Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage

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Overview

In this penetrating work of investigative and historical journalism, Eamon Javers explores the dangerous and combustible power spies hold over international business.

Today's global economy has a dark underbelly: the world of corporate espionage. Using cutting-edge technology, age-old techniques of deceit and manipulation, and sheer talent, spies act as the hidden puppeteers of globalized businesses. They control markets, determine prices, influence corporate decisions, and ...

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Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage

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Overview

In this penetrating work of investigative and historical journalism, Eamon Javers explores the dangerous and combustible power spies hold over international business.

Today's global economy has a dark underbelly: the world of corporate espionage. Using cutting-edge technology, age-old techniques of deceit and manipulation, and sheer talent, spies act as the hidden puppeteers of globalized businesses. They control markets, determine prices, influence corporate decisions, and manage the flow of data and information of some of the world's biggest corporations. In his gripping and alarming book, Eamon Javers takes the reader inside this hidden global industry. Readers meet the spies who conduct surveillance operations, satellite analysts who peer down on corporate targets from the skies, veteran CIA officers who work for hedge funds, and even a Soviet military intelligence officer who now sells his services to American companies.

This industry has tentacles in almost every industry in almost every corner of the globe. Intelligence companies and the spies they employ are setting up fake Web sites to elicit information, trailing individuals and mirroring travel itineraries, Dumpster-diving in household and corporate trash, using ultrasophisticated satellite surveillance to spy on facilities, acting as impostors to take jobs within companies or to gain access to corporations, concocting elaborate schemes of fraud and deceit, and hacking e-mail and secure computer networks. The work of this industry can be ingenious, but it also raises crucial moral and legal questions in a world where global conflicts are as likely to be corporation versus corporation as they are to be nation versus nation.

This globalized industry is not a recent phenomenon, but rather a continuation of a fascinating history. The story begins with Allan Pinkerton, the nation's first true "private eye," and extends through the annals of a rich history that includes tycoons and playboys, presidents and FBI operatives, CEOs and accountants, Cold War veterans and military personnel. Built on exclusive reporting and unprecedented access, this book features accounts of Howard Hughes's private CIA, the extensive spying that took place in a battle between two global food companies, and interviews with some of the world's top corporate surveillance experts.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“This is a must-read, excellent book.”
Publishers Weekly
The tools and tricks once used in the name of geopolitics have increasingly been applied to the private sector, according to this engaging overview of the rise of corporate espionage. With the end of the Cold War, spies on both sides of the Iron Curtain discovered there was money to be made renting out their skills to clients in such fields as pharmaceuticals, banking, and agriculture. Although the historical sections can drag in places, the book gathers steam every time Javers turns his focus to the technologies that have moved the field forward. From early wiretaps to the use of satellites, the author expertly explains how spies help clients sabotage corporate competitors or buy and sell stocks based on expected fluctuations in the price of corn. Generally more interested in strategy and gadgets than the ethical components of spying, the book flirts with painting a romantic picture of the profession before noting the less-than-glamorous occupations of corporate spies, including participating in the battle for supremacy in the pet food market.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Booklist
“This is a must-read, excellent book.”
David Grann
“Eamon Javers has produced a remarkable book about the secret world of business warfare—a world filled with corporate spies and covert ops and skullduggery. This is an important book that has the added pleasure of reading like a spy novel.”
John F. Harris
“Eamon Javers is one of Washington’s best reporters. In Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy, he has told a wonderfully readable tale with great characters and high stakes, and the dubious practices by corporations and intelligence agents he exposes are going to ignite an important public debate.”
Bill Moyers
“If only the mainstream press would follow Eamon Javers’ lead and expose the powerful saboteurs and predators of the corporate underworld, this would be a different country. But it’s not too late. Read this book and roll up your sleeves.”
Tucker Carlson
“Turns out there are far more cloaks and quite a few more daggers in this country than most of us realized. That’s one of the many lessons of this terrific book. Eamon Javers is as talented a writer as he is a reporter. What a great read.”
John Stewart
“Stunning, revelatory.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061697203
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/9/2010
  • Pages: 306
  • Sales rank: 812,316
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Eamon Javers is a correspondent for Politico, where he covers the Obama White House and the economy. Earlier in his career he was a Washington correspondent for Business Week magazine and an on-air correspondent for CNBC. In 2006 he received an investigative reporting award from the Medill School of Journalism for a story exposing how convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff had secretly paid columnists to write favorable stories about his clients. Javers appears frequently on CNN, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, CNBC, and the BBC. He is a graduate of Colgate University and lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife, Maureen, and two children.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Code Name: Yucca 1

Pt. I From Bogus Island to Deep Chocolate

Ch. 2 A High and Honorable Calling 31

Ch. 3 For the Money 61

Ch. 4 The Man Is Gone 85

Ch. 5 Thug Busters 115

Ch. 6 The Chocolate War 137

Pt. II Techniques, Technologies, and Talent

Ch. 7 Tactical Behavior Assessment 173

Ch. 8 The Eddie Murphy Strategy 201

Ch. 9 Nick No-Name 221

Ch. 10 They're All Kind of Crazy 243

Ch. 11 Is This a Great Country, or What? 253

Epilogue In from the Cold 281

Acknowledgments 287

Notes 289

Index 295

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 7, 2014

    A good expose that every investor should read to know something about what goes on behind corporate closed doors.

    The magnitude of the private intelligence and espionage is not really known to the general public. It is an industry where "knowledge" translates into millions of dollars for those involved in it, on both sides of the agreements and contracts.

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  • Posted December 4, 2010

    very informative

    The story telling and narratives are very informative

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  • Posted June 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Inside look at corporate spying

    Your competitors might be rummaging through your trash, eavesdropping on your conversations or studying satellite images of your properties. Corporate espionage is more common than you might imagine, writes journalist Eamon Javers in this intriguing study of commercial spying. He offers an impressively thorough study of its past and present, and he doesn't shy away from the thorny issues this sort of activity raises. Javers' use of court documents and his interviews with industry players create a well-rounded look at this little-noticed corner of capitalism. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone who enjoys a good spy story as well as to users and targets of corporate espionage. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you.

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