A small clique of bankers and corporations wield such power that they can force up the price of your drink can or your tank of petrol by cornering the market in essential commodities such as aluminium or oil. Kelly takes us inside this secretive inner circle to expose how these men (yes they are nearly all men) work hard, play hard, and bet millions every day on a blend of facts, analysis, and pure gut instinct. And it's even more shocking than you think.
Commodity players are a shrewd andindomitable lot. And the contracts theytrade are still so loosely regulated that thecorrect combination of money and skillcreates irresistible opportunity. That s whyI m only half joking when I call them thesecret club that runs the world. When most people think of the drama of globalfinance, they think of stocks and bonds, venturecapital, high-tech IPOs, and complex mortgagebackedsecurities. But commodities? Crude oil andsoybeans? Copper and wheat? What could be moreboring? That s exactly what the elite commodity traderswant you to think. They don t seek the mediaspotlight. They don t want to be as famous asWarren Buffett or Bill Gross. Their astonishingwealth was created in near-total obscurity, becausethey dwelled either in closely held private companiesor deep within large banks and corporations, where commodity profits and losses weren tbroken out. But if the individual participants in the greatcommodities boom of the 2000s went unnoticed, their impact did not. Over several years the sizeof the market exploded, and so did prices for rawmaterials raising serious questions about whetherthe big traders were intentionally jacking up thecost of gasoline, food, and other essentials boughtby ordinary people around the world. What wasreally driving all those price spikes? Now Kate Kelly, the bestselling author of"Street Fighters," takes us inside this secretive innercircle that controls so many things we all dependon. She gets closer than any previous reporter tounderstanding these whip-smart, aggressive, andoften egomaniacal men (yes, they are nearly allmen). They work hard, play hard, flaunt theirwealth, and bet millions every day on a blend offacts, analysis, and pure gut instinct. Kelly s narrative focuses on one of the mostextraordinary periods in financial history. Thoughthe practice of gaming out price changes in commoditiesgoes back to ancient Mesopotamia, it hadnever before reached the extremes of the early tomid-2000s. Kelly exposes the role of the hedgefunds, banks, brokers, and regulators in this volatilemarket, through fascinating stories of secretclub members such as . . .Pierre Andurand, a self-made multimillionairewho generated the winningest annual performanceever for an oil trader in 2008 and hiredElton John to perform at his wedding.Ivan Glasenberg, whose secretive Swiss commoditiesgiant, Glencore, founded by the infamousAmerican fugitive Marc Rich, orchestrateda massive merger with the help of former UKprime minister Tony Blair.Jon Ruggles, a brash know-it-all recruitedby Delta Air Lines to revitalize the airline s fuel hedgingbusiness, he continued to make tradesin his personal account, a questionable practicegiven his position. Drawing on her exclusive access to the secret club, and following the trail from New York to Houston, London, Dubai, and beyond, Kelly reveals theimmense power in the hands of a few, and theso-far contentious efforts by the Obama administrationto rein in the cowboys."