Banker's Debut Thriller Unmasks Real Threats to Financial Markets

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H.T. Narea’s 'THE FUND' exposes derivatives as financial weapons of mass destruction with potential to be manipulated in terrorism plot

“A financial apocalyptic thriller full of surprises and insider knowledge. A terrific read!”
–Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author

The financial markets and world economy are showing every sign of slow and steady recovery two years after one of the worst economic meltdowns in history. But the financial instruments that played a key role in the economic downturn still have the potential to wreak on the markets and, left unchecked by regulators, open the door for financial terrorism that threatens Americans’ economic safety, as much as their physical safety has been jeopardized in the past decade.

That’s the premise of a new novel penned by international banker H.T. Narea that debuts in bookstores this week. The book, titled THE FUND, follows a U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency operative investigating the suspicious money trail of plotters seeking to implode the world’s financial markets. The story is set amidst current real-life challenges to global stability – a weak U.S. economy, the turbulence of the Middle East, undiscovered terrorist cells, radiological weapons, the powerful rise of China and for good measure, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. The author follows in the footsteps of his father-in-law, Paul Erdman, the former columnist and New York Times bestselling author who invented the financial fiction genre.

“I could have written all of this in the form of a weighty economic tome with lots of statistics, charts and graphs,” said Mr. Narea. “But I decided to tell a story in the form of a novel to enable readers to more easily grasp the risks we still face.”

Narea’s novel also parallels a U.S. Department of Defense-commissioned report, titled “Economic Warfare: Risks & Responses,” which investigated exogenous threats that may have contributed to the 2008 economic crisis. After recently reading the report, Narea said: “Like my novel THE FUND, it lays out a scenario leading to the complete failure of our financial markets, pointing to the need for greater regulatory oversight. Right now in fact, there is a heated lobbying battle in Washington, particularly with respect to derivatives, between lawmakers and the four ‘too big to fail’ institutions, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, who together control an astounding 95% of the U.S. derivatives market.”

Nelson DeMille, New York Times bestselling author, calls THE FUND “a disturbing peek into the future, revealing a new front in the war on terrorism and a new challenge for the defenders of Western civilization. Read this as a cautionary tale and a wake-up call and hope that it’s being read by the right people in Washington and the capitals of Europe.”

Narea has focused his career on global emerging markets, advising governments, companies and financial institutions around the world on debt restructurings, infrastructure projects, M&A, private equity, debt trading and syndicated finance. He is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he also lectures on international finance.

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Marissa DeCuir
JKS Communications
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Aisha Cloud
Forge Books, a Macmillan imprint
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