The Informant: A True Story
So reads the cover of this high-powered true crime story, an accurate teaser to a bizarre financial scandal with more plot twists than a John Grisham novel. In 1992 the FBI stumbled upon Mark Whitacre, a top executive at the Archer Daniels Midland...more
I had known of this book for some time, and was generally aware it concerned the ADM antitrust price-fixing trial. But I had thought, wrongly as it turned out, that the book was about the trial. In fact, the trial is relegated to...more
The Informant is a true story about Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and their alleged price fixing in a variety of agricultural markets. Mark Whitacre, a top executive of ADM, is the 'informant'. Whitacre assisted the FBI in compiling hundreds of audio and video tapes, documenting ADM's price fixing wit...more
but by the time I got to page 450, I was burned out and went to the last chapter to see how things turned out.
He put in too many descriptions of buildings, etc that really didn't have anything to do with the story.
Also every fart, sneeze, cough and backache by everyone in the book.
Whoever edited the book failed, the story needed to be tighten up.
Only a little about the trial, and because the book was written in 2000, nothing about a...more
Seriously, I am so impressed with author Kurt Eichenwald that I'm set to read anything he writes. I first read his Enron b...more
This book is about the executive employees of Archer Daniels Midland Company, or ADM. Although I did not recogfnize this company, it does touch each of our live...more
The ADM price-fixing case in the late 1990s was unprecedented in terms of scope and evidence. The cooperating witness, Mark Whitacre, spent about three taping meeting and phone calls showing ADM agreeing to fix prices with 4 other companies in the global market for lysine. The ADM fine and evidence led to other prosecutions of price-fixing and law enforcement approaches price-fixing investigations and prosecutions in a completely new way.
This is the true story (non-fiction whore that I am) about a cooperating witness working with the FBI. However, the "golden informant" that the FBI thinks they have turns out to be so much more than they bargained for.
It's such a tangled story but the author does a great job of telling the story. Giving us just...more
It's a big book, and I've been reading it for a couple weeks, and I haven't been able to place my finger on why this book is amazing, or even how to describe it.
The basic description, that makes me yawn, is: a large agriculture company is involved with price-fixing, and an executive turns informant to tell the FBI all about it.
But the informant turns out to be....this is one of the places I get stuck - trying to put into words the largess of Mark...more
When Dr Mark Whitacre contacted the FBI about international price-fixing at Archer Daniels Midland—one of the world’s most influential and politically connected companies—nobody knew (or cared) about...more
The first 200 pages were really tough to get through. So much information to digest, especially if you are not well versed in the business world and it's dealings. But about midway the story really st...more
The level of power the central character achieved, his inscrutable behaviors, and the enormous size and power of the p...more
Eichenwald takes what could be pretty boring and makes it read like a novel. I honestly couldn't put it down. Best inside-account of true-life business adventure since Barbarians at the Gate (which I also adored). I read this book before I was aware that a movie was being made and thought "this could make a really interesting movie." Guess someone els...more
I enjoyed the true crime aspects of the case, Kurt Eichenwald did a good job of keeping the suspense up (although the first 150 pages are a bit tedious, and the constant references to Mr. John Grisham could have been left out) as well as his attempts at simplifying the crimes involved for the average reader (don't know much about history, don't know much biology). The beginning prologue is pretty e...more
Archer Daniels Midlands is one of those companies you always see ads for (often around PBS shows), but probably have little to no idea what they do. Well, I for one now have a much better idea, but I can’t say that I admire them at all—and the US Justice Department and parts of the FBI don’t come off much better! ADM, which advertises itself as "The Supermarket to the World," proces...more
I had seen the film before reading this, and it was still quite engaging. Probably would've been even better if I hadn't. I still tore through it though. The only criticism I could offer is that it became difficult to keep all of the different government factions straight....there are several different groups within the FBI, DoJ etc. and it's difficult to remember who is fighting with whom. Though I guess that is just anoth...more
I didn't necessarily gain the insight into the main character I was looking for though I was curious...more
The hardest things to take about this book are its length and its huge cast of characters. There are times when it just felt long, and it's hard to keep all the ADM employees, lawy...more
Eichenwald does such a wonderful job with this fantastically outragous account, t...more
I think I saw a pull quote that said something along the lines of...more
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 a...more