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$UPERHUBS: How the Financial Elite and their Networks Rule Our World

$uperHubs is a rare, behind-the-scenes look at how the world's most powerful titans, the "superhubs" pull the levers of our global financial system. Combining insider's knowledge with principles of network science, Sandra Navidi offers a startling new perspective on how superhubs build their powerful networks and how their decisions impact all our lives. $uperHubs reveals what happens at the exclusive, invitation-only platforms - The World Economic Forum in Davos, the meetings of the International Monetary Fund, think-tank gatherings and exclusive galas. It renders the most vivid portrait to date of the global elites, such as Larry Summers, George Soros, Christine Lagarde, Jamie Dimon and other high-profile bank CEOs, fund managers, and policy makers who, through their interlocking relationships and collective influence transform our increasingly fragile financial, economic and political systems. Indeed, superhubs and their networks are one of the main reasons for the incipient global revolt, which may eventually change the existing world order.

Praise for $uperHubs

“In $uperHubs, Ms. Navidi skillfully applies network science to the global financial system and the human networks that underpin it. $uperHubs is a topical and relevant book that should be read by anyone seeking a fresh perspective on the human endeavor that is our financial system.”

  • PROFESSOR LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS, Harvard; former US Secretary of the Treasury, former Director of the US National Economic Council, former president of Harvard University, and author

“Sandra Navidi’s book $uperHubs is beautifully and effectively done. Not only is it a fascinating description of the power wielded by elite networks over the financial sector, it is also a meditation on the consequences of this system for the economy and the society. In recent times, we have seen extraordinary ruptures – notably Britain’s vote to break away from the European Union and the intensified sense of exclusion felt by much of America’s working class. The last chapter of $uperHubs proposes that this ruling system's “monoculture,” its isolation from the rest of society, and its seeming unawareness of the fragility of what it has built are largely responsible for these ruptures, and that the system may lead to a major crisis in the future.”

  • PROFESSOR EDMUND S. PHELPS, Columbia University, 2006 Nobel Prize in Economics; Director, Center on Capitalism and Society, and author

“How are we governed? By whom and how? These are the classic questions to which globalization and the financial markets have given a new urgency.  $uperHubs provides a front row seat in the theater of fundamental change.”

  • OLAFUR RAGNAR GRIMSSON, President of Iceland 1996-2016

SuperHubs” is a book written with great style but also containing a lot of important substance. The style is so engaging, a real page turner, that I finished it in one non-stop session. But the substance of Navidi’s text is no less compelling. Unlike many, she does not see the global economy as a predictable machine in the competent hands of policymakers, but rather as a complex, adaptive system prone to catastrophic breakdowns and rising inequality. Further, she situates the financial system at the very core of this economy where a concentrated number of real human beings – the “superhubs” – exercise an unrecognized degree of economic and political power.  The values of these people, the networks they maintain, and their resistance to constructive change are crucial components threatening the future stability of the economy and even our democratic political systems. By identifying these systemic problems, Navidi brings us one step closer to appropriate solutions. A “must read”, and a pleasure to do so.”

  • WILLIAM R. WHITE, Chairman of the Economic and Development Review Committee at the OECD; former Executive Committee Member, Head of the Monetary and Economic Department, and Economic Adviser at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS); former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada, and author

“In $uperHubs, Sandra Navidi provides exceedingly illuminating professional and personal insights into the global financial system. She illustrates its structures, interconnections, and inner workings with great expertise and consistent logic. Her analysis is balanced. She critically examines the implications of the increasing interconnections of decision-makers in the financial system and their concentration of power. Of particular benefit is that the book is easy to understand, making it also enjoyable to readers without any prior knowledge. Numerous references allow for further immersion. The thought-provoking impulses make $uperHubs highly recommended reading.”

  • PROFESSOR JÜRGEN STARK, former Chief Economist and former Executive Board Member of the European Central Bank and former Vice President of the Bundesbank

“Superhubs—what a clever concept! In $uperHubs, Sandra Navidi impresses with a masterful piece of both reporting and analysis.”

  • PROFESSOR KLAUS SCHWAB, Founder and Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and author

“Today’s complex and challenging environment requires a fresh approach towards addressing key issues. In her book $uperHubs, Sandra has pointed out the interplay between economic, geopolitical, financial, and human development challenges. She highlights the linkages between key elements of change, which—if well managed and coordinated—can be powerful drivers for growth, and profitability. $uperHubs is an analytical, engaging, and insightful guide for business leaders in markets which are global, dynamic, and complex. It is a must-read for all who are striving for growth and excellence!”

  • HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. SHAUKAT AZIZ, former Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Pakistan, former CEO of Citibank Global Wealth Management, and author

“In $uperHubs, Sandra Navidi provides an entertaining and absorbing portrayal of the networks used by many of the top executives in finance. She has a unique set of perceptions of how certain elements of that world work. She describes examples taken from meetings in Switzerland at the World Economic Forum and traces relationships and their network effects on a broader basis. She draws many useful conclusions and provides terrific portraits of some of the major players in finance today.”

