Late in 1999 I read an article in the NY Times which described how a coalition of American banks and multi-national corporations had successfully argued against increasing the reporting of inter-bank wire transfers because ``there were too many transactions to monitor.''
I knew that was b... s... because of my work with DBC's stock market data (in 1992 I was processing, storing, and scanning 100,000+ transactions a day in real-time on a 386 PC running DOS). The Switch is the result of my asking ``Why doesn't the U.S. government require the reporting as part of its war on drugs?''
At the center of The Switch is a Fortune 500 company, Import/Export Group. IEG launders billions in drug money every year using a novel scheme. Also, it makes payoffs each year to hundreds of VIPs in all three branches of government and the military. Many of the payoffs are legal. The VIP can: give a speech at 25-100K a pop; become a director of a company and collect 30-50K a year; trade on discretely given stock tips; ... .
Ben and Frank have run IEG since the early 80s. They've been involved with the drug trade since the 60s. They realize they and their associates are getting older AND they can wait until they are forced out OR they can get out now on their terms. The choice is a no-brainer, but it is complicated when
Donald, who leads IEG's wireless team---it is responsible for much of IEG's recent growth---decides it's time for his team to take over the company. In the age of gigi-hertz processors, guns are out. Geeks rule. Unfortunately,
Will, Missy, Lloyd and other of IEG's workers in the field (i.e., the ones who stuff the money in the pipe that leads back to IEG) sense that something is not right. They begin to get nervous and decide to loot what they can and run.
And then the messages start.
Years ago Ben and Frank witnessed the brutal murder of a woman, Cat. For years her brother and twin, Sam, a geek himself, searched for the responsible party. Now, he knows he's close. So, he summons Cat's children, twins who are about to graduate from the U. Joined by an unusual ally, the three of them begin Sam's plan to destroy IEG.
The Switch tells the story of the above four groups and runs 500 pages or 150,000 words. After reading it, you may decide to revert to snail for your important mail.
Sample Material: I've converted the first four chapters of The Switch to a plain-vanilla html file.