Dale's Reviews > Secret Weapon: How Economic Terrorism Brought Down the U.S. Stock Market and Why It can Happen Again

Secret Weapon by Kevin Freeman
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's review
Feb 11, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

Exposes the vulnerable state of the American (and the world) economy

Published in 2012 by Regnery Publishing, Inc.

When I was reading this book I was tempted to make a sort of smart-aleck introduction about the complex nature of Kevin Freeman's warning about the dangers we face by way of economic terrorism. After all, Paul Revere just rode through the streets yelling, "The British are coming! The British are coming!" and that was enough. But, after a little thought I realized that Freeman can't just yell, "The economic terrorists are coming! The economic terrorists are coming!" It has to be explained and that explanation is long and can be full of statistics and new terminologies.

I am a licensed high school economics teacher and I can honestly say that I knew just enough about finance, the real nitty-gritty of the to and fro of the markets, to say that this book is downright scary. It is the proverbial "firebell in the night" that screams out that we have some serious weaknesses in the way we do business in America...

Read more at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/2012/...

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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Vincent Darlage I don't know. I am a little concerned about this guy's credentials - the financial aid people at Harrison College are CFAs.

http://www.salon.com/2011/03/02/econo... was another review I read, but that author also isn't a credible source (I can't post the more academically credible sources here).

Wording like this "There can no longer be doubt that an economic war already could be underway as this is written." No doubt it COULD be happening? Conversely couldn't the obverse be true: No doubt it might NOT be happening... One cannot seriously append "No doubt" to a conjectural statement. Doing so is a scare-tactic, and people read the "no doubt" as certainty without registering the "could be" as possibility. I am wary of people who write in an alarmist style using fear tactics. Fear causes people to react irrationally. To get people to act against their own self interest, use fear tactics...

I don't know. I guess I need to go to Capella's library and see what the PhDs in economics have to say about this.

message 2: by Dale (last edited Feb 13, 2012 11:33AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dale Every comment from the Salon author is true - the author himself says most of those comments in his book. There is a lot of coulda, woulda, shoulda in this book. But, like I said in the review:

"Freeman's message? Wall Street needs to watch out
for economic terrorism. Will they?
That remains to be seen.

I do not know if we have actually been victimized already, but the combination of massive government debt loads, dependence of foreign oil, lack of market transparency and tolerance of naked short selling and credit default swaps leaves us open to these sorts of attacks. Our financial front door is wide open and our economy is subject to manipulation by any number of foreign powers."

My review is really built around the part of the book that emphasizes the danger we are exposing ourselves to with our current finalcial rules. Really, no one has any idea if there was a financial attack. About half of the book is lays out his theory that we already have been attacked, the other half shows the weaknesses we have in our system that could have let such an attack occur. He thinks they have already been exploited (he has a lot of circumstantial evidence, but that is merely circumstantial - there is not enough transparency in the system to allow anything more than that in the types of financial markets he describes).

I think the author has found a series of weak places in the system that could be exploited unless there is more transparency (something that Freeman, the Salon writer and I agree on) and other reforms that he describes at the end of the book.

As for his credentials, well, that's your call. He worked in an investment company (I do not have his book with me right now so I don't have his credentials on hand) so he knows his way around the investment field. I can cite you times throughout history when the big experts were "right on the nose" and times when they could not envision a different way of looking at things.

Vincent Darlage There needs to be more transparency and all that... I just cringe at the use of fear-mongering. I don't like it when environmentalists do it, politicians, or economists. The title of the book, "secret weapon," is a title to engage people's fears... Whenever I encounter that kind of language, my gut reaction is "what are they wanting me to do on an irrational level? The reason to use fear is to take advantage of irrationality... so how is this guy planning to take advantage?"

Dale Totally get that. I think the title comes from a report created by the Chinese military about unconventional warfare techniques that could be used against the U.S. They advocated many of the economic warfare strategies that Freeman outlines in the book. However, the title was clearly chosen as an attention-getter.

If you want to borrow the book and see what you think, I can send it to you.

Vincent Darlage Yes, I'd like to read it. I'd rather respond to it first-hand than to rely on second hand reports, and despite the fearsome language, it sounds like it offers some sound advice.

Dale For those that read the entire conversation, here is what he thought:


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