Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage


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The anecdotes skip like a stone from one puddle to the next without getting to the bottom of any of them. Then there's the repetition: there aren't very many variations on the dissatisfied-spooks-start-a-company-get-a-wealthy patron-cash-in-on-the-patron's-connections-and-get-rich narrative, but we see every single one of those variations. The missed opportunities start piling up, too. The chapter on the private-sector uses of high-quality overhead imagery think satellites and drones is potentially the most interesting, and also the shortest; the author mentions in passing the huge bolus of ex-Soviet spooks released on the world after without exploring in any meaningful way how it affected the spy industry; and the post-GWOT penetration of hard-core intelligence practices into civilian policing such as fusion cells and joint intel centers goes similarly unexamined.

Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy is probably a fine book for anyone who's been living in a remote monastery for the past ten years, or has otherwise managed to avoid the news since Saddam's statues started falling. Perhaps the book's revelations seemed fresher when it released in than they do today, and we're too jaded to be surprised anymore. Maybe I was expecting a deeper dive into methods and practices, or a view that stretched beyond the U. Whatever the cause, I was left disappointed by the unfulfilled possibilities.

Your mileage may vary, but I got about two and a half stars out of this and, like with Chinese food, a yearning for a more filling meal. View all 3 comments. Feb 11, Ms. Shelves: nonfiction. Javers' startling revelation is that the world of corporate espionage is peopled by former CIA, FBI, Secret Service, and military intelligence operatives. They apply their specialized training in surveillance, interrogation, deception, and psychological profiling. They exploit government contacts in both the U. They employ bribery, dumpster diving, wire-tapping, and accessing phone records to achieve results for their clients.

It's a job; most have no idea how the information they apply will be used. Nor do most of them care. Although closely researched, the book reads like a succession of riveting stories. Frequently, in order to conceal their involvement, these clients work through third parties — lobbyists, public relations firms, lawyers and consultants.

The information gathered may be applied to sway the rulings of regulatory agencies, sabotage the marketing campaign of a competitor, beat down the price of a prospective acquisition, or facilitate insider trading. Many of these stories bear a striking resemblance to popular films. Hal Lipset was a private investigator in the 's. He was one of the first to exploit transistor technology, and gained fame by demonstrating his fake martini olive transmitter before a Senate panel.

Lipset was the inspiration for Gene Hackman's character in The Conversation. GeoEye is a company licensed to sell satellite images. Although there are restrictions on the resolution of the images, their availability reminded me of another Gene Hackman movie, Enemy of the State. Not all of these stories of corporate intelligence activities involve illegalities.


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In a world of hostage-taking and terrorism, these same firms can provide an extra layer of safety for employees working abroad. Screening of prospective and current employees can help avert tragedies triggered by psychological instability. Investigation is part of the due diligence process for any proposed acquisition or investment.

I found Javers' book entertaining. However, it also points to seriously troubling trends. In a world where background checks are all but routine, surveillance can easily bleed into violation of privacy. Ironclad Non-disclosure agreements have become commonplace, hobbling employees seeking other employment. Job-seekers, a particularly vulnerable group, can find themselves being interviewed for non-existence positions and encouraged by the fake recruiter to reveal confidential information. All wars escalate. Aggressive counter-espionage campaigns and security officers elevated to security czars may result.

It is important to remember that the beneficiaries of these corporate espionage experts are those with enormous wealth. Many of these security agencies are hired by third parties like legal firms which operate on a cash rather than accrual basis, triggering enormous cash flow needs. One can only speculate about the shape these firms will assume in the new world of drones and government eavesdropping. Javers only briefly touches on these personal privacy issues.

His concern is with kind of secrecy that isolates these activities from public scrutiny and oversight. And I'm a fundamentalist when it comes to the First Amendment. But what separates me, and reporters like me, from corporate spies is that we believe in making sure the information we report reaches the widest possible audience. Spies do the opposite: they make sure the details they harvest reach only a narrow — and very high-paying — audience.

Feb 16, Ryan Jones rated it it was ok. Sometimes you wish a book had a different author. I actually don't want to jump on Javers too much. The subject matter is interesting. But at the end of the day, they are just anecdotes and history sewn together without much cohesion or reason. There isn't much style or punch there either. And the writer doesn't really seem to be able to tie it together and take it to the next level.

Maybe like a newspaper or magazine reporter, who just isn't ready to transition to a book that's much more than a Sometimes you wish a book had a different author. Maybe like a newspaper or magazine reporter, who just isn't ready to transition to a book that's much more than a collections of articles.

And as much as he traces the industry back to the Pinkerton days, I'm not sure the author is as well-versed in the deep background as he should be. For instance, he doesn't seem to realize the difference between the KGB and the GRU Having said all that, I don't regret reading the book, and I enjoyed it, for what it's worth. It covers fascinating subject matter, and one that's relevance has yet to be full understood. From Big Four companies that are infiltrated in the service of battles between shadowy Russian banks and oligarchs, to super-rich hedgefund managers who unleash international surveillance on A-list Hollywood stars to win over jet-setting Israeli supermodels, there's a lot of drama here.

