I spent the next four months sleeping in class while staying away from the frenzied New York stock market and taking over Predict. I had failed to get the First Evil, but the construction work on all of the Korean F class dungeons I knew of were complete.
I felt like I had been freed when winter vacation came, as I now could graduate without going to school anymore. I would send in my Geom-jeong-go-shi (EN: The Korean High School Graduation Equivalency Examination) documents next February, which would really finish off my bothersome academics. I hurried to my office building, and things were looking up. Firms were coming in, and Daemin Bank’s foreign investment department was now bigