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Exposes how American Express used ruthless tactics to destroy the reputation of its competitor, Swiss banker Edmond Safra. This is a dramatic true crime story of corporate espionage and dirty dealing in the powerful world of international banking. Moving from the American Express offices in New York City to a luxurious estate in the South of France to secret meetings with government officials in Peru, it involves a rift between two men who have millions of dollars at stake, the shadowy peddling of information and a cast of characters that includes some of the most influential and successful bankers of the 80s.
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When the 1983 merger between the American Express Bank and Edmond Safra's Trade and Development Bank failed, Safra reestablished himself with an independent banking concern that would compete directly with American Express. Burrough, coauthor of Barbarians at the Gate ( LJ 1/90), tells of an ill-founded and vindictive attempt by individuals hired by American Express to discredit Safra in the media. Though the incident was mentioned in Jon Friedman's House of Cards (Putnam, 1992), Burrough's insight into the culture clash between the parties gives fascinating dimension to a story that spans almost a decade and involves unsavory players in the affairs of a multinational corporation. For both lay readers and specialists.-- Joseph Barth, U.S. Military Acad. Lib., West Point, N.Y.

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