Thursday, July 5, 2012
Trigger Point by Matthew Glass
The year is 2018. The United States has a moderate president and a dysfunctional cabinet. The country is slowly recovering from the crash of 2008 and the monetary upheaval of 2014. China still holds a majority of our debt and we still don't trust other politically. China had sent advisers to the South Sudan to protect it's mineral rights there. The Chinese ruling government is split between 3 men, the president, Huang, who is stuck between Fan, who controls the army and Xu, the spineless the defense minister.
There is a terrorist raid in Uganda that results in many dead including 39 Americans. President Knowles has to decide how to retaliate. It is close to the midterm elections and he wants to appear decisive in order to keep the house and senate balance in his favor. His cabinet is full of hawks who want to go in with guns blazing. Secretary of State Bob Livingstone has been frozen out of the inner circle by John Oakley a presidential advisor and close personal friend of the president. Knowles consults with Huang. The Chinese agree to do nothing as long as the US stays in Uganda, but the borders are blurry and pilots may cross them without realizing it.
While this is going on Ed Gray the principal partner of Red Rock Investments decides to put some money into Uganda while at the same time shorting stock for Fidelain Bank, which is 26% owned by the Chinese and short of cash. Then everything falls apart. The bank needs not $10 billion but $26 billion to stay alive. And will not agree to a sale. The short sales net a large amount of money but then the market completely falls apart. The US accuses China of interfering and causing the collapse in order to influence the elections. And the elections are a disaster for Knowles. Meanwhile in Uganda, the rescue mission, was fired upon by South Sudanese military who have Chinese soldiers in their ranks. The captives and would be rescuers are moved deep into South Sudan.
Things continue to escalate. Military hardliners, confusion in motives, not understanding other cultures, FED and SEC ineptitude and general government dithering by both the US and China bring the world to the brink of war. China has an internal power struggle going on that no one knows about. The end will surprise you.
This book required some work on my part. With so many US government financial agencies involved I was curious to see if they could even remotely act in the way the author portrays them as acting. As far as I can tell it's accurate. Which was the most interesting thing about the book. It's a good case study in what not a government should do. Take the Cuban missile crisis, substitute China for Cuba, and then add a scenario worse than the 2008 financial meltdown, throw in a US mid-term election and you have this book.
Check our catalog