Novelist draws on his banking past
‘A glimpse into the brutal, high pressure world’
A West Farleigh man has used his extensive experience in investment banking to provide the backdrop to his first novel.
Stephen Norman spent 20 years at the forefront of investment banking IT and has fulfilled a range of high-powered roles including chief technology officer at Merrill Lynch and a seven-year stint at RBS Global Markets.
Divorced with four grown-up children, Mr Norman has lived in West Farleigh since 1987, where he is very involved in the local community, especially fundraising for the children’s charity Dandelion Time. He opens his garden at Smiths Hall for the National Garden Scheme twice a year and has raised £25,000 over the past 12 years for their charities. He is also a member of Maidstone-based San Fairy Ann cycle club.
His novel explores the threat to the modern world from cyberterrorism. His protagonist, Chris Peters, loves his work: the excitement of the trading floor, the impossible deadlines and the constant challenge of the superfast computers in his care. But the dream turns sour as mysterious meltdowns begin to hit datacentres across the grid and a true banking collapse threatens.
Mr Norman said: “The world has experienced cyber-warfare since the 1980s and built up elaborate defences against external attacks. The elephant in the room is treason – an attack from within.
“A determined insider could create mayhem on a different scale entirely. Without its hundreds of systems, a major bank would sink as swiftly as the Titanic, leaving its customers without cash, wages, cards, loans and repayments – and threatening the entire financial system.
“It is difficult to convey the terror and mind-numbing panic that accompanies the simple words ‘The trading floor is down’.
“I hope my book gives readers a glimpse into the brutal, high pressure world behind the slick images of traders and trading floors that you see on the news.”
Trading Down is published by Endeavour Press as an eBook, priced £2.99
West Farleigh author Stephen Norman and his first novel, Trading Down