If the subject matter interests you, definitely check it out. Just don't expect more than a lot of these interesting stories. View 1 comment. Apr 13, Adam added it Shelves: nonfiction , 4stars , nonfiction , salesbusinessmktg. Nat Rothschild invested in Diligence Inc.

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In the end the report was dumped anyway after obfuscating the investigation anyway. Russian paranoia knows no bounds and continues today] Jules Kroll retired. GFC revealed the naked swimmers as the tide receded. Vanity Fair writer Bryan Burrough was hassled by Kroll to leave the money-launderer alone. About a ninety-minute drive from Washington, D. Former vice president Dick Cheney and former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld both own multimillion-dollar properties in the small Eastern Shore town of Saint Michaels.

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Broker, trader, lawyer, spy : the secret world of corporate espionage

Many other Washington insiders—politicians, agency heads, lawyers, and lobbyists—spend weekends in the small waterfront towns that dot the pastoral Eastern Shore landscape. Though connected to the mainland by the 4. Indeed, the Maryland portions of this landmass have tried to secede from the state on several occasions. Long cut off from the outside world, the region thrived on agriculture and fishing. Oysters, crabs, and corn dominated the economy for hundreds of years.

Today, tourism, sailing, and real estate speculation are included in the economic mix, but many parts of the area remain remarkably unchanged since the nineteenth century. And over time, it spied on Greenpeace and other environmental activists, gun-control groups, and companies large and small. DeVos is part of the AmWay scam fortune.

It's like scamming and greediness is genetic. Now their skills are available for hire on the private market, too. The quest for an information edge goes on. There are more: Executive Action, Fairfax Group, and Corporate Risk International all have headquarters in this area, offering some combination of risk management, investigative, and intelligence services. Devost is something new in the intelligence world: he has spent his entire career in the private sector—not in the government.

His career is a sign that the private-sector intelligence business has reached its next stage of evolution. The industry is now incubating the careers of intelligence professionals from entry level to executive rank.


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  6. The corporate clients had employees trapped in Lebanon when the shooting started, and needed to get them out. Devost and his colleagues used real-time satellite images and a network of private informants on the ground to determine which bridges had been bombed, and where heavy fighting might In , Mike Reynolds and Christopher James—both veterans of the British intelligence agency MI6—combined forces to start the firm.

    Reynolds had served British intelligence in Berlin during the cold war, and James was a veteran of the British special forces as well as the intelligence agency. The law firm in turn hired the public relations firm Levick Strategic Communications. The stories of six corporate intelligence operations around the world show how intelligence is becoming increasingly interconnected with the global economy: Veracity, which hosted the meeting in New York, does business for clients all over the world.

    Hakluyt, a firm based in London, once hired a German spy to penetrate Greenpeace on behalf of global oil companies. Trident Group, based in Virginia, also has ties to Russia: it was founded by a former Soviet military intelligence officer. It works for some of the largest American companies and law firms. Now they're pedo traffickers for sure too to boot. DLA Piper is one dodgy crooked law firm too, reaffirmed yet again.

    Aug 18, Farhana rated it it was amazing Shelves: surveillance-technology. It was an amazing read!! How the espionage culture of cold war was extended into the global economy. At this point private intelligence service wasn't limited for combating crime ; rather expanded beyond international economy, global market, corporate rivalry, ma It was an amazing read!!

    Jul 02, Terry Young rated it really liked it Recommends it for: all. This book is a must read for understanding our world. The old saying is to hold your friends close but hold your enemy closer rings true here especially in the high stake games of money and politics. Javer's weaves the history of spying and takes you to the newest kind of spies. Each story seems to be a bid more amazing and although everyone knows they are spies they just cannot seem to always find them until someone or This book is a must read for understanding our world. Each story seems to be a bid more amazing and although everyone knows they are spies they just cannot seem to always find them until someone or something leaks the truth to those that are being spied on.

    The business of spying now has matured to a point where instead of hiring ex CIA, FBI, KGB,or M6 professionals, they are now recruited right out of college and indoctrinated into the ways and means of the undercover world. High tech is becoming bigger but human intelligence still is a key factor in finding out what your competition does not want to to know. The government still might have the upper hand in some areas of technology but even information glean from satellites can be purchased from private companies for as little as a few hundred dollars which could make the difference between a million or billion dollar profit.

    This was never part of my curriculum at college but I think we need to open that door and ensure those who think they have the world by the tail find out that the company they work for already know their shoe size and which Goodwill store they bought it from. May 14, Elisha Condie rated it it was ok. My thoughtful husband heard about this book on public radio and got it for me for mothers day. It sounds like a very interesting book, and it was, I suppose. But I just didn't like it that much in the end. I like espionage, I like clever people finding clues, but it turns out I only like them when they are fighting for a cause.

    Give me a guy spying on the Nazis! All the spies in this book are former government employees now making a living as corporate spies. It's the story of one cold hearted My thoughtful husband heard about this book on public radio and got it for me for mothers day. Not exactly inspiring. Learn more about possible network issues or contact support for more help.

    National Library Board Singapore. Search Search Search Browse menu. Sign in. Recent updates. Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy. Description Details Reviews "Eamon Javers has produced a remarkable book about the secret world of business warfare—a world filled with corporate spies and covert ops and skullduggery Languages English.

    Eamon Javers - Author. Why is availability limited? Sign in Cancel. Add a card. Could you come to the restaurant alone? Hamilton had told Enright he wanted to discuss important matters, and left the accountant with a vague impression that he was with one or another of the British intelligence services. There was no way for Enright to know that Hamilton was not at all who he suggested he was. Enright did not. He was way out of his league. The British-born executive was just like millions of other mid-level white collar workers around the world.

    What did he know about espionage? But his position as a senior manager in corporate recovery gave him access to documents for which a wealthy client might pay millions of dollars. Might lie for. Might steal, if necessary. And that client hired the man who called himself Nick Hamilton. Over the next several months, the spies executed an extraordinary plan they code-named Project Yucca. The covert operation, as elaborate as it became, was just one piece of a global struggle between two corporate behemoths with Russian ties.

    And the convoluted battle showed the world how the struggle for power inside Russia could spill over into courtrooms—and board rooms—throughout the global economy. With powerful, and angry, men set against each other, it seemed that almost anything could happen.

    Investigating Corporate Espionage

    A former high-ranking American official involved in the affair told a reporter looking into the saga: Be careful on this one. People get killed over stuff like this in Russia. They convinced Enright that they were working for the crown. They mentioned the sinister dealings of the Russian mafia. And before long, Enright would find himself entering the secret world of spies, hiding confidential documents under rocks in a Bermuda field for Hamilton and his team to retrieve, terrified of being caught, and believing all the while that he was helping his country.

    Navy SEALs.

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    For years, the SBS motto was: Not by strength, by guile. His firm, Diligence, uses guile, too. And it uses the strength of an advisory board that includes some of the biggest names in global intelligence, business, and politics. Diligence boasts of its advisers on both sides of the Atlantic, including Michael Howard, a former leader of the Conservative party in Britain; Ed Mathias, the managing director of the mammoth American private equity firm Carlyle Group; and, most prominently, William Webster, a former director of both the CIA and the FBI.

    Executives of HP hired agents to obtain illicit phone records of its board members and rummage through the household trash of reporters covering the company. But lost in all the media furor over the HP spying scandal was the undeniable fact that pilfering phone records and digging through dumpsters are among the most benign tactics in the corporate espionage playbook. Espionage gets much, much dirtier than that. The scam Nick Day ran on Guy Enright in Bermuda was just one of or more operations Diligence has launched since its founding in by Day and a fellow thirtysomething intelligence vet, Mike Baker, who had been a CIA officer for fourteen years.

    The transcontinental struggle between the two Russian heavies was a bonanza for corporate spies, who were reaping hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees working for either IPOC or Alfa. First, a team of Washington operatives from Diligence reconnoitered at the KPMG offices, trying to establish who inside the firm would have access to the key documents.

    Many employees at Diligence believed they were on the right side in this battle.

    Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage

    They felt that IPOC was the bad guy, nothing more than a convoluted set of shell companies and dummy entities that allowed Leonid Reiman to grab control of MegaFon. The mission would be tricky, but Nick Day, as always, brimmed over with confidence. We have a good chance of success on this project, Day wrote in an internal memo at Diligence. We are doing it in a way which gives plausible deniability, and therefore virtually no chance of discovery. Other, similar Diligence operations had been successful, Day noted. Staffers at Diligence began to work the phones, pretending to be organizers of a corporate conference on accounting soon to be held in Bermuda.

    To keep the story straight, they talked with local hotels to find out room rates and the prices for renting a conference center, gathering convincing details to drop into later conversations. They told the flattered accountants that they were organizing a major conference, and they were looking for speakers.

    What would you say in your speech to our attendees? What a fascinating job you have! Tell me about it. They were looking for people who would have access to documents regarding the investigation of IPOC. But not just anyone who had access to the papers would work as a source. The experienced hands at Diligence knew that only certain personality types might go along with the scheme they had in mind. The intelligence firm was looking for people who fit one of two personality profiles, according to a Project Yucca planning memo.

    One personality type was a male in his mids who is somewhat bored…has a propensity to party hard, needs cash, enjoys risk, likes sports, likes women, is disrespectful of his managers, fiddles his expenses, but is patriotic. The memo described the second personality type as a young female who is insecure, overweight, bitchy, not honest. Someone who spends money on her looks, clothes, gadgets. Has no boyfriend, and only superficial friends.

    Has a strong relationship with her mother. Enright was oblivious of all this preparation. And he was intrigued by what he heard from the man he knew only as Nick Hamilton. After all, as a veteran of MI5, Nick Day knew exactly how real intelligence officers approach potential sources. Day said that Enright would have to undergo a background check by the British government to ensure that he was up to the task.

    Enright provided the details dutifully.

    Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage
    Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage
    Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage
    Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage
    Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage
    Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage

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