More fundamentally, Studwell questions whether the Asian godfathers have been the real driving force behind the region’s success and. Asian Godfathers. Joe Studwell. longlist Studwell argues that greed, corruption and excess were partly responsible for the crisis and that Asia’s tycoons. Joe Studwell is the founding editor of the China Economic Quarterly. A freelance journalist in Asia for over twenty years, he has also written for the Economist.

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No nation can become wealthy without indigenously driven productivity improvements and research. The book exquisitely describes the socio-political landscape of the South East Asian countries, through a detailed historical account. His conclusion is very well-thought godcathers and hints at the possibility of development and progress in this r Even though the author’s tone asisn very subjective and negative, the ending was much lighter and positive.

Account Options Sign in. This could not have happened without the relatively business friendly, low tax, small government environment. Sep 21, Mark Desrosiers rated it really liked it Shelves: Exports grew to a point where they actually exceeded gross domestic product.

More fundamentally, Studwell questions whether the Asian studwell have been the real driving force behind the region’s success and concludes that ‘it is small-scale local businesses and the hard work and thrift of ordinary Southeast Asians that have driven development’.

Open Preview See a Problem? This is a relatively old book published in Really important description of how crony capitalism wrecks economies and the hardworking laborers that live in them. Heir apparent Jay Y. Why hairy crab is all the craze in China Oct 18th4: What makes a billionaire? Feb 17, Chris rated it it was amazing. Karena nama mereka lebih dikenal dan jelas nama mereka sering berseliweran di koran-koran Indonesia.

Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and South East Asia

Yet the scale of their dominanceoften obscured from the masses, is a major roadblock to greater innovation, competition and deregulatory steps to help gross domestic product trickle down. Thirdly, they have operated a successful arbitrage, by providing services a little bit more efficiently than their hinterland neighbours thereby attracting capital inflows.

Once core cash flow is obtained, godfathers can afford to take big risk, to make a lot of mistakes, and to ride losses long enough to turn into wins. This book methodically dismantles the myth of the astute business tycoon and tells the real, often-unflattering stories behind the “success” of the people that make up Southeast Asia’s economic elite which, in my opinion, is a more interesting angle compared to the fawning hagiography typically reserved for persons of their ilk.


What a refreshing, shocking, beautiful, thought-provoking read. Will be reading a lot more on certain places and people thanks to this experience. Then there is the legendary stinginess, as when one tycoon en route to clinching a deal abroad decided to save a few pounds by making his investment banker and colleagues take the London underground to the airport instead of a taxi.

Highly recommended for anybody venturing into doing business in South East Asia. Where are you from? Apr 12, Cat rated it liked it. This is the ugly truth of most of the so-called Godfathers’ wealth in South East Asia. Hong Kong and Southeast Asia are home to five hundred million people, yet their economies are dominated by only fifty families whose interests range from gdofathers to real godfathegs, shipping to sugar, gambling to lumber.

We couldn’t help thinking of the fictionalised account of some of these families in Crazy Rich Asians ; we studell suggest reading them in conjunction with each other.

I seldom write reviews, but this is a book that deserves to be read by more. Hanoi and Saigon is a slim, elegant book by Neil Sheehan about Vietnam in The notion that they are, however, is part and parcel of the tycoons’ self-image. By suavely ingratiating themselves godfthers new, post-colonial leaders, they won monopolies in commodities, real estate, power and gambling.

Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia – Joe Studwell – Google Books

Here, I think Indonesia made real progress in embedding democratic norms and better institutional performance, and should be celebrated for that. And of course there’s the ultimate entrepreneur Richard Branson, who has built around diverse companies under one brand godfatheds Virgin. Special prosecutors questioned Lee as a suspect in a bribery investigation, deepening an influence-peddling scandal that has already led to the impeachment of South Korea’s president.

A Personal History of Burma by Thant Myint-U remains an important read a decade or so on for anyone keen on understanding the nuances and richness of Burmese history. He has particular animus towards Lee Kuan Yew for his racialist theories and elitism and Studwell tries to debunk what he regards as the myth of the SE Asian Horatio Alger-type tycoons, whose successes largely owe to political corruption and government protected cartels.


Apr 23, Thai Son rated it really liked it Shelves: Subscribe to the Mekong Review Travelfish. As politics is the cause, so politics must be the cure, Studwell suggests, as only a change in politics can break the stranglehold between government and Godfather, and enable proper regulation of anti-competitive Godfather behaviour to allow others to get a look in.

So to put it shortly I’m not entirely convinced. On top of interesting story about South East Asian’s tycoons, the book has an insightful chapter on what drove Asian financial crisis in late ‘s.

Asian Godfathers is a fine book to deepen, or kick-off, your understanding of Southeast Asia’s godfathes economy. Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators and Fading Empires is an goffathers series of compelling historical vignettes that together create a colourful portrait of the Pacific Ocean and its modern past. Until the system that creates tycoon economies changes, most godfathers will remain untouchable — just as their American equivalents were at the start of the Twentieth Godfathfrs.

And some other interesting odds and ends about the region. In this explosive account, Joe Studwell finds that the facts are even more remarkable than the myths, as he lifts the lid on a world of hypocrisy, power and enormous wealth. My library Help Advanced Book Search. Return to Book Page. Yes, the godfathers do steal, bribe, rob, transgress, and exploit, but they do so within a preset legal and executive systemic political players that enable them.

Lee is embroiled in the same influence-peddling scandal undoing Park and shoulder-checked the Korean establishment. How to be a godfather 1 Get in character.

Samsung Exposes ‘Asian Godfathers’ Problem

R Kukrit Pramoj The late M. No trivia or quizzes yet. But the task of actually running their businesses, and putting deals cut over golf or lunch into practice, falls to managers.

And it’s that genius for making a deal that led the godfathers to understand that the really crucial deals had to be made with politicians who had the power to grant the lucrative concessions.