Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword or section
Like this
19Activity
P. 1
The Informant by Kurt Eichenwald - Excerpt

The Informant by Kurt Eichenwald - Excerpt

Ratings:

3.89

(122)
|Views: 705 |Likes:
In The Informant, award-winning investigative reporter and New York Times bestselling author Kurt Eichenwald tells the outrageously true story of greed, corruption, and conspiracy that left the FBI and Justice Department counting on the cooperation of one man. Now headed for the silver screen, the film adaptation of The Informant is directed by Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh, with Matt Damon set to portray Mark Whitacre, the executive who wore a wire for the FBI as they tried to bring down corporate giant Archer Daniels Midland—but whose dark secrets and hidden agenda threatened to unravel one of the largest price-fixing cases in history.
In The Informant, award-winning investigative reporter and New York Times bestselling author Kurt Eichenwald tells the outrageously true story of greed, corruption, and conspiracy that left the FBI and Justice Department counting on the cooperation of one man. Now headed for the silver screen, the film adaptation of The Informant is directed by Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh, with Matt Damon set to portray Mark Whitacre, the executive who wore a wire for the FBI as they tried to bring down corporate giant Archer Daniels Midland—but whose dark secrets and hidden agenda threatened to unravel one of the largest price-fixing cases in history.

More info:

Publish date: Aug 11, 2009
Added to Scribd: Aug 11, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Buy the full version from:Amazon
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

08/21/2013

pdf

text

original

 
THEINFORMANT
 A TRUE STORY
K
URT
E
ICHENWALD
 
Copyright © 2000 by Kurt EichenwaldAll rights reserved.Published in the United States by Broadway Books, an imprint of the CrownPublishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.www.crownpublishing.comBROADWAY BOOKSand the Broadway Books colophon are trademarks of Random House, Inc.Originally published in hardcover in the United States by Broadway Books in2000, and a previous paperback edition of this book was published by Broad-way Books in 2001.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataEichenwald, Kurt, 1961–The informant: A true story / Kurt Eichenwaldp.cm.1. United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation.2. Archer Daniels Mid-land Company—Corrupt practices.3. Commercial crimes—United StatesCase studies.4. Informers—United States—Case studies.I. Title.HV8144.F43 E53 2000364.16'8'0973dc2100-034254ISBN 978-0-7679-3125-0Printed in the United States of America10987654321
www.BroadwayBooks.com

Activity (19)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
rincey_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
I would probably give this one 3.5 stars if I could.

I liked this a lot. The story was very engaging, especially since you know it is a true story. And I spent the entire novel wondering whether or not Whitacre was a good guy or not cause I seriously was just waiting for him to flip out or something. haha

