Welcome WHALE HUNTING, our weekly newsletter delve into the secret worlds of money and power that Tom and I became obsessed with ever since our multi-year investigation into the globe-sprawling 1MDB scandal starting in 2015. That project changed our entire worldview. We wrote a book about it.
It felt a bit like taking the red pill and suddenly seeing a hidden dimension all around us where little-known characters and their associates were actually pulling the strings. The richest and most dangerous people in the world are largely unknown to the public (they certainly aren't featured on the annual Forbes rich list).
Jho Low, the fraudster who orchestrated the $6 billion theft from 1MDB and is still at large, was the ultimate whale. The term comes from nightclubs and casinos, who use it as a codeword for big spenders. Our use of the term is broader. The whales are the people, usually armed with extraordinary amounts of money, that play a larger role in global affairs than their public profile might suggest. Sometimes they're a public figure doing unexpected things behind the scenes. Understanding who they are and what they're up to is an eye-opening experience that will change how you interpret the daily news.
Tom and I were long-time reporters for the Wall Street Journal before setting off on our own to create Project Brazen, a journalism studio and production company. We're creating books, podcasts and documentaries, and we'll share behind-the-scenes insights into the characters and stories we find along the way.
This won't be for the faint of heart.