Ken Jensen: Review of Game Plan

By Kevin Freeman
newsroom book reviews
January 24, 2014Jan 24, 2014

Kevin D. Freeman, Game Plan: How to Protect Yourself from the Coming Cyber-Economic Attack. Regnery 2014

"Game Plan" is one of those books that would be difficult to review even by someone as expert as its author, which I by no means am. Kevin Freeman's range of expertise when it comes to assessing and gauging proper responses to threats (cyber and otherwise) to the U.S. economy and markets from international state and non-state actors is so broad that the only proper review would take a team approach. Inasmuch as he relates each of his concerns to the others, it would, in fact, take more than that. So, this won't be a proper review but, rather, more like a commentary that means to encourage the reader to look into Freeman's work.

When I read Freeman's previous book, "Secret Weapon: How Economic Terrorism Brought Down the U.S. Stock Market and Why It Could Happen Again," I wasn't entirely convinced that what happened in 2008 was the work of economic terrorism. What I was convinced of, however, was that Freeman was right on the money regarding the possibility that what he described could certainly have happened in 2008 and is even more likely to happen now. This, due to my modest acquaintance with the vulnerabilities that exist and how little we're doing to remedy them. "Secret Weapon" is a first-rate read and it will scare you to death. Freeman is a clear writer: you needn't be a rocket scientist to grasp it.

"Game Plan" will scare you, too. Freeman means to repeat what he did with "Secret Weapon," and he does well to do that. The complexity of the threats and policy issues involved is such that one wonders how the U.S. political class (not to mention the public) will ever come by informed ideas about them. Our apprehension of what the problems are that create the potential for a Cyber (or Economic) Pearl Harbor is partial and fragmented. Although we read, for example, about new sorts of cyber attacks on American businesses, infrastructure, and national defense entities every day, it is nearly impossible to relate them to one another or to form an opinion as to whether we can protect our economy and ourselves. In a sense, all this is like the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. We're finding out about things that are wrong only after they happen, and we've decided not to worry about a cyber train-wreck. As with the ACA, we should have already learned that we're in a bad way.

Kevin Freeman is an investment counselor by trade and a security analyst by disposition. Accordingly, the better part of "Game Plan's" focus is on how to protect ourselves. If you're interesting in protecting yourself or are otherwise interested in how the U.S. economy really works and how vulnerable and non-resilient it is, read this book!