The Billion Dollar Sure Thing is a suspense novel about international monetary policy.
Novelist Paul E. Erdman knocks off in chatty style a complex story of wheeling and dealing by “three arms-length cronies” who control the currency exchanges in three European central banks.
One of the three, Switzerland’s Dr. Walter Hofer, happens to see the American Treasury Secretary Crosby and Bank for International Settlements Secretary-General Bollinger dining together when there was no public reason for both men being in London.
Hofer observes they discuss a red-bound document the American brought, but which the BIS secretary-general carried when they left the Savoy.
Hofer shares with his alternate numbers in New York and London what he observed and what he thinks it might presage.
Hofer’s instincts are right.
The U.S. government is secretly preparing to announce a return to the gold standard and simultaneously revalue gold from $38 to $125 an ounce.
Days later, a red-bound document is stolen from Bollinger’s home safe.
Erdman’s novel is an engrossing yarn; he has a knack for simplifying complicated ideas and a flair for apt character tags.
Sure Thing is also an education in history and economics. Nixon took America off the gold standard in 1971 and we’re living with the consequences today.
The Billion Dollar Sure Thing
By Paul E. Erdman
Scribner’s, © 1973, 248 p.
1973 bestseller #9 My grade: A
© 2018 Linda Gorton Aragoni