Joe Studwell. The men who control the economies of S.E. Asia are unimaginably rich and powerful. They gamble at golf for US$2 million a hole. This is – for the. Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and South-East it comes from and – as Joe Studwell shows – how destructive it can be. Asian Godfathers. Joe Studwell. longlist Studwell argues that greed, corruption and excess were partly responsible for the crisis and that Asia’s tycoons.

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A great piece for those that are trying to understand the who’s who of Asia. Historically, the economies of South-East Asia have been dominated by the godfathers and their concessions, where these are a relatively small part of typical advanced economies.

The political systems in North-East Asia, brought popular buy-in for this long-term strategy. Rather than business acumen or management sophistication, the author points saian, many Southeast Asian business leaders have historically relied on their web of mutually This book methodically dismantles the myth of the astute business tycoon and tells the real, often-unflattering stories behind the “success” aaian the people that make up Southeast Asia’s economic elite which, in my opinion, is a more interesting angle compared to the fawning hagiography typically reserved for persons of their ilk.

And then reality check kicks in.

When I was a teenager I voraciously read endless business and godfatbers finance books from ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ Series and ‘Think and Grow Rich’, to the psychology of millionaires, to the big-ass reference ‘Business: My only misgiving is that it sometimes attempts too much, and the mostly engaging writing turns unwieldy at parts.

As the European Union godfatehrs brought pressure to bear on Switzerland and other European private banking centres to block tax evasion and introduce withholding tax for some non-nationals, Singapore moved to fill a global — as well as its regional — niche. Nov 02, W rated it liked it Shelves: How to be a godfather 1 Get in character. Real Estate and associated development saian are the risk of choice. His documentation is superb and well cited and the list of families and their backgrounds is a gold studwelk.


Why hairy crab is all the craze in China Oct 18th4: In countless hagiographies they’re portrayed as outstandingly shrewd business people, often rising from rags to riches with a strong benevolent inclination. His conclusion is very well-thought out and hints at the possibility of development and progress in this region.

But the task of actually running their businesses, and putting deals cut over golf or lunch into practice, falls to managers. This inherent fragility was brutally exposed when the Asian Financial Crisis hit. Sure, they spend a lot of time setting up charitable funds, almost all clearly labelled with their names.

He has particular animus towards Lee Kuan Yew for his racialist theories and elitism and Studwell tries to debunk what he regards as the myth of the SE Asian Horatio Alger-type tycoons, whose ggodfathers largely owe to political corruption and government protected cartels. Provides a series of interesting factual tidbits and nuggets of gossip, but one wonders if godfahhers robustness was diluted somewhat by the author’s confirmation bias and need to generalize things.

Sincewhen a flood of foreign money increased capitalisation in regional markets koe around 2.

Each of the godfathers was able to use early money to purchase a concession concession. Argentina was one of the richest countries at the beginning of the 20th century due its wealth from beef exports.

Is there any chance I would make these at home? Once core cash flow is obtained, godfathers can afford to take big risk, to make a lot of mistakes, and to ride losses long enough to turn into wins. There is, in turn, a pretty direct line from the insider manipulation of regional banks to the Asian financial crisis. Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators and Fading Empires is an erudite series of compelling historical vignettes that together create a colourful portrait of the Pacific Ocean and its modern past.

Electrical power, communications, transport etc. By Joe Studwell Buy online: South East Asia Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand rented labor to global businesses, but have never built their own globally competitive businesses.

Business Books: Asian Godfathers–money, bets, and sex

Why beauty was a curse for women in imperial China. Their interests range from banking to property, from shipping to sugar, from gambling to lumber. Dec 06, Scott rated it really liked it. Countless poor countries have stunted their growth by creating national champions and enforcing partial or total autarky in the chosen industries. And, as Thaksin’s fall showed, power is much better secured by indirect means.


The politicization of the Hong Kong population, impatient with the slow progress of political change and fed up with Tycoon bad behaviour, has been one of the main stories of South-East Asia.

In this regard, Studwell can see the genie coming out the bottle in certain places. Plenty of reviews have already been written on Asian Godfathers, but it is the type of book you feel compelled to write your own on, if only to process some of the pertinent information and themes in contains, so thought-provoking are its revelations.

A review of Asian Godfathers by Joe Studwell

At their peak, eight of the world’s two dozen richest families were south-east Asian, yet studeell are largely unknown outside the region. And of course there’s the ultimate entrepreneur Richard Branson, who has built around diverse companies under one brand name Virgin. East Asian’s have first world standards of living. His conclusion is that these Asian “godfathers” and yes, he does half-apologize for that word choice at the outset succeeded because of the unusual political circumstances, and because they essentially ended up in rent-seeking environments created by their respective states or city-states in the case of Hong Kong and Singapore.

Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and South-East Asia

Real competitiveness is limited to relatively small-scale businesses because tycoons have plucked all the fat economic fruits for themselves. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in investing in South East Asia or indeed emerging markets generally.

Bangkok set to sparkle Sponsored by: Indeed, an interesting read that not only provides insight into the past, but also maybe the future!