“The King of Oil: The Secret Lives of Marc Rich,” By Daniel Ammann; St. Martin’s Press, 302 Pages

Swiss business journalist Daniel Ammann presents a remarkable revisionist view of an ingenious and notorious commodities trader in his new biography “The King of Oil: The Secret Lives of Marc Rich.”  The fugitive who went into Swiss exile in 1983 to escape prosecution for tax evasion and trading with the enemy, and received an explosively controversial presidential pardon on Bill Clinton’s last day in office, finally gets his side of the story told, after decades of bad press that caricatured him as a villainous, traitorous and utterly immoral financier.  Ammann seeks to set the story straight in a sympathetic yet scrupulously even-handed manner, basing his account on hours of rare interviews with the publicity-shy Rich and his associates, as well as information from many other sources familiar with Rich’s business career and his epic legal ordeals.  In a guest article, noted author Joshua A. Lustig reviews Ammann’s book.  In the course of his review, Lustig recounts Rich’s: upbringing; ascent at commodities trading firm Philipp Brothers; trading innovations; 1983 indictment by then-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Rudy Giuliani; guilty plea; controversial pardon by Bill Clinton; and legacy.

To read the full article

Continue reading your article with a HFLR subscription.