They were a band of outsiders unable to get jobs with New York's gilded financial establishment. They would go on to corner the world's oil market, reaping unimaginable riches while bringing the economy to its knees. Meet the New York Mercantile Exchange--a secretive, members-only club of men and women who live lavish lifestyles; cavort with politicians, strippers, and celebrities; and blissfully jacked up oil prices to nearly $150 a barrel while profiting off the misery of the working class. Many come from working-class families themselves--the progeny of immigrants who escaped war-torn Europe, they take pride in spurning Wall Street. Under an all-powerful oil cartel, the energy market had long eluded the grasp of America's hungry capitalists, but the rough-and-tumble traders of Nymex went after this Goliath and won, creating the world's first free oil market. Their stunning journey from poverty to prosperity belies the brutal and violent history that is their legacy.--From publisher description.