  • STEPHEN A. SCHWARZMAN, Chairman, CEO, and Cofounder of Blackstone, Chairman of U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum

$uperHubs Shines a light on our financial world and the tremendously powerful titans who are in charge of it. With vivid narratives and systems thinking, Sandra Navidi effortlessly connects the dots between people, institutions and events. Her conclusions demonstrate the systemic pitfalls and potential improvements. I highly recommend this fun and very useful book!”

  • ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, founder and co-managing partner of SkyBridge Capital, Executive Committee Member of U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump Presidential Transition Team, host of Wall Street Week, and author

“An expert tour guide, Ms. Navidi helps us understand the mechanisms that drive our global financial system by ultimately telling a human story of how a select few wield incredible financial and political power. $uperHubs is a substantive book with just the right balance of research and stories to make it an entertaining and satisfying read.”

  • THE HONORABLE GEORGETTE MOSBACHER, Entrepreneur, and author

$uperHubs is an engaging and provocative analysis of how super-empowered individuals and their powerful networks shape the financial system in ways that are potentially perilous.  It is as rich in its narrative as it is in its corroborating research.  Based on the premise that the financial world is a complex, self-organizing system, Navidi makes the case that these individuals’ actions collectively cause complexity and  – if unchecked – could lead to the system’s breakdown. $uperHubs is a must-read for anyone seeking to fathom global finance and untangle the role of its leading players.”

  • FREDERICK KEMPE, President and CEO, Atlantic Council, and author

“In $uperHubs, Sandra Navidi raises a fascinating question: Who are the captains of global society, and how did they earn this privilege? In particular, Navidi details the links between influence within today’s global financial system and power. She applies social science to behind-the-scenes interactions at some of the financial world’s most exclusive events to paint a compelling portrait of the industry and offer readers new insight into those with the power to quickly change the world.”

  • IAN BREMMER, President and Founder of Eurasia Group, and author

“As a colleague, confidante, and sometimes critic of prominent financial personalities from Nouriel Roubini to George Soros, Sandra Navidi is in a unique position to observe the factors that give these titans their power. Though brainpower and personalities are important, Navidi shows how the networks they have developed are crucial. Her writing blends personal anecdote and wry observation with a sound grasp of the science of complex self-organizing systems, making $uperHubs a uniquely intelligent and engaging insight into financial power.”

  • PROFESSOR STEVE KEEN, Head of the School of Economics, Politics and History at Kingston University London, and author

$uperHubs is dedicated to a vitally important topic: the state of our financial system and its implications for society. To the non-expert reader, Sandra Navidi’s profound analysis of financial systems is made easily comprehensible by illustrating network science-theory with real-life examples. It makes for a tremendously informative and entertaining read. If you want to understand how our world works, this book is for you.”

  • PROFESSOR DIMITAR D. SASSELOV, Phillips Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University, Director of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative, and author

“The 1 percent isn’t an abstraction; it’s people. And here they are, described with clarity, pity, horror, and sympathy by a woman who gained their confidence, traveled the globe as part of their inner circles, offered them counsel, and—after this book—will be remembered as the woman who revealed how they maintain their plutocracy.”

  • PROFESSOR DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF, Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY Queens, author, and documentarian

“Power rests in the network—but the network itself is a complex and moving target. In this personal account of rising from outsider to insider among today’s levers of global power, Sandra Navidi explains how the many high-profile names, readers will recognize in these pages, are themselves hubs and connectors, and how their relations to each other are the bonds of influence that shape the world.”

  • PARAG KHANNA, Senior Research Fellow in the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, global strategist, author, Managing Partner of Hybrid Reality, and Cofounder & CEO of Factotum

“This book is unique in describing and analyzing the human behavior in the upper circles of the global financial system. I agree with the author that unethical behavior has aggravated the increasing wealth gap and social stratification, and thus has fundamentally shaken society’s trust in our financial system. The need for political action to save banks in the crisis of 2008, made clear that the financial system is not just a private sector but also a common good. It is this focus on the common good and the wellbeing of ordinary people that has to be considered in capitalism in general and in the financial sector in particular. This book will empower readers to advocate for change.”

  • AART DE GEUS, Chairman and CEO, Bertelsmann Foundation, and author

“Whether a ski weekend in a luxury chalet in Davos or billion-dollar deals on Wall Street—the financial world’s exclusive networks make it possible. $uperHubs is a must-read for those who want to understand how these discrete circles tick, who the most important players, the “superhubs,” are who pull the strings behind the scenes, and how their networks should be reformed to avoid future global crises. Navidi describes vividly and without taboos how the financial elite have created their own cosmos and why it is about time we scrutinize the rules upon which this system is based.”

  • ANNETTE HEUSER, CEO, Professor Otto Beisheim Foundation

“Taking an original - and innovative - approach, Sandra Navidi applies network science as a conceptual lens to explain the financial system’s structure. Using personal anecdotes, she illustrates how network dynamics play out in practice and substantiates the far-reaching economic and social implications with further research. $uperHubs is a timely and stimulating reflection on the ramifications of globalization driven by exclusive networks, and an important contribution to the public discourse.”

