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


Book Summary: Billion Dollar Whale

Top Quotes:

Steal a little and they throw you in jail
Steal a lot and they make you king.
—Bob Dylan, “Sweetheart Like You”

You get so deep into things sometimes that the abnormal seems normal and
normal seems like a distant memory.
—Jordan Belforte

The summary of how it all begin…

It started in 2015, Malaysia sovereign wealth fund is swirling with debts and shadowy dealings and Goldman Sachs made Mega huge sum of money helping raising the fund

Jho Low, 27 year old associate had taken the billions from the fund and build a Hollywood production company, got himself one of the world’s most expensive yacht and throw decadent parties

Who is Jho Low ?

  • He’s a serial fabulist who figured out how the world really works
  • He was everyone’s friend and one of the greatest money spender
  • He manage to fool bankers, celebrities, auditors and regulators
  • He used his wealth to buy his friendships with famous actors and models

Last Vegas , November 3-4, 2012

  • Low booked a chairman suit at $25,000 per nightSwizz Beatz, Alicia Key’s husband, Leonardo Dicaprio, Benicio Del Toro were there to hang out with Jho Low
  • Jho Low was shy and awkward around beautiful women
  • Low throwed one of the world’s most expensive birthday party for himself.
  • He paid for millions for actors and celebrities to come.
  • Britney Spears, Leonardo Di Caprio, Kayne West, Kim Kardashan, Chris Brown etc
  • Jho Low wasn’t born rich, you wouldn’t believe how he made his money
  • He had pulled of the world’s greatest heist together with the world wealthiest people
  • He had more liquid cash than anyone in the world, this could easily be the world’s financial largest scheme

The failure of global capitalism is the subject of this book

  • It all started in Penang, a beach in Malaysia
  • Jho’s grandfather came to Penang from the sea from China through Thailand
  • Low’s family had built a fortune and are worth billions, he was able to went to an Elite Boarding school in England
  • Larry, Low’s father earns millions investing in MWE a garment company
  • He wanted to raise his family social status so he move to England and stay in the neighbourhood where many Malaysian Elites are staying call Kensington Green development.
  • Jho learned the importance of having a friend in high places and friended Riza Aziz, stepson of Najib Rajak
  • Jho studied at the same university Donald Trump & Warren Buffet had studied
  • He like to have pretty women around him so he would look good
  • Low party hard to show people around him that he is rich and successful
  • He build his personal brand by writing about stocks for the Wharton Journal
  • Jho wrote many analyst reports which are plagiarized from other wall street analyst
  • Jho start to make himself look like a rich prodigy to raise his social status and befriend richest people’s kids

Billion Dollar Whale Book Summary : Win Tons of Money

Jho went on a tour around middle East and get introduced to rich and influential families

Low get to know Otaiba a very rich young Arabian who would help him to connect to other influential opportunities

Low manage to persuade Otaiba with many business opportunities to help him

Jho started his own company called Wynton and start pitching to middles eastern investors to invest and he needed a powerful backer, somebody like Najib razak

Hong Kong, China, December 2007

Najib was meeting investors and fund managers at Shangri-La Hotel while his wife Rosmah bought so much luxury goods that it can’t fit into their car

Abdul, Najib’s father tried to teach Najib and his brother to be good but he died when Najib was 22. There’s nobody to restraining the brother to indulge in all the wealth privileged from UMNO

Many business run by Chinese and Indians in Malaysia have to pay kickbacks to UMNO in order to continue running

Abdul Razak have built policies that are meant to help the Malays where they are given financial handouts and university places were reserved for them

Malaysia had elections every 5 years but it was really corrupted, manipulated and unfair.

Rosmah was born in a middle-class family where her parents are teachers.

The Malaysian Sultan had adopted Rosmah’s family as his own

Introduced to the world of wealth that make her feel insecure.

Fell in love with royalty and planned to marry the Brunei families before she met Najib

She dress up expensively with fine silks and jewels

She can be quite tyrannical as she cut off contact with her daughter from her first marriage because she doesn’t like her husband

She was making profit by buying up properties from state-owned companies and selling them to other firms with a mark up

Not many people like Rosmah, she’s a social climber and have a penchant for high-end accessories

In late 2006, Najib denied having any knowledge of the blowing up of his aide’s Mongolian girlfriend. His Aide is accused of taking bribes more than 100 million from a French submarine company

Jho Low met Najib & Rosmah through their son in London and came back to Malaysia to set up his new company at the 70th floor of the Petronas Tower.

