It's the near future. The dollar is now virtually worthless--thanks to USSR manipulation (and invasion) of the OPEC nations. America is a land of shortages, halted production. War may be inevitable--especially since Moscow and Europe's Bank of International Settlements are plotting to finish the US off with the creation of a new currency standard. So, to save the day, the Prez calls in super commodities-trader Rushton Culhane, a member of the Shang-Magan, an Orient-based super-trader organization. Culhane's motive for taking the job? Not patriotism, but a desire to get paid the huge gold-debt owed him by the US. His obstacles? Counter-forces from Moscow (a mole in the CIA) and from a ruthless super-tycoon with a Congressman son. So, while Culhane starts setting up some multi-sided bartering trades to get America the minerals it needs, his enemies plot an assault on his California home--which gets out of control: Culhane's unstable wife and his children are all killed. Initially stunned, Culhane then goes into super-action, with help from a new love, journalist Andrea (a repentant CIA informer). Flying around the world, calling on his Shang-Magan allies, he puts together a scheme to corner the world's wheat market and surprise Europe with a ""blue dollar"" currency switch. He blackmails both that evil super-tycoon and that mole into aiding the plot. And finally, with help from some US military action at Hormuz, the plan is a success. . . after which Culhane settles in China, where he has discovered a second, long-lost family. A few promising notions, executed fairly amateurishly by first-novelist Cudlip--in a talky, uneven thriller with some extra appeal to devotees of the international commodities market or economics futurology.