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Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage Hardcover – February 9, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is a way too condensed version about the history of private eyes and how they're being used in today's fashion, with an extremely heavy concentration on the history aspects and who's connected with who. When I say "way too condensed", it is because it feels compact and hard to follow. You can read two paragraphs and it will jump through a complicated web of 15 people to get to where the author wants you to be. At times, all the names and connections can grow confusing. It also has a disorganized feel that seems to jump all over the place. You'll learn about the Pinkertons in the 1800's, follow them through a spiderweb of contacts to modern day, then jump back to 1800, all within 10 pages.
The book can also be dry at times, as it is written by an investigative reporter and never seems to shed it's journalism feel to become an in depth, captivating story. I'm not saying all journalists who are also authors write this way but this is definitely how Mr. Javers does in this case. It feels that most of the book follows a pattern like this...for 300 pages. Interweb was owned by John. John was a former CIA detective of 30 years and had known Russ. Russ brought Fred and Hank aboard, both NSA veterans, who then recruited Steve. Steve, allegedly, worked with Aaron, best friends of Garth. Now that Garth was aboard with Interweb, they could finally recruit Bob. The men went to work in an office in Washington, DC.Read more ›
The modern stuff is, however, both tame and overly breathless. The revelation that a hedge fund MIGHT have used lie detection techniques to make a $1/share profit shorting a stock is hardly mind blowing. Or the fact that CIA trained agents learned their skills on the taxpayer's dime before moving to the prior sector where, shock of shock, they make more money. Duh, how many ex Air Force pilots can say the same thing?
The author mostly seems to skim the readily available public record to reveal things which on the whole, are not very revealing. This is a great area for a really deep dive look at an aspect of the modern world most people are blind to, but the book fails to deliver. Surely there is a lot more dirt worthy of being revealed, but the author doesn't really go there. I wonder why?
Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy exposes the naiveté of such limited investigations. There is in fact a new industry largely staffed by by former intelligence officers (from many countries) who use their spycraft to aid corporations in complex litigation and in making trading decisions. These techniques include using publicly available spy satellite imaging to study the consumption of coal at power-plants to predict when a plant might go offline. Such information can be useful to an energy trader since even a temporary loss of generating capacity produces spikes in prices. Effective interrogation techniques focus on verbal and non-verbal indicia of deception that can be organized systematical to gain the upper hand in depositions over even the most determined witness.
Not every technique employed by these former spies requires a big budget. Good information can be acquired on the cheap by budget limited lawyers willing to study these methods and improvise accordingly.
Pros: Very interesting look into a world I barely knew existed. Presents a few tricky tactics corporate spies use, such as making fake [...] ads and conducting fake job interviews in order talk to employees looking to leave the company that's being spied on. Another tactic is to tell the company that they are a documentary crew working on a film and go into the company headquarters and film all they can in the guise of making a documentary. Sources cited.
Cons: Since spies are usually required to be closed mouth, one can only wonder what other stuff goes on in the espionage world that Javers' contacts wouldn't reveal. Javers' call for more openness in the field in the final chapter seems to come out of nowhere.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Boring.....Slow....Started great but it slowed to a crawl. Never finished reading it.Published 12 months ago by Ivan Avila
Who would have thought a paranoid artist interviewed in "33 Artists in 3 Acts" would lead me to this gem? Answer: spies (they are everywhere)Published 19 months ago by Graham V. Smith
This is an interesting, informative, alarming book. It is worth the read, providing insight into an area that most of us know nothing about. Read morePublished 23 months ago by LWLGA
Thought it was great but lacking. It speaks more to the evolution than to what occurs today, with the historical background and explanation of techniques with a few case studies. Read morePublished on January 3, 2014 by College Student
This didn't blow me away like I thought it would. Veers into the weeds with the history of corporate espionage and then too much detail about the ownership structure of today's... Read morePublished on August 12, 2013 by Avid Reader
This is a very intriguing book and a good look into the history, as well as present, of corporate espionage.Published on May 29, 2013 by Scott B.
A very informative book, with just the right balance of theory and interesting examples. A good introduction to the topic.Published on March 20, 2013 by Amazon Customer