  • STEVEN E. SOKOL, President American Council on Germany

“Since finance plays an unprecedented role in today’s world order, the crucial question is how its leaders connect and interact while they assume the responsibility for an entire system. By exploring the financial world as a highly complex and powerful human system, Sandra Navidi’s book shares a fascinating look behind the scenes of these influential networks, providing expert insight into their mechanisms. In an increasingly digitalized world, human” interaction remains at the core of the global finance system. $uperHubs offers a balanced analysis of the system’s driving forces and raises controversial issues regarding the far-reaching impact of a few all-powerful individuals, addressing the fundamental aspects of the complex human dynamics ruling finance and the world. A spirited and riveting book that makes for an intriguing read.”

  • BORIS COLLARDI, CEO of Bank Julius Bär, and author

“Sandra Navidi has been a keen observer of the world’s financial power elite for many years. Her book $uperHubs deftly takes the reader through the global and societal consequences of those people’s relationships, power, and money.”

  • BILL BROWDER, Cofounder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, human rights activist, and author

$uperHubs is indispensable for readers who want to understand the financial world’s dynamics. As a financial markets expert, Sandra Navidi is predestined to explain complex economic and financial issues as she has successfully demonstrated for years as an expert on n-tv. Her fascinating insider’s perspective reveals complex linkages among the financial elite and the resulting far-reaching consequences. $uperHubs is a blockbuster!”

  • HANS DEMMEL, CEO of n-tv (RTL Group)

“Sandra Navidi is intimately familiar with the financial power brokers and describes them straightforwardly in her book $uperHubs. Superhubs are the people who by virtue of their many superb connections have become gravitational centers in the international financial universe. Sandra Navidi grants us insights into the characters who currently rule our world. She correctly points out that those who influence financial markets influence the entire world. We will see how financial oligarchs—who may be at their zenith, or are perhaps facing their coming demise—tick and how they have instrumentalized most governments to realize their interests. We will see how it has been possible for financial power and wealth to accrue in ever fewer hands. Towards the end, Sandra Navidi suggests solutions. Ultimately, reform can only successfully be achieved through the primacy of politics, but we are very far away from that. $uperHubs demonstrates how far off.”

  • PROFESSOR MAX OTTE, University of Applied Sciences, Worms; head of the Cologne-based IFVE; and author

“Money + information + social capital = infinite opportunities. That’s the magic formula of the financial elite according to Sandra Navidi. She vividly describes how homogeneous alpha males maximize their opportunities at glamorous parties and exclusive conferences. Readers will wish that this type of financial elite will disappear, or at the very least, include more women.”

  • PROFESSOR THOMAS MAYER, former Chief Economist of Deutsche Bank Group, Head of Deutsche Bank Research, and author

“Sandra Navidi has written an absorbing portrayal of the financial elite’s power structures. The internationally renowned financial expert takes readers to the world’s power epicenters, where an exclusive circle of the most influential people, the “superhubs,” rules the world. She demonstrates conclusively how the financial elite’s power self-perpetuates. While her analysis is sometimes benevolent and sometimes critical, it is always differentiated. $uperHubs is a definite “buy”!”

  • DIRK MÜLLER, financial markets expert, and author

“I greatly appreciate Sandra Navidi’s book. She has thoughtfully observed and rightfully determined that a few powerful people rule the world with their extensive networks. May $uperHubs inspire them to make the world a more humane and peaceful place.”

  • ROBERT SALZL, Member of the Foundation Board and Senior Adviser, Schörghuber Stiftung & Co. Holding KG


$uper-hubs enthüllt, wie die Finanzelite und ihre mächtigen Netzwerke das Weltgeschehen – und damit unser aller Leben – beherrschen.

Als Insiderin der Hochfinanz erläutert Sandra Navidi die komplexen Netzwerke der Finanzindustrie auf der Grundlage der Netzwerktheorie und beleuchtet die Menschen, die hinter abstrakten Institutionen und Milliarden an Kapital stehen, ihre Persönlichkeit, Vorgehensweise und ihre privilegierte Existenz. Super-hubs sind die am besten vernetzten Knotenpunkte innerhalb des Finanzsystems, wie Milliardär George Soros, JP Morgan Chef Jamie Dimon und Blackrock Boss Larry Fink. Ihre Entscheidungen haben direkten Einfluss auf Kapitalmärkte, Industrien, Arbeitsplätze, Wechselkurse, Rohstoffe oder den Preis unserer Lebensmittel. Durch ihre persönlichen Netzwerke potenziert sich ihr individueller Einfluss zu gebündelter “Supermacht“. In einer systemischen Gesamtschau analysiert Sandra Navidi die Auswirkungen dieser elitären Netzwerke auf unser Finanzsystem und damit auch auf die Zukunft unserer Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft.

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