Listen free for 30 days

Audible Membership

$14.95 a month

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $35.52

Buy Now for $35.52

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Meet the traders who supply the world with oil, metal and food - no matter how corrupt, war-torn or famine-stricken the source.

The modern world is built on commodities - from the oil that fuels our cars to the metals that power our smartphones. 

We rarely stop to consider where they come from. But we should.

In The World for Sale, two leading journalists lift the lid on one of the least scrutinised corners of the economy: the workings of the billionaire commodity traders who buy, hoard and sell the earth's resources. 

It is the story of how a handful of swashbuckling businessmen became indispensable cogs in global markets: enabling an enormous expansion in international trade and connecting resource-rich countries - no matter how corrupt or war-torn - with the world's financial centres.

And it is the story of how some traders acquired untold political power, right under the noses of Western regulators and politicians - helping Saddam Hussein to sell his oil, fuelling the Libyan rebel army during the Arab Spring and funnelling cash to Vladimir Putin's Kremlin in spite of strict sanctions.

The result is an eye-opening tour through the wildest frontiers of the global economy, as well as a revelatory guide to how capitalism really works. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Javier Blas and Jack Farchy (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"The definitive, eye-opening story of the most powerful and secretive traders in the world." (Bradley Hope, co-author of Billion Dollar Whale)

"Blas and Farchy shine light on what's long been the financial markets' darkest corner - the crucial, yet underappreciated, role commodity traders play in global finance and geopolitics.... The World for Sale is a fascinating, eye-opening read." (Gregory Zuckerman, author of The Man Who Solved the Market)

"Javier Blas and Jack Farchy deftly peel back the curtain on the amoral swashbucklers of capitalism who trade in commodities.... The World for Sale is a gripping account of how they achieved their stranglehold over the world economy, and their troubling influence on global politics." (Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store)

What listeners say about The World for Sale

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    23
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great insights

Interesting history and insights. Narrator does a great job. Easy to listen to. Nice flow

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The most interesting book this year

This book was fantastic. Great narration, and an amazing story. Having negotiated projects with several of these companies in the past I was able to make more sense of the positions previously taken by those company's after have listened to this audiobook. The story is absolutely compelling and many people will be temped to "binge-listen" to the entire audiobook in a single session. Well done - truly exceptional....

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling insight into markets

This is an easy to understand economics book that provides valuable historical and contemporary insights into commodities markets.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • jaga
  • 2021-03-24

Explains a lot!

Interesting look at the history of the commodity traders, including their nefarious dealings with rogue states and other brushes with the law. Explains a lot about the global economy and how the business has evolved from small-ish independent companies to global behemoths, some of which are publicly traded companies or operations within broader financial institutions. Ties in nicely with many of the geopolitical crises over the years, such as the 1970’s oil embargo, the gulf wars, Russian oligarchs, etc.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • rhysleo
  • 2021-03-07

outstanding

Very good overview. There are other books that cover similar topics but this one provides more detail in certain subjects. a great read.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-10-24

Fantastic insight into a huge industry

Could not stop listening! Fantastic book with great facts and holistic view on trading industry.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David Bogart
  • 2021-07-15

A swashbuckling tale of hidden global power brokers

Remarkably well told and incredibly deep insight into the global underpinnings of commodities. A Riveting history and account of the commodity traders influence and power through the decades. Masterfully crafted and brilliant storytelling reveals the true macroeconomic power in global trading - it was impossible to “put down”.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bruce Galbraith
  • 2021-02-27

Excellent!

A really insightful perspective on the individuals/firms who shaped the industry—from the early beginnings of rogue traders traveling the globe to secure deals, to the the emergence of industry giants like Glencore and Vitol, It highlights the immense influence these companies wield—and the often unscrupulous ways in which they receive contracts, ensure profit, and navigate through politically sensitive matters, all the while claiming to be apolitical and law-abiding

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • RF
  • 2022-03-15

Money and power and shadows

The book was illuminating through the communication of the personal relationships, the methods employed, and the goals: money, power, control, screwing others while maintaining anonymity where possible.

The clean writing was appreciated. The conclusion by some that new traders will be more honorable is pure rubbish as money and power drives many to sidestep kindness, fairness, economic and ecological responsibility, and just follow the desire of their bosses to make money. This operating method is shared by politicians and businessmen so only tighter guidelines and regulatory data and enforcement can curb the dousing of countries people by the monetary flames launched by their governments and the money-first traders described.

The logic that "someone will make the money so why not me" as shown in many episodes (especially Trafigura's dumping of sulfur-laden sludge from mexican in oil west Africa into a trash dump using a shell company) shows the problems of supply chains and regulatory methods.

A book worth reading!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • gregory stewart
  • 2021-11-26

Well written with historical event

Great book. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Could not put it down. Very detailed and gives a lot of information about the inner works of the commodity traders. I would recommend it to anyone. Hopefully I can find something similar to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-07-25

Very insightful read!

The explanation of the economic power that commodity traders have and how it has been used was insightful.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • R Hamade
  • 2021-03-22

Essential reading to understand what makes the world go round

Excellent overview of the world of commodity trading. Great anecdotal stories underpinned by interviews with the key players. It reads like a thriller in places

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Msupp
  • 2022-05-05

one of my most interesting reads of the year

Fascinating history of the commodity traders. Narration was also 10/10, I couldn't stop listening it was so engrossing