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Book Review: The Laundrymen (1995)

I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay – Ain’t it sad
And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me – That’s too bad
In my dreams I have a plan
If I got me a wealthy man
I wouldn’t have to work at all, I’d fool around and have a ball…

Money, money, money.. Must be funny
In the rich man’s world
Money, money, money.. Always sunny
In the rich man’s world
All the things I could do
If I had a little money
It’s a rich man’s world

Yes Yes you were so true in your wisdom Frida!! Money is indeed so funny in rich man’s world. Whereas for poor, it is a gateway to coronate all evils as Mark Twain once said: “The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

Anyway, it took me almost 11 non-serious months to seriously squander my thrustful desire of reading a thought-provoking book “The Laundrymen”. It is written by international bestselling American author, Jeffery Robinson, who famously wrote acclaimed biography of former Saudi Oil Minister, Yamani. 

Written in 1995, the 16-Chapters and 300-Pages book is the inside story of the dirty world of ‘Money Laundering’. It reveals many a secret and undresses various politicians, lawyers, bankers, bureaucrats and tycoons who chessed the money transaction and accoladed their efforts. Robinson also pens how underworld under-whirls the money and hides the true nature of money.


The book starts with Watergate Scandal and ends with Agha Hasan Abedi’s BCCI. Between the two unfairy tales lie many controversial moments when money was washed and business was done peculiarly. There are Borodianskys, there are Shakarchis, there are Schaffers. The games were played in 20th century and laws were made/changed by the peacekeepers. The book also deals with the bloodiest of drug trafficking organized ravishly in South America specially Columbia. So when I say black money of Columbia, then expect the stories of crime daddies like Pablo Escobar and the Orejuelas.

The book is too good in sketching Swiss Secrecy Laws and nexus of Swiss accounts to criminology. Few of historic scandals like Iran-Contra affair in Reagan’s era and de-functioning of Roberto Calvi’s Banco Ambrosiano are worth reading.

Robinson wrote it in 1995 but the truth is that history has no age or period. This remarkable masterpiece insists the fate of illness to prolong a vanquished desire in money making. The blood circulation of dirty money will abide you to gimmick the filth under a subtle way whereas the trojan game of “Catch Me If You Can” will limit to those who will graduate as ‘Laundryman’.

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Ratings: 6/10