The World for Sale: Money, Power, and the Traders Who Barter the Earth's Resources

Javier Blas (Author) Jack Farchy (Author)

Product Details

$29.95  $27.55
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
March 01, 2021
6.5 X 9.4 X 1.4 inches | 1.68 pounds

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About the Author

Javier Blas and Jack Farchy are two of the best-known journalists covering energy, commodities and trading houses. Today, they both work for Bloomberg News, where Blas is Chief Energy Correspondent and Farchy is a Senior Reporter covering natural resources. Working together both at the Financial Times and now at Bloomberg, they've interviewed most of the key figures in the commodity trading industry, in many cases the first interviews the traders had ever given. They have an extensive network of contacts among executives, financiers, investors, government officials and civil society. They founded the FT Global Commodities Summit, an annual conference which has become established as the pre-eminent gathering of the industry. This is their first book.


"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. --iSunday Timesr

"The commodity-traders who feature in iThe World For Saler are not the kind who yell orders at each other in the ring of the London Metal Exchange, [but instead] the small band of mostly private companies that move bulk commodities from there to here. It is a fascinating and revealing story, largely because of where "there" is: usually a place where many people would prefer not to do business, run by characters they would prefer not to do it with. A handful of swashbucklers became billionaires by overcoming such qualms... 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... The seeds of a sequel to this gripping book lie somewhere here." --iThe Economistr

"Javier Blas and Jack Farchy probe the hard-knuckle and secretive world of commodity trading." --bWhat to Read in 2021r, iFinancial Timesr

"Blas and Farchy compellingly lay out how a handful of secretive traders have had a hand in directing not only the world's commodities, but also its politics and history. iThe World For Saler draws back the covers on a sector where civil wars, dubious regimes and the collapse of states have often been just another business opportunity -- and what that has meant for the rest of us. Intriguing and, at times, alarming." --bHelen Thomasr, Business Editor, iBBC Newsnightr

"A colorful and alarming exposοΏ½ of the shadowy world of global commodity trading... Hair-raising anecdotes... An engrossing look at an obscure yet consequential corner of the financial world." --iPublishers Weeklyr

"A virtuoso depiction of the globe's top oil, food and metals traders... Javier Blas and Jack Farchy should be awaiting the call from Hollywood. iThe World For Saler contains at least half a dozen narrative threads that would form the basis of a good thriller. But the authors' main achievement is to subject the biggest commodity players, and their impact on the real world, to proper critical scrutiny... The depth of the reporting by the iBloombergr journalists, who previously worked for the iFinancial Timesr, is impressive... Fascinating." --iReutersr

"Some of the stories beggar belief... A fascinating story, it's just incredible some of the routes that the money takes." --bLawrence Pollardr, iBBC Newsdayr

"Could there be a better moment for Javier Blas and Jack Farchy's rollicking new account of [commodity] markets' recent history to land on investors' desks? ...This 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. The World For Sale opens with the private jet of [the late chief executive of Vitol] making corkscrew turns into Benghazi airport in 2011 so he can dodge hostile missiles and strike a deal to supply the rebel forces with oil in the middle of the Libyan civil war. That turns out to be one of the more conventional deals that pepper the narrative... Educational and entertaining..." --bFelix Martinr, iFinancial Timesr

"If you have the slightest interest in how the modern world was made, by whom, at what price, and at what profit, this is the book for you... Superbly researched and tidily written... A clean, compelling chronicle of the central role that commodity traders have played in the global economy from the end of World War II to the present. What they found isn't pretty -- but it's plenty illuminating. --iForeign Policyr

"A highly readable study in world economics and a valuable primer for would-be oil barons." --iKirkusr

"Blas and Farchy shine light on what's long been the financial market's darkest corner the crucial, yet underappreciated, role commodity traders play in global finance and geopolitics. The characters are fascinating and their impact cannot be understated. iThe World For Saler is a fascinating, eye-opening read." --bGregory Zuckermanr, iNew York Timesr-bestselling author of iThe Man Who Solved the Marketr

"Javier Blas and Jack Farchy deftly peel back the curtain on the amoral swashbucklers of capitalism who trade in commodities natural resources like oil, coal and aluminium. iThe World For Saler is a gripping account of how they achieved their stranglehold over the world economy, and their troubling influence on global politics to this day." --bBrad Stoner, iNew York Timesr-bestselling author of iThe Everything Storer

"iThe World For Saler is the definitive, eye-opening story of the most powerful and secretive traders in the world. These commodity traders, including all manner of cutthroats, eccentrics and amoral corruptors, play a major role in the global economy one that few people understand. Javier Blas and Jack Farchy illuminate it perfectly, helped by their decades of experience covering the beat from the ground up." --bBradley Hoper, iNew York Timesr-bestselling author of iBillion Dollar Whaler