He borrowed money from banks to make his office look grand and spent on his staff lavishly

Seet Li Lin is Jho’s sidekick who takes care all the details of his dealings

Jho Plan to make money by getting his contacts from the middle east to invest in Malaysia and take fee out of it

He had chosen Riza Aziz as his Malay Protector, which paramount to succeed in Malaysia

Jho Low convince Nizam to coinvest in a high-end condominium project near Petronas Towers and also offered him office space in Wynton for free

He didn’t have any money to invest and a businessman came and bail him out of the downpayment

He also didn’t pay for the rent of his office for few months

He failed at getting Kuwait Finance House to take over a Malaysian bank.. but he’s tenacious and resourceful

Jho found another opportunity

He persuaded Khaldoon Al Mubarak of Mubadala to invest in the Iskandar Development Region with the help of Otaiba

He offered Najib to take the credit of the Iskandar project to get close to him.

Low also set up offshore accounts for Najib and Rosmah

Khazanah refuse to pay Jho a brokerage fee for this deal and was FURIOUS

Jho wanted to get paid and repay Otaiba !

Low set up a company called Abu Dhabi-Kuwait-Malaysia Investment and gave free shares to Ambassador Otaiba and minor aristocrats from Kuwait and Malaysia.

He make himself look like he got powerful backing so that he can borrow more millions from banks to buy construction companies and also a minority stake in the Iskandar project

Rich Asians always set up offshore accounts in secretive places like British Virgin Islands and The Cayman Islands to evade taxes and launder money. His sister Low May Lin became the solicitor For the Supreme court of British Virgin Islands which also helps low in his scheme

Many global elites from president Xi Jinping to actress Emma Watsons had offshore accounts

Jho created two look alike shell companies of ADIA Investment Corporation and KIA Investment

Corporation to fool people to think he have to the backings of middle east multi-billion-dollar sovereign wealth funds. Then low buy minority stakes in construction firms in Malaysia construction firms

Low also issued one unregistered share value at $1. This is banned in many countries because it

Enable the owners of companied to hided behind many layer of secrecy and it’s very hard for regulators To find out who the owner is

Jho found his mark, he convinced Taib, Chief Minister of Sarawak to buy his stake in the Iskandar land and profited $110 million

Low’s had made a reputation for himself now as deal maker

Billion Dollar Whale Book Summary Chapter 6

Jho connected Tim Leissner from Goldman with the Terengganu Sultan to set up a new fund call Terengganu

Investment Authority which he charged the Sultan $300,000. Goldman later on earned millions of dollars from this deal

Leissner helped Ananda Krishnan sold shares for Maxis, a Telco company and got promoted to Managing Director. He later on helped sold shared for Astro, a satellite TV company by Ananda as well. After that he helped seal a $2 billion deal for a local power company and charge a $9 million dollar Goldman fee.

Leissner is a relationship banker. He have the ability to build a strong personal connection with people he meet. Leissner often offer clients deals where he is not authorize to do so but did not get penalized much because he makes Goldman a lot of money

Jho enticed Najib with the billions that he can use to fund is political movement and also invest in green energy and tourism to create high quality jobs for all Malaysian and Najib

Jho low Took 700 Million from IMDB

$85 Million was transferred to Tarek Obaid

$68 Million was transferred to Tarek Obaid again for a second time

Patrick Mahony was paid $33 Million between from 2009 to 2010

Obaid sent $77 Million to the Prince Turki

He Jho had free control of all the funds in 1MDB and his going for shopping in the United States

Low and his entourage spent $85 Million on his trip.

They paid playmates and Hollywood celebrities to hang out with them

They rent superyachts, private jets, gambled in Vegas

Jho rented rooms that cost $100,000 per month

Spent $20,000 to $50,000  in clubs just to look great

He bought properties in London, Los Angeles & New York for Najib to repay him

Nik Faisal proposed that they should buy a Malaysia Island and turn it into a vavation resort to generate profit to pay debts of 1MDB

Tong Hooi Kong the man behind The Edge Newspaper start publishing about 1MDB being shady

Jho made sure that Najib & Rosmah trip to the United States was grand, he invited Hollywood celebrities to attend. Low also plan to deepen the relationship between Malaysia and the United States

In September 2010, Riza Aziz & Joey created Red Granite.  The are going produce The Wolf of Wallstreet together.

