The World for Sale: Money, Power, and the Traders Who Barter the Earth's Resources (Hardcover)
The World for Sale tells the story of the modern-day commodity traders, largely unknown to the public. Commodity traders are the last swashbucklers of global capitalism: willing to do businesses where other companies don't dare set foot, thriving through a mixture of ruthlessness and personal charm - and often shaping global politics, from Cuba to Iraq, and from Russia to Libya. The book profiles companies like Glencore, which emerged from the shadow of its notorious founder Marc Rich, a long-time fugitive from US justice, to become a blue-chip stock, and Cargill, the 153-year-old agricultural trading house whose family of American shareholders contains 14 billionaires - more than any other family in the world. It also shows how commodity traders play a critical role in modern finance, facilitating the flows of raw materials that keep the world's populations fed, its factories supplied, and its ships, planes and automobiles fuelled. Benefiting from three decades of reporting from nearly 100 countries, including tens of thousands of pages of previously unpublished financial and legal documents and interviews with more than one hundred former and current executives, the book sheds unprecedented light onto an industry that has long operated in the shadows.
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.