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Opening Bell

Keith D. Cummings

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Authorhouse

Published : 2002

Copyright : Keith D. Cummings 2002

ISBN-10 : PB 1-4033-5319-0
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-4033-5319-1

Publisher's Write-Up

May 10, 2010 - 8:35 AM. For five minutes a cryptic message has appeared on the trading board of the New York Stock Exchange. A few blocks away, at the American Stock Exchange, the same message is confounding experienced floor traders. On ATMs throughout the United States, Americans are being told that, "John Galt Has Arrived."

In Richmond Virginia, the VP of systems for Taft-Brooklyn Bank is staring at a dead computer terminal, one of thousands throughout the largest bank in America.

In Washington, DC, the Director of the Electronic Currency System of the Federal Reserve is scrambling to explain the computer virus that has rendered the Scards, federally created smart cards that have all but replaced cash in the United States, completely inoperative.

In New York City, the Chief Information Officer of the NYSE is staring at the trading board. He has been ordered to find out who put the message there, and what it means.

Marc Reid employs none of these people, but they all work for him. For twenty years he has been planning this. He recruited the three of them, and dozens more to help him take back America. This is a cause in which every member of the team believes. Every member, that is, save one. For Marc Reid, twenty years of preparation are not really about recreating an America that once was. For Marc Reid, this is about him, his past and his plan to exact his vengeance on all who have ever done him wrong.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (070805) Rating (8/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Rating 8/10
This is the story of a financial, and political, coup d'etat in near-future America.

Marc Reid is now a hot-shot New York investment banker. Having watched the family business in Virginia be wiped out by greedy lawyers, and the general degradation of America, he hatches a long-term plan to take America away from the life-long welfare recipients and give it back to hard-working Americans.

He knows that the plan will take years to come to fruition. But with a few people of the same political philosophy running the computer system of, say, the New York Stock Exchange, and a few more people in a similar position at the Federal Reserve, and some more running the ATM system at America's largest bank, among others, it's only a matter of time.

On the day in question, the American economy comes to a screeching halt. Every ATM and bank screen and every stock trading screen in America shows the same words, "John Galt has arrived." (from Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead"). Marc goes to the White House and tells the President that he, Marc, is in charge. The President is forced to go on TV that evening and tell America that, among other things, all welfare payments and all corporate subsidies are stopped, all income tax deductions and write-offs are abolished and the entire tax system has changed to a 6% flat tax.

In the weeks and months to come, there is almost total censorship of the news media, gun ownership is criminalized, there are arbitrary arrests and disappearances into labour camps and the United Nations is told to leave New York within 7 days. With "help" from federal troops stationed inside the Capitol, Congress is convinced" to abolish several Cabinet Departments.

As Marc manoeuvres himself into the Presidency, his fellow conspirators begin to realize that from Marc's point of view, this is less about giving America back to the people and more about personal revenge against anyone who has wronged him in the past, including the lawyers who destroyed his family's company. There is a fine line between ambition and megalomania.

This is quite a story. It has a noticeable libertarian point of view. A cautionary tale about the dangers of too much automation in the financial world, including a cashless economy, there are parallels with "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis. The reader of this must-read of a tale will never again look at America the same way. It's really worth reading.
Paul Lappen (7th Agust 2005)

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