The Spider Network Book Summary - The Spider Network Book explained in key points
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The Spider Network summary

David Enrich

The Wild Story of a Math Genius, a Gang of Backstabbing Bankers, and One of the Greatest Scams in Financial History

4.3 (78 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

"The Spider Network" by David Enrich is a true story of a group of bankers who rigged the LIBOR (interest rate) system and their ultimate downfall. It gives an insight into the unregulated world of global finance.

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    The Spider Network
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    Tom Hayes was always good with numbers, but he had trouble making friends.

    Even as a child, Tom Hayes had a knack for numbers and knew how to cut a favorable deal.

    In 1995, when he was just 15 years old and living in Winchester, England, Hayes lent his lunch money to a friend with a 50-percent interest rate. This way, for every five pounds he loaned out, Hayes would earn himself a nice profit of £2.50.

    Around this time, he also became fascinated with the slot machines that could be found at local pubs. Hayes would watch one intently, figure out its pattern and always jump in at the right time to win a payout.

    Unfortunately, Hayes’s mathematical ingenuity seemed to come at a cost, as he was always bad at socializing and making friends.

    During his days at school, Hayes was bullied for his tendency to dress quite neatly, with a sharp blazer.

    Lacking a positive male role model didn’t help matters, either. After cheating on his mom, Hayes’s father left the picture quite early on.

    But the reason Hayes struggled with relationships was likely a mild and undiagnosed form of Asperger's.

    All the symptoms were there: He could focus intensely on complex mathematical problems, he always avoided making eye contact and when he was upset, he could snap into a fit of rage.

    What comforted Hayes was the reliable logic of math, and that’s what drew him toward the stock market.

    In 1999, while at the University of Nottingham, he interned at UBS, an international Swiss bank, and learned some of the basics of trading stocks and bonds. From there, Hayes became hooked on the intricate world of finance and, in the fall of 2001, landed a permanent job at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

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    What is The Spider Network about?

    The Spider Network (2017) tells the fascinating story of Tom Hayes, the man who took the fall for the banking industry’s secret habit of manipulating interest rates. It’s a tale of what happens when traders, brokers and bank executives are allowed to operate without oversight.

    The Spider Network Review

    The Spider Network by David Enrich (2017) is a captivating account of the infamous Libor scandal and the characters involved. Here's why it's worth reading:

    • With detailed research and first-hand interviews, it offers a comprehensive look into the complex world of global finance and the people who manipulated it.
    • The book exposes the moral ambiguities and ethical dilemmas faced by individuals working in high-stakes industries, making it a thought-provoking read.
    • Enrich's skillful storytelling keeps the narrative engaging, ensuring that this non-fiction book is anything but boring.

    Best quote from The Spider Network

    [Hayes] reminded a colleague of the Neo character in the Matrix trilogy: He could just see the numbers.

    —David Enrich
    example alt text

    Who should read The Spider Network?

    • Traders, brokers and anyone interested in the stock market
    • Investors hoping to avoid getting fleeced
    • Fans of a good corporate crime story

    About the Author

    David Enrich is the Financial Enterprise Editor for the Wall Street Journal, where he leads a team of investigative journalists. His reporting has won a number of awards, including the 2016 Gerald Loeb Award for his work on the Libor scandal, which he expanded into his book, The Spider Network.

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    The Spider Network FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Spider Network?

    The main message of The Spider Network is the shocking story of the Libor scandal and the mastermind behind it.

    How long does it take to read The Spider Network?

    The reading time for The Spider Network varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Spider Network a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Spider Network is a compelling read that offers a deep dive into one of the biggest financial scandals in history.

    Who is the author of The Spider Network?

    The author of The Spider Network is David Enrich.

    What to read after The Spider Network?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Spider Network, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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