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Reviews

  • This jaw-dropping study shows how much money and global influence is concentrated in the hands of a tiny group . . . A remarkable book . . . As the authors roam from oilfield to wheatfield, they reveal information so staggering you almost gasp . . . The colour is fantastic . . . Tracking down some of the biggest names in the business to their German castles and stud farms and persuading them to talk is a rare scoop.

    Sunday Times
  • A fascinating and revealing story . . . There are tales in the book of breathtaking trades, such as shipments of rebel oil from war-torn Libya or deals bartered amid the brutal "aluminium wars" in the Russia of the 1990s . . . A gripping book.

    Economist
  • Javier Blas and Jack Farchy probe the hard-knuckle and secretive world of commodity trading.

    What to Read in 2021, Financial Times
  • A globe-spanning corporate thriller, full of intrigue and double dealing . . . Changes how we see the world, often in horrifying ways . . . The book weaves together years of reporting experience in the field with access to many of the key figures in an industry dominated by huge characters . . . New insights and reporting mean that even seasoned observers will be amazed.

    James Ball, Spectator
  • Anecdotally rich . . . A highly readable study in world economics and a valuable primer for would-be oil barons.

    Kirkus
  • Blas and Farchy compellingly lay out how a handful of secretive traders have had a hand in directing not only the world's commodities, but also its politics and history. The World for Sale draws back the covers on a sector where civil wars, dubious regimes and the collapse of states have often been just another business opportunity - and what that has meant for the rest of us. Intriguing and, at times, alarming.

    Helen Thomas, Business Editor, BBC Newsnight
  • A colorful and alarming exposé of the shadowy world of global commodity trading . . . Hair-raising anecdotes . . . An engrossing look at an obscure yet consequential corner of the financial world.

    Publishers Weekly
  • A virtuoso depiction of the globe's top oil, food and metals traders . . . Javier Blas and Jack Farchy should be awaiting the call from Hollywood. The World for Sale contains at least half a dozen narrative threads that would form the basis of a good thriller. But the authors' main achievement is to subject the biggest commodity players, and their impact on the real world, to proper critical scrutiny . . . The depth of the reporting by the Bloomberg journalists, who previously worked for the Financial Times, is impressive . . . Fascinating.

    Reuters
  • Some of the stories beggar belief . . . A fascinating story, it's just incredible some of the routes that the money takes.

    Lawrence Pollard, BBC Newsday
  • Could there be a better moment for Javier Blas and Jack Farchy's rollicking new account of those markets' recent history to land on investors' desks? . . . A rich archive of ripping yarns . . . . . . The high level narrative is gripping enough. But it is the details of what these freewheeling companies actually got up to that give the book a thriller-like quality . . . Educational and entertaining.

    Financial Times

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