The Asylum

Full Name
The Asylum: The Renegades Who Hijacked the World's Oil Market

The Asylum is a stunning exposé that once and for all reveals the truth behind America’s oil addiction in all its unscripted and dysfunctional glory. Part oral history and part exposé, this book ventures deep into the belly of the beast, revealing how the unchecked and incestuous relationships between Washington and Wall Street paved the way for an era of $100 oil. From the grand alliances to the outrageous fortunes that have repeatedly brought the economy to the brink, this is one real-life story both Washington and Wall Street don't want you to read. For the first time, hear the story of the rise and ruin of the global oil market—in the words of the oil traders who built it.

“A riveting tale of greed gone mad. Goodman nails the culture... A great ride for market fans…”


Finance journalist Goodman traces Nymex’s transformation into a colossus with a stranglehold on the sale of the world’s energy. Goodman explores the lurid culture of Nymex traders, scruffy hustlers who shriek, swear and bring guns, drugs, and hookers right into the trading pit…One of the year’s most colorful business histories.”

Publishers Weekly

“A seriously informative and amusing look into the oil trading pits.”

Huffington Post

“Goodman reveals a rough-and-tumble group with little formal education, who dress down, answer to no one, and are tougher than marines. Activities at the exchange are rife with cheating and overindulgence in drugs, prostitutes, and illegal gambling…Biting and infuriating, with even a ‘Deep Throat’ in the scoop.”


“In the complex world of the energy markets where pit trading is a blue-collar profession, Goodman captures the grit and spirit of the floor and the personalities in the board room... Her depiction of the players and the place to ring true.”


“Goodman’s book ultimately concludes that the price of oil is determined less by OPEC, and more by a few hundred speculators in Manhattan who are exempted from regulation by means of several loopholes.”

Tom Kloza, OPIS

“A rollicking, fast-paced, decades-long tale of a marketplace that sprang out of a potato futures market...When the instability of supply and relentless demand drives up price levels and volatility, these traders do very well indeed. And when that happens, the partying really kicks into high gear.”

National Resources Defense Council

“Welcome to a bet-on-anything, testosterone-drenched world…written with tremendous verve and insight.”

AR (Absolute Return + Alpha)