A devastating terrorist strike wipes out much of Saudi Arabia's oil production; the same day a trader of Saudi origin disappears from the fictional UK investment bank Sun First Credit (SFCB). Managers soon discover the missing trader, Samir Badr, has built up crippling debts, multiplied a hundredfold by the attacks in Saudi. SFCB, once the toast of the city, is suddenly heading for bankruptcy, taking a whole raft of other banks with it. The resulting market crash and banking crisis will push Britain and the US into a 21st Century recession: pension funds are slashed, unemployment soars and the housing market collapses. Following the discovery that Badr has committed suicide, a new Al-Qa'eda tape surfaces, in which Osama Bin Laden appears to claim responsibility for the financial turmoil. Suspicion grows that Badr was an Islamic extremist who deliberately sabotaged the bank. As the authorities and the media launch a massive investigation into the apparent Al-Qaeda assault on the pillars of the Western Economy, an alternative explanation emerges. Could greed and incompetence be the real cause of the collapse of Britain's economy?