Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia

Overview


Hong Kong and Southeast Asia are home to five hundred million people, yet their economies are dominated by only fifty families whose interests range from banking to real estate, shipping to sugar, gambling to lumber. At their peak, eight of the world’s two dozen richest men were Southeast Asian, but their names would not be familiar to most regular readers of The Wall Street Journal. A complex mythology surrounds these billionaires, but in Asian Godfathers, Joe Studwell finds that the facts are even more ...
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Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia

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Overview


Hong Kong and Southeast Asia are home to five hundred million people, yet their economies are dominated by only fifty families whose interests range from banking to real estate, shipping to sugar, gambling to lumber. At their peak, eight of the world’s two dozen richest men were Southeast Asian, but their names would not be familiar to most regular readers of The Wall Street Journal. A complex mythology surrounds these billionaires, but in Asian Godfathers, Joe Studwell finds that the facts are even more remarkable than the myths. Studwell has spent fifteen years as a reporter in the region, and he marshals his unprecedented sources to paint intimate and revealing portraits of the men who control Southeast Asia. Studwell also provides us with a rich and deep understanding of the broader historic, economic, and political influences that have shaped Southeast Asia over the past 150 years. Asian Godfathers is a riveting and illuminating book that lifts the curtain on a world of staggering secrecy and hypocrisy, and reveals—for the first time—who the leaders of one of the planet’s most important and tumultuous markets really are, why they got to the top, and how they keep themselves there.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802143914
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 990,084
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents


Maps     viii
Introduction     xi
Author's note     xxvii
Godfathers of yore
The context     1
How to be a post-war godfather
How to be a godfather, #1: Get in character     43
How to be a godfather, #2: Core cash flow     65
How to be a godfather, #3: Structuring an organisation - chief slaves and gweilo running dogs     83
How to be a godfather, #4: Banks, piggy banks and the joy of capital markets     94
Godfathers today: Defending the precious
The 1990s: Ecstasy and reckoning     125
Finale: The politics, stupid     175
Notes     199
Cast of characters     241
Selected bibliography     290
Appendix     299
Acknowledgements     302
Index     304
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