The Asylum: Inside the Rise and Ruin of the Global Oil Market (Paperback)
The Asylum is a stunning expose by a seasoned Wall Street journalist that once and for all reveals the truth behind America's oil addiction in all its unscripted and dysfunctional glory.
In the tradition of Too Big to Fail and Liar's Poker, author Leah McGrath Goodman tells the amazing-but-true story of a band of struggling, hardscrabble traders who, after enduring decades of scorn from New York's stuffy financial establishment, overcame more than a century of failure, infighting, and brinksmanship to build the world's reigning oil empire entirely by accident.
“A riveting tale of greed gone mad. Goodman nails the culture... A great ride for market fans…”
“Finance journalist Goodman traces Nymex’s transformation into a colossus with a stranglehold on the sale of the world’s energy. Goodman explores the lurid culture of Nymex traders, scruffy hustlers who shriek, swear and bring guns, drugs, and hookers right into the trading pit…One of the year’s most colorful business histories.”
“A seriously informative and amusing look into the oil trading pits.”
“Goodman wrote about Nymex for the Wall Street Journal before expanding her knowledge into a book...The inside look at a mostly closed institution is enlightening. Goodman’s details about the infighting within Nymex membership are astounding, mainly because the members don’t seem to realize they are destroying their path to wealth.”
“Goodman reveals a rough-and-tumble group with little formal education, who dress down, answer to no one, and are tougher than marines. Activities at the exchange are rife with cheating and overindulgence in drugs, prostitutes, and illegal gambling…Biting and infuriating, with even a ‘Deep Throat’ in the scoop.”
“In the complex world of the energy markets where pit trading is a blue-collar profession, Goodman captures the grit and spirit of the floor and the personalities in the board room... Her depiction of the players and the place to ring true.”
“Goodman’s book ultimately concludes that the price of oil is determined less by OPEC, and more by a few hundred speculators in Manhattan who are exempted from regulation by means of several loopholes.”
-Tom Kloza, OPIS
“A rollicking, fast-paced, decades-long tale of a marketplace that sprang out of a potato futures market...When the instability of supply and relentless demand drives up price levels and volatility, these traders do very well indeed. And when that happens, the partying really kicks into high gear.”
-National Resources Defense Council
“Welcome to a bet-on-anything, testosterone-drenched world…written with tremendous verve and insight.”
-AR (Absolute Return + Alpha)