And with this, Jho Low is officially a player in Hollywood

Jho low partied hard and his middle eastern friends are not happy with it

Ernst & Young were not happy with 1MDB accounting and so they switch to KPMG. KPMG note that !MDB’s management “believes” that PetroSaudi was in good financial stability

Jordon Belfort could tell Jho had stolen money and proceed to stay far away from them but Leo Dicarpio got sucked in.

Low need more money to pay for the movie production and his looking for new partners business partners and new fast deals that he can make a quick big profit

Everybody start spending their stolen money…

Obaid fly to Saudi Arabia and many places in Middle East on private jets and renting yachts in the south of France.

Patrick Mahony bought a 6.2 million pound town house in London and in on his way on getting an Amex Black card which is only used by billionaires.

Obaid only paid Justo, his long time friend associate 4 million Swiss Franc which is much less than the 6.5 million Justo wanted. Obaid went on and bad mouth Justo other people and Justo started compiling proof of their fraud activities

Jho bought a $30 Million Penthouse in Manhattan where Jay-z and Beyonce was once staying.

Low explained to people that his source of millions is from his grandfather. He needs to make it look like his father Larry was sending him the money. BSI band from Singapore was willing to help Jho with his money moving. Now he is more careful in how he is sending his money.

Yak Yew Chee, is the Singaporean banker who had been helping Jho Low with his $ 1 Billion 1MDB fund. Yak work for BSI bank, and his bos Brunner is happy to facilitate as it’s his goal to triple the banks asset under 5 years

Yak make $5 Million a year in salary and bonuses. BSI grew to be a strong bank and get notice globally and Brunner bough a $ 7 Million town house in Singapore

Kevin Swampillai, BSI head of wealth management in in Singapore said that the management team only cared about salaries and lower ranking bankers can do whatever they want.

Yeo Jiawei is another banker from BSI who help Jho wash his money. Jia wei is an expert in helping elites customers to reduce their taxes.

Renato Carvlho Pinto from Amicorp Group in Brazil was chosen by Yeo to help with move Jho’s money by investing in mutual funds. So it will look clean when they withdraw form the mutual fund they had invested in

Yeo conpired with his bos Kevin to swipe some of the millions that Jho is paying BSI for their own.

Singapore private banking industry is managing $ 1 trillion in assets, a third of Switzerland. Singapore private banking is a popular place for corrupt Indonesians, Chinese, and Malaysians to hide money.

Many European and US  elites are attracted Singapore as regulations  in their own countries are tighter. Singapore had fail to prosecute more money laundering cases than they should.

March 2012, Enter the Sheikh

he Sheikh Mansour, Founder of UAE and owner of Manchester City Football Club is worth at around 40 Billion agreed to meet with Jho.

Khadem Al Qubaisi, managing director of IPIC will help Low to make his new scheme with the Sheikh work. Khadem like low take kickbacs from deal makings make him very rich

$1.75 billion bond was deposited into the bank aacount of 1MDB’s energy subsidiary on May 22, 2012.

$576 million was sent to Aabar Investments Ltd, set up by AL Qubaisi and Jho low that was meant to look like Aabar Investments PJS

5 months later another $1.75 billions were bought and $790.3 million were sent to Al & Jho’s Aabar investment look alike.

The Sheikh bought a $500 million yacht named Topaz and Khadem bought Mansions in the United States as the alaysia’s financial stability is on shaky grounds

Jho’s New Company Jynwel Capital acquired a stake in EMI publishing around July 2012

After $2.2 billion acquisition EMI Jho partied on a Super Yacht called The Serene with fifty guest cabins. The party is filled with middle eastern royalties, models and celebrities including Kayne West, Kim Kardshian, Chris Brown & Rihanna.

Low even recorded a song for himself for fun. His own version of “Void of a legend” He’s terrible at singing and it took 8 hours and a lot of auto tune to produce an acceptable version

Busta Rhyme was quit pissed off when Jho said : “I own you , you’re my bitch !” jokingly.

