Summary of Asian Godfathers

Money and Power in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia

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Asian Godfathers book summary
Southeast Asian tycoons prosper with government-approved monopolies in an economic system that looks open and is closed tight.

Rating

9 Overall

7 Applicability

9 Innovation

9 Style

Recommendation

The Western world views the economies of Southeast Asia as “Asian tigers,” and sees Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines as hubs of free trade and innovation. Not so fast, warns Asia expert Joe Studwell. What appear to be sleek, streamlined economies are more like rickety old jalopies that creak with cronyism and secretive monopolies. In this enlightening, searing attack, Studwell pegs Asia’s ruling tycoons or “godfathers” as charming billionaire throwbacks who ruthlessly control business empires with the permission of corrupt, ever-shifting governments, prospering as the populace struggles. Studwell does a masterful job of synthesizing a sprawling topic. getAbstract recommends his book to anyone who’s considering investing in or doing business in Southeast Asia.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the Asian “godfathers” earned their billions
  • Why Southeast Asia spawns more oligarchs than innovators
  • How these tycoons use four main strategies to maintain their economic dominance
 

Summary

Building Wealth for Billionaires While the Masses Struggle
The Southeast Asian nations of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines – plus the city of Hong Kong – have produced a large number of billionaires. Forbes magazine’s ranking of the world’s richest...
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About the Author

Journalist Joe Studwell edits the China Economic Quarterly and is a director of a research firm. He has covered China for The Economist and wrote The China Dream: The Elusive Quest for the Greatest Untapped Market on Earth.


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    Biographies of the giants of industry show how they rose to the very top, what they did to stay there and just how ruthlessly they did it.

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