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Octopus The Secret Market, and the World's Wildest Con by Guy Lawson

Octopus The Secret Market, and the World's Wildest Con

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Octopus The Secret Market, and the World's Wildest Con by Guy Lawson

Octopus is a real-life thriller that tells the inside story of a GBP300 million hedge fund fraud and the wild-goose chase through Europe by its drug-fuelled manager for a lucrative secret market beneath the financial market we all know. Sam Israel was a man who seemed to have it all. Born into one of the world's richest families, he founded his own hedge fund, promising his investors guaranteed profits. But, after suffering devastating losses and faking tax returns, Israel knew his real performance would soon be discovered. So when a former CIA-operative turned conman told him about a secret market run by the Federal Reserve, Israel bet his last $150 million of other people's money on a chance to make it all back. So began his crazy year-long adventure in a world populated by clandestine bankers, conspiracy theories, and gun-toting spooks issuing cryptic warnings about a mysterious cabal known only as the Octopus.


Extraordinary - A hell of a story. Sunday Times

The most rollicking, trippy yarn to emerge from the 2008 financial collapse so far. Financial Times

Lawson [has] found gold - This is a fantastic story, in both senses of the word, with a freshness that recalls Liar's Poker. New York Times

Brings to life one of the most colorful, and often engaging, con men of this or any other century - an entertaining, well-told tale. Washington Times

Riveting - sometimes genius and often sickening - Mind-boggling. Andrew Ross Sorkin - bestselling author of Too Big to Fail

Absolutely irresistible. It's a hell of a book. Sebastian Junger - author of War

Fascinating. Truth is not only stranger than fiction, it is more brutal, adrenaline-charged, and dangerous. Sam Israel makes Gordon Gecko and Madoff look like provincial bank managers. Cameron Addicott - author of The Interceptor: The Inside Story of the Ultra-Secret Unit that Hunted Down Britain's Deadliest Drug Lords

A fantastic story that delivers shocking insights into the greed and corruption at the heart of the financial system. Geraint Anderson - author of Cityboy: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile

One of the best crime books I've read. Really enjoyable - it made me glad that I haven't got a pension. Graham Johnson - author of The Devil: Britain's Most Feared Underworld Taxman and other true crime bestsellers

About the Author

Guy Lawson is a true-crime journalist who has written for the Observer, GQ, Rolling Stone and the New York Times. His Rolling Stone piece Arms and the Dudes is currently shooting with Warner Brothers. For Octopus he interviewed Sam Israel in prison for three years and travelled extensively through London, Berlin, Washington, and New York to corroborate Israel's story. The book is currently in a bidding war to be optioned for a Hollywood movie.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th June 2013


Guy Lawson

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Oneworld Publications


368 pages


True crime



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