November, 2012, Jho had another extravaganza birthday party for himself. He flew Jamie Foxx, Dicaprio, Jonah Hill, and some other cats in for his party in Australia and Vegas on the same day.

Jho wanted to transfer another $110 million but BSI started questioning him and he emailed them with reasons related to Chinese customs and indirectly implied that he would want to lose him as his customer as he had been rendering  them very rich.

Rothchild was giving Jho grief about it after the BSI transfer and he enlisted Yak’s help in overcoming this roadblock

Jho created a Gmail account as Eric Tan to hide his real identity  to set up appointment with a The head of Falcon bank in Singapore.

What milestone for Jho from getting his 1MDB scheme to be approved , fighting with PetroSaudi, questions from auditors, media attention, acquiring companies, financing films…etc

Now Jho have to get Najib re- elected

Jho got Busta Rhymes, Psy and other starst o perform before the election. He also got local restauants to hanout free food for weeks. Low setup 1Malaysia Penang Welfare Club and gave out hundred thousands of dollars to each local charities. They spent $400 million buying lands in Penang with the promise of rebuilding affordable homes

But it all didn’t went as planned !!! and The Tun Razak Exchange came to the rescue

Najib needed to raised another $3 Million for his election with Goldman willing help because they made $ 300 Million in fees. In the end Najib manage to won the election.

Malaysia’s best minds were leaving and find better countries like New York and London to live in. This is happening to developing nations like India and Indonesia.

As it’s getting harder and harder for Jho to keep and move money he started buying up famous and valuable artworks and jewellery as assets

Those artworks includes Van Gough, Lichtenstein, Picasso and Warhol. He stashed it all in the Geneva Freeport sloppily covered up the evidence of his purchased

Jho invested in property development by putting down $200 Million on Park Lane , New York and bought an office in London’s Mayfair district for his lingerie brand Myla.

Justo was in financial trouble and he had resorted to use the hard drive evidence he had obtained to get Mahony to pay him the 2.5 million Swiss Francs but failed miserably.

Rewcastle-Brown, a tenacious BBC reporter who was born in Sarawak started digging on to uncover the mystery of Riza Aziz wealth and how is he able to launch a film company.

Two days after the Premier of The Wold of Wall Street, Rewcastle-Brown wrote a post asking who had paid for the film and how Riza had been refusing to reveal the details of Red Granite financing. She also questioned how Riza had the money to purchase a $33.5 million Park Laurel apartment.

Jho wants to help deepen to relationship between Najib and Obama. He got himself in the re-electing of Obama and is successful in doing so.

Jho started dating Miranda kerr and bought a $1.3 Million necklace with MK inscribed for her.

He spent another $1.3 Million for Rosmah;s jewellery shopping spree and $300 Thousand week stay in Bel-Air Hotel.

He purchased jewellery and art worth $200 millions between April 2013 and September 2014.

While trouble is catching up with Low he bought a Megayacht.Jho hired Edelman, a PR Company to help with his negative image in the press

Justo dropped the bomb..

Rewcastle-Brown got Tong Kooi Ong from owner of The Edge to pay to $2 Million to Justo and they got the scoop of the century.

RB published  “Heist of the Century” and all hell broke loose

On April 22, 2015 a presidential decree ousted Al Qubaisi from IPIC

Jho is taking reactive actions to this expose and Najib suspended The Edge’s license

September 4, Najib had gone too far.. Kevin Morais a worker in MACC was killed

Dicaprio stop hanging out with Jho and passed on his role in the new Papillon Movie.

Jho turn turned to China to help save his empire while FBI are scaring his business partners away.

Falcon bank is under criminal investigation, Yak Yew Chee was sentenced to 18 weeks in jail.

Al Qubaisi & Prince Turki was arrested, Jho failed to get China to save his scheme.

Najib started to act as if 1MDB never existed, the government is owed estimated 7.5 billion in debt.

Phuket, Thailand, February 2017

Jho celebrated his families birthday by hiring some B- List singers and performers.

Jho is now living his luxury life in Thailand and China drawing inspiration from Marc Rich

Read about what really motivates human in this book Drive

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