It was luxurious Palm Beach, by the manicured lawns and Olympic-sized swimming pool, that financier Bernard Madoff ravaged the world of philanthropy and high society he had strived so hard to join, vaporising the assets of charities, foundations and individuals that had trusted him with their funds. It seems nothing was sacrosanct to Madoff, possibly the greatest con-man in history. Even Elie Wiesel's foundation has lost tens of millions. How could Madoff, a pillar of the Jewish community, do this to a Nobel Laureate and Auschwitz survivor? But Wiesel was hardly alone in trusting the rogue financier. How could some of the most sophisticated and worldly people in America fall victim to a collective delusion for year after year?
THE BELIEVERS answers these unsettling questions. It opens up the clubbish world where Madoff operated, tracing the links from Palm Beach and The Hamptons to the salons and clubs of Manhattan society. It details the network of relationships across which flows hundreds of millions of dollars. 'The Believers' shows how despite material success and acclaim, some human impulses remain eternal. It reveals how an underlying sense of insecurity still shapes some of the richest and most successful individuals in America, making them crave ever more status and peer acclaim. By focusing on Madoff's connection to, and catastrophic impact on, the American Jewish community, THE BELIEVERS dramatically humanises a story that is part financial scandal and part Greek tragedy.
The dead, however, don't care. So when Balthazar Kovacs, a detective in the city's murder squad, gets a mysterious text message on his phone, he gulps down his coffee and goes to work. The message has two parts: a photograph and an address. The photograph shows a man, in his early thirties, lying on his back with his eyes open, half-covered by a blue plastic sheet. The address is 26 Republic Square, the former Communist Party headquarters, and once the most feared building in the country. But when Kovacs arrives at Republic Square, the body is gone...
Inspired by true events, the novel takes the reader to a hidden city within Budapest and an underworld that visitors never get to see: the gritty back alleys of District VIII; the endemic corruption that reaches deep into government as officials plunder state coffers at will; a rule of law bent to serve the interests of the rich and powerful; the rising power of international organized crime gangs who use the Hungarian capital as a springboard for their European operations; and a troubling look at the ghosts of Communism (and Nazism) that still haunt Budapest.
This book is the first to examine in detail the crucial role of the Secretariat, its relationship with the Security Council, and the failure of UN officials themselves to confront genocide. LeBor argues the UN must return to its founding principles, take a moral stand and set the agenda of the Security Council instead of merely following the lead of the great powers. LeBor draws on dozens of firsthand interviews with UN officials, current and former, and such international diplomats as Madeleine Albright, Richard Holbrooke, Douglas Hurd, and David Owen.This book will set the terms for discussion when UN Secretary General Kofi Annan steps down to make room for a new head of the world body, and political observers assess Annan’s legacy and look to the future of the world organization.
“[A] series of thought-provoking geopolitical thrillers…. LeBor succeeds in making us care about his two-fisted protagonist and her all-too-human vulnerability.”—Wall Street Journal
Yael Azoulay, covert negotiator for the UN Secretary General, has made a powerful enemy in Clarence Clairborne, head of Washington, D.C. lobbying and security firm the Prometheus Group. He’s fixated on revenge—and Yael knows it. She’s definitely being followed, but Clairborne’s operatives are not the only ones tracking her every move. Unexpected visitors from her past have arrived, determined to make her confront the secrets she’s been hiding.
Driven by exceptional plotting and electrifying prose, The Reykjavik Assignment follows Yael as she fights the pull of her old life while brokering the triumph of her career: A summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, between the United States and Iran. But when events in Reykjavik take a terrifying turn, the only thing that Yael cares about is preventing a desperate man from taking desperate measures to avenge his own past.
Yael Azoulay does the United Nations’ dirty work. Sent by the UN’s Secretary General to eastern Congo to negotiate with Jean-Pierre Hakizimani, a Hutu warlord wanted for genocide, she offers a deal: surrender to the UN tribunal, in exchange for a short sentence and a return to politics.
The plan is to bring stability to the region so the West can exploit the region’s mineral wealth. But Yael soon realizes that the UN is prepared to turn a blind eye to mass murder.
Yael finds herself on the run, hunted by the world’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies—and haunted by her past—ultimately learning that salvation means not just saving other’s lives but confronting her own inner demons.
Written by Adam LeBor, a high-profile foreign correspondent and critically acclaimed investigative journalist, The Geneva Option takes readers on a nonstop journey through the secret corridors of international power.
Created by the governors of the Bank of England and the Reichsbank in 1930, and protected by an international treaty, the BIS and its assets are legally beyond the reach of any government or jurisdiction. The bank is untouchable. Swiss authorities have no jurisdiction over the bank or its premises. The BIS has just 140 customers but made tax-free profits of 1.17 billion in 2011–2012.
Since its creation, the bank has been at the heart of global events but has often gone unnoticed. Under Thomas McKittrick, the bank's American president from 1940–1946, the BIS was open for business throughout the Second World War. The BIS accepted looted Nazi gold, conducted foreign exchange deals for the Reichsbank, and was used by both the Allies and the Axis powers as a secret contact point to keep the channels of international finance open.
After 1945 the BIS—still behind the scenes—for decades provided the necessary technical and administrative support for the trans-European currency project, from the first attempts to harmonize exchange rates in the late 1940s to the launch of the Euro in 2002. It now stands at the center of efforts to build a new global financial and regulatory architecture, once again proving that it has the power to shape the financial rules of our world. Yet despite its pivotal role in the financial and political history of the last century and during the economic current crisis, the BIS has remained largely unknown—until now.