In this fascinating and frequently alarming exposé, Blas and Farchy put a group of billionaire commodity traders and their disturbing influence on global politics under much called-for critical scrutiny.
Shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2021
Meet the traders who supply the world with oil, metal and food - no matter how corrupt, war-torn or famine-stricken the source.
The modern world is built on commodities - from the oil that fuels our cars to the metals that power our smartphones.
We rarely stop to consider where they come from. But we should.
In The World for Sale, two leading journalists lift the lid on one of the least scrutinised corners of the economy: the workings of the billionaire commodity traders who buy, hoard and sell the earth's resources.
It is the story of how a handful of swashbuckling businessmen became indispensable cogs in global markets: enabling an enormous expansion in international trade, and connecting resource-rich countries - no matter how corrupt or war-torn - with the world's financial centres.
And it is the story of how some traders acquired untold political power, right under the noses of Western regulators and politicians - helping Saddam Hussein to sell his oil, fuelling the Libyan rebel army during the Arab Spring, and funnelling cash to Vladimir Putin's Kremlin in spite of strict sanctions.
The result is an eye-opening tour through the wildest frontiers of the global economy, as well as a revelatory guide to how capitalism really works.
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 648 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 37 mm
'This jaw-dropping study shows how much money and global influence is concentrated in the hands of a tiny group ... A remarkable book ... As the authors roam from oilfield to wheatfield, they reveal information so staggering you almost gasp ... The colour is fantastic ... Tracking down some of the biggest names in the business to their German castles and stud farms and persuading them to talk is a rare scoop.' - The Sunday Times
'A fascinating and revealing story ... There are tales in the book of breathtaking trades, such as shipments of rebel oil from war-torn Libya or deals bartered amid the brutal "aluminium wars" in the Russia of the 1990s ... A gripping book.' - The Economist
'A globe-spanning corporate thriller, full of intrigue and double dealing ... Changes how we see the world, often in horrifying ways ... The book weaves together years of reporting experience in the field with access to many of the key figures in an industry dominated by huge characters ... New insights and reporting mean that even seasoned observers will be amazed.' - James Ball, The Spectator
'Could there be a better moment for Javier Blas and Jack Farchy's rollicking new account of those markets' recent history to land on investors' desks? ... A rich archive of ripping yarns ... The high level narrative is gripping enough. But it is the details of what these freewheeling companies actually got up to that give the book a thriller-like quality ... Educational and entertaining.' - The Financial Times
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