between Washington and Wall Street paved the way for an era of $100 oil. From the grand alliances to the outrageous fortunes that have repeatedly brought the economy to the brink, this is one real-life story both Washington and Wall Street don't want you to read.

About the Author:

An award-winning investigative journalist, Leah McGrath Goodman has written for Forbes, Fortune, Financial Times, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, and Barron's in New York and London. A member of The London Speaker Bureau and writer-at-large for Institutional Investor, she splits her time between New York, the U.K., and her home in Brattleboro, Vermont, where she is a contributor for The Commons.

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