The Asylum: The Renegades Who Hijacked the World's Oil Market

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Overview

They were a band of outsiders unable to get jobs with New York's gilded financial establishment. They would go on to corner the world's multitrillion-dollar oil market, reaping unimaginable riches while bringing the economy to its knees.

Meet the self-anointed kings of the New York Mercantile Exchange. 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 ...

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The Asylum: The Renegades Who Hijacked the World's Oil Market

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Overview

They were a band of outsiders unable to get jobs with New York's gilded financial establishment. They would go on to corner the world's multitrillion-dollar oil market, reaping unimaginable riches while bringing the economy to its knees.

Meet the self-anointed kings of the New York Mercantile Exchange. 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 jacked up oil prices to nearly $150 a barrel 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, they take pride in flagrantly spurning Wall Street.

Under the thumb of an all-powerful international oil cartel, the energy market had long eluded the grasp of America's hungry capitalists. Neither the oil royalty of Houston nor the titans of Wall Street had ever succeeded in fully wresting away control. But facing extinction, the rough-and-tumble traders of Nymex—led by the reluctant son of a produce

merchant—went after this Goliath and won, creating the world's first free oil market and minting billions in the process. Their stunning journey from poverty to prosperity belies the brutal and violent history that is their legacy.

For the first time, The Asylum unmasks the oil market's self-described "inmates" in all their unscripted and dysfunctional glory: the happily married father from Long Island whose lust for money and power was exceeded only by his taste for cruel pranks; the Italian kung fu–fighting gasoline trader whose ferocity in the trading pits earned him countless millions; the cheerful Nazi hunter who traded quietly by day Irish-born femme fatale who outsmarted all but one of the exchange's chairmen—the Hungarian ÉmigrÉ who, try as he might, could do nothing to rein in the oil market's unruly inhabitants.

From the treacherous boardroom schemes to the hookers and blow of the trading pits; from the repeat terrorist attacks and FBI stings to the grand alliances and outrageous fortunes that brought the global economy to the brink, The Asylum ventures deep into the belly of the beast, revealing how raw ambition and the endless quest for wealth can change the very nature of both man and market.

Showcasing seven years of research and hundreds of hours of interviews, Leah McGrath Goodman reveals what really happened behind the scenes as oil prices topped out and what choice the traders ultimately made when forced to choose between their longtime brotherhood and their precious oil monopoly.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062079749
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/15/2011
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

Meet the Author

An award-winning journalist, Leah McGrath Goodman has written for Forbes, the

Wall Street Journal, Barron's, the Financial Times, and the Guardian in New York and London. She currently resides in Boulder, where she is a Ted Scripps fellow at the University of Colorado.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2011

    Completely accurate - in fact a generous portrayal of a very corrupt and incometent group of individuals.

    Beware the folks who claim this book is innacurate..they are the ones seeking to hide the ridiculous reality that was the NYMEX during this period in time.

    Author has superior access and researched the book for many years.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2011

    The Sopranos of Wall Street

    I found Ms.Goodman's book to be an excellent introduction into the world of trading - specifically the NYMEX oil market. As a novice to the Market, I found her book to be appealing and understandable to this layman. Since it is a work of nonfiction with names and situations delineated, the author would be hard pressed to fictionalize any of her story. The Sopranos do indeed exist as Wall Street traders!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2011

    Complete Nonsense

    Seems that the author really wanted to be apart of the world she is condemning in the book. Accounts of activities are severely misconstrued or outright false. The sources the author uses seem to be just as bitter and jealous as the author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2011

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    Posted February 10, 2013

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    Posted March 1, 2011

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    Posted February 19, 2011

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    Posted June 25, 2011

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    Posted October 28, 2011

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    Posted June 12, 2011

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