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Tom Wright

speaker location icon Hong Kong

Co-author of the New York Times bestseller, 'Billion Dollar Whale'

Wall Street Journal's Asia Economics Editor (2013 - 2019)

Pulitzer Prize finalist

Tom Wright is an investigative journalist and Pulitzer finalist. He is the co-author of New York Times bestseller “Billion Dollar Whale,” the true story of a Wharton University graduate who orchestrated one of the world’s largest ever financial heists—and used the proceeds to build a Hollywood empire. (Soon to be a movie from the makers of “Crazy Rich Asians.”)

Most recently, Tom was the Wall Street Journal’s Asia Economics Editor. After beginning his career in Jakarta, he was the paper’s Pakistan correspondent at the time of increasingly tense US relations, culminating in the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Tom was one of the first journalists to arrive at the scene of the raid in which Navy SEALs killed the then world’s most wanted man.

In 2013, Tom moved to Hong Kong in in his role as Asia Economics Editor. While there, he discovered the story behind ‘Billion Dollar Whale’ in what has become widely known as the 1MDB Scandal. A businessmen from Malaysia, Jho Low, used his extensive social connections to convince the country’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, to create an investment fund. This fund, 1MDB, was financed with government money and investment banks helped raise another $10bn for it.

Both men have now been accused of misappropriating these funds with Najib Razak said to have channelled over $700m into his personal bank accounts. Meanwhile, Jho Low became notorious for his high-profile party lifestyle, which saw him associating with Hollywood celebrities and providing financial assistance to the production of films such as ‘Wolf of Wall Street’. He is currently believed to be in hiding in China while Razak faces trial in Malaysia.

‘Billion Dollar Whale’ is already a New York Times bestseller and will be released internationally later this year.


Billion Dollar Whale

In 2009, a chubby, mild-mannered graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business named Jho Low set in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude–one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system. Over a decade, Low, with the aid of Goldman Sachs and others, siphoned billions of dollars from an investment fund–right under the nose of global financial industry watchdogs. Low used the money to finance elections, purchase luxury real estate, throw champagne-drenched parties, and even to finance Hollywood films like The Wolf of Wall Street.

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