In a rip-roaring plot that could be torn from tomorrow's headlines, bestselling author T. Davis Bunn weaves political intrigues and disturbing moral dilemmas into a chillingly credible portrait of the cutthroat world of international finance.Jackie Havilland is working in an Orlando detective agency when she is approached with an unusual request: Esther Hutchings, wife of Congressman Graham Hutchings, wants Jackie to find out who is behind a smear campaign to destroy her husband, who has recently suffered a debilitating stroke. Congressman Hutchings was investigating a secret project called Tsunami, the biggest currency scam in history. Jackie is instructed to unearth all she can and to leave no paper trail.Wynn Bryant, a successful, wealthy businessman, is the brother-in-law of the governor of Florida. Wynn has never liked politics and is surprised when his brother-in-law contrives to have him take Hutchings's place in Congress.
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December 31, 2000
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Excerpt from Drummer In the Dark by T. Davis Bunn
IN 1993, certain hedge funds and investment banks active in foreign exchange caused a run on the British pound. One hedge fund alone netted over three billion dollars profit from sixteen hours of trading.
In 1998, foreign exchange traders attacked the currencies of seven Asian nations. Five countries entered economic meltdown as a result. In a subsequent speech before the United Nations, the President of Malaysia condemned the world's foreign exchange traders and the hedge fund operators. He called them "marauding pirates."
In 2000, the new pan-European currency, the euro, came under attack. According to official reports, supporting the euro against foreign exchange traders has already cost American, European, and Japanese central banks and taxpayers over ninety billion dollars.
Recently the former director of Germany's central bank said that a sustained assault on the American dollar was "only a matter of time.''
Because the international foreign exchange and currency derivatives markets are the least regulated of all major exchanges, their exact size cannot be stated. But the most widely accepted estimate places current market volume in excess of three trillion dollars.
LIBERTY PARK was a block-wide strip of palms and patchy grass stretching from the Melbourne hospital to the airport's border. The park lay a mile from the high-rent district fronting the Intracoastal Waterway, and was bordered by Florida retirees who couldn't afford beachfront prices. Local residents loathed the park. By day, the place was empty and baking. By night, the druggies and the pros took over. The noise, according to newspaper reports, was inhuman. In the two years since Wynn Bryant had sold his business, cashed in his corporate chips, and built his Merritt Island home fourteen miles north, he had successfully avoided giving the park a second glance.
This steamy March afternoon, Wynn watched his sister from the safety of his air-conditioned Audi. Sybel Bryant Wells, wife of Florida Governor Grant Wells, stood by tables laden with a meal for the homeless. A cluster of reporters hovered by the opposite side of the road, shooting pictures of how the governor's wife celebrated her birthday.
Six years earlier, when his fledgling high-tech company had racked up its first major deal, Wynn had offered his sister her heart's desire. He was twenty-eight at the time and flush with his first taste of success. The years leading up to that point had been fairly savage, and much of his early survival had been due to Sybel's strength. This birthday offer had been Wynn's attempt at payback. Sybel's husband was then a lowly state legislator with lofty ambitions, and money had been tight. Whatever she wanted for her birthday, Wynn had offered to give her, that year and every March to come. If he could afford it, it was hers. Sybel's response had shocked him speechless.