Episode 2

1MDB: A Billion Dollar Scandal

Released on November 17, 2019


It’s been called one of the world’s biggest financial heists. When the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB was set up in 2009, its purpose was supposedly to develop the country’s infrastructure and economy. Instead, the U.S. Department of Justice alleges that $4.5 billion was stolen from it. In this episode, Andrew is joined by Tom Wright (@TomWrightAsia), co-author of Billion Dollar Whale, the story of the scandal and specifically the fugitive financier at its heart, Jho Low. Mr. Low has released a statement saying that the book “is written with allegations disguised as fact and gossip passed off as legitimate reporting. The narrative is framed to allow the authors to write about celebrities, and models and parties, without ever proving any of the allegations.” Mr. Low’s whereabouts are unknown, and he continues to evade the authorities - most recently reports claimed he had been sighted in India. The fallout from 1MDB continues elsewhere too - this week the former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to go on trial again for his alleged role in it. Like Mr. Low, he denies all wrongdoing.

Tom Wright

Tom Wright is a journalist with the Wall Street Journal and co-author of the New York Times bestseller Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood & the World. He was one of the first journalists to arrive at the scene of the raid in which Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden. In 2013, he spearheaded coverage of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh, which killed over 1,000 people, earning the Wall Street Journal a Sigma Delta Chi award from The Society of Professional Journalists. He is a Pulitzer finalist, a Loeb winner, and has garnered numerous awards from the Society of Publishers in Asia, which in 2016 named him “Journalist of the Year.”


Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World

By Tom Wright, Bradley Hope
Now a #1 international bestseller, Billion Dollar Whale is “an epic tale of white-collar crime on a global scale” (Publishers Weekly), revealing how a young social climber from Malaysia pulled off one of the biggest heists in history. The story centers around Jho Low, who set in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude–one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system.
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