I recommend it and I kind of want to see the movie version now.
sigmundfraud reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Worth reading but much too much detailed. I was interested in the story of the ADM execs but not the story of the FBI and DOJ people fighting among themselves to control this case. I was sympathetic to Whitacre and thought it was a rotten deal for the FBI to use him extensively to build their case and then indict him and send him to jail. As a money manager I have followed ADM which piqued my interest but the details are endless.
miro_4 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
[Contains Spoilers] In his afterword, Eichenwald says, "While everything described in this book occurred, the story was intentionally structured to lend temporary credence to some of the many lies told in this investigation. Essentially, I was attempting to put readers in the same uncertain position as the investigators, all the while dropping hints - admittedly subtle at times - about where reality began."The result is very effective as the FBI's star cooperating witness (Mark Whitacre) starts off providing great evidence of international corporate price fixing on tape and film and then proceeds to lose his credibility (and greatly complicate the anti-trust case) by his personal theft from the company of millions of dollars, even while he is cooperating with the FBI. Remarkably, the FBI keep things on track with great professionalism while facing off high level corporate lawyers, political interference and an idiotic witness, although it is finally the admission of guilt by the Asian price fixers that ensures success.An observation after reading the book is that international price fixing could be a lot more widespread than it would at first appear, and that some some politicians are not about to change. Bill Clinton was quick to congratulate "My good friend" Dwayne Andreas, the chairman of ADM, despite his obstruction of the FBI at every turn and his only avoiding jail through a plea bargain.
sublime98 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This is an excellent book. Well written, and actually thrilling. As I find with many books about corporations, names get confusing, and I found myself having to go back to the character index numerous times as the book went on.The unraveling of the entire Archer Daniels Midland case is fascinating. The ultimate ironic ending makes it all the better (or rather, worse, for some of the characters). This book is a perfect display of how hard some people work to find the truth, and how hard others will work to keep it from them, or distort it as much as possible.
dougcornelius_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I’ve had Kurt Eichenwald’s The Informant on my reading list for a long time. It dropped down on the list after seeing the previews for the Steven Soderbergh movie. Why read the book when you can watch the movie?What raised my interest was hearing a great radio segment from This American Life that tells some of the background of the price fixing conspiracy and FBI cooperating witness Mark Whitacre: The Fix is in.I have to admit that while reading the book, I had the image of Matt Damon in my mind as the character of Mark Whitacre. The other image that stands out is the scene in the movie previews with Mr. Damon playing Mr. Whitacre as he is fiddling with the hidden tape recorder in his briefcase. As you can see from the actual video of the meeting, Whitacre really did open open up the hidden compartment and check out the tape recorder.The true story in the book is a crazy tale. Whitacre came forward as a cooperating witness to the FBI, telling them that his company, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), was engaged in price-fixing for the global market for lysine. The allegations quickly spread to other products and to kickbacks. Whitacre was a great witness, eagerly taping conversations of illicit activity and clearly willing to take down his colleagues and management of the company.The story wanders a bit, periodically gets stagnant, then explodes as new secrets are revealed. The author, Kurt Eichenwald, tells the story from the perspective of the FBI. If the story were not true, it could have been streamlined and the characters could have been explored in more depth. But it’s a true story with real people. So you have to let the story evolve as the FBI uncovers more and more of the activity of ADM, and unfortunately more and more of the activity of Whitacre.Whitacre had problems. These problems become apparent and worsen as the story progresses. The perfect witness ends up not being so perfect. Inconsistencies begin to appear and then grow worse.Kurt Eichenwald covered the story for The New York Times and interviewed most of the participants in writing the book. He tells the story by methodically recording the six-year investigation and deconstructing the disturbed Whitacre.Add the book to your reading list and move it towards the top.
literarylinda reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I found this true story very disturbing. It is very sad to think that corporations like these can be so unlawful. However, the book was written like a novel and is very readable.
joshuat6 reviewed this
It is a great, smart comedy. It will be confusing but you'll love it!
clif_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This non-fiction story is more interesting than any fictional crime detective story. I feel compelled to be a bit more enthusiastic than usual about this book to overcome the reaction of potential readers who are not interested in a story about price fixing at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). That may sound boring. Trust me, it’s not! By the end of the book, you will learn that as of the year 2000 over a billion dollars in fines had been paid worldwide by various food and pharmaceutical companies as a result of the fall-out from this case. Thousands of normally law-abiding people had to be involved over many years for such wide spread price fixing to exist. It took one flawed cooperating witness to expose the crimes to law enforcement. When I use the word “flawed,” this one was a doozy! As multiple layers of lies are peeled back in this story the reader can’t help but wonder just how many more layers can there be? The story is told from the point of view of the FBI as they investigate the case. A small but interesting part of the story is the internal friction between the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors. In this case the FBI appears to be the good guys and the DOJ are a bunch of bumbling idiots. At one point the DOJ appears to be guilty of trying to obstruct justice in response to political pressure. It’s too bad the author wasn’t able to learn the behind-the-scenes reasons for their actions. It was probably a good example of the effect of the generous political contributions made by ADM.A runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize, The Informant is a mesmerizing piece of investigative reporting. The foreword to the book says that everything in the book is true including the lies. After finishing the book, I understand the reason for that statement.
ilovemycat1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Incredible story and a true page turner about price fixing and other corporate misdeeds at Archer, Daniels, Midland, a fortune 500 company. Eichenwald does a masterful job to get the reader through the twists and turns of an emotionally complicated and unstable central figure, Mark Whitacre, who becomes the FBI informant and then the target of Justice Dept/FBI probes. Reading Eichenwald's Conspiracy of Fools(the Enron scandal) right before The Informant, and during another decade of corporate greed and misdeeds (mortgage, financial scandals) leaves the reader incredulous and somewhat powerless next to the seemingly systemic and far reaching ability of corporations to skew the landscape and playing field for the rest of us.
grheault_2 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Rarely does a book grab you so firmly in the first few pages. Twisting, turning, amazing reversals that keep you fascinated even if you succumb early on to googling and wiki-ing the real life characters who people this book. Leaves you with a very dim view of the upper echelons of business, and with great sympathy and appreciation for the civil servants who try to maintain a semblance of a fair and free market. Read it to glimpse the psychology of power and greed, and leave it there. As a morality tale you will come away wondering why you are so stupidly honest. A must read for young MBA's and other prospective masters of the universe

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download