Oct 29, 2011

Book Review: The Economics of Ego Surplus, a Novel of Economic Terrorism by Paul McDonnold

Title: The Economics of Ego Surplus: A Novel of Economic Terrorism
Author: Paul McDonnold
Starving Analyst Press, September 15, 2010
Genre: crime thriller
Objective rating: 4/5

"My name is Marshall Adams. I'm with the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Can I talk to you for a few minutes?"

"Okay. Call me Kyle. Am I in some kind of trouble?" (p. 17)
Kyle Linwood,  a teacher and doctoral student of economics, is approached by the FBI to help  find out about recent internet "chatter" on possible economic terrorism aimed at the U.S. and ultimately the global market. Kyle had escaped from kidnappers in Libya years before by a terrorist group. His knowledge of Africa and economics is called on when the U.S.stock market suddenly began crashing with massive sell-offs, then leveling out very soon after.

The FBI are concerned about economic warfare aimed at the stock market and the U.S. currency. Kyle goes to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to investigate a private banking corporation possibly linked to the stock market manipulation. There he gets some answers but barely escapes with his life.

My comments: I know a little bit about economics and found the book fun to read. It was like reliving Econ 101 and 102 classes, with an update on the workings of the global market. The author explains supply and demand, recession and inflation, the history of economics and Adam Smith, Keynes economic theory, the theory of contemporary neoclassical economists, and does so in a way that even high school students would understand how the global economy works. In between, he describes the opulence of Dubai, its fantastic malls and hotel complexes, and touches on the poverty of the people in its deserts. I enjoyed the mini tour and armchair travel as well as the bit of thriller action that comes at the end of the book.

The book is a comment on the possible downside of the global economy, when countries tramp around in each other's backyards and leave their footprints there - desirable or undesirable consequences. Besides being a thriller, the final aim of his book is to show "the shortage of humility and the surplus of ego" that can rule or ruin the global market.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review.


  1. Thanks for the review Harvee. You perceived what I was trying to do with the novel's theme really well. Not all the reviewers have gotten that, or at least haven't made a point of mentioning it.
    -Paul McDonnold

  2. Glad to know that I understood the theme of your book, Paul. I was struck by your comments at the end of the novel about the impact countries have on each other in the global economy.

  3. Economic terrorism, you mean like "give us a trillion dollars or we're going to destroy the world's economy"?

    Great review, sounds like a very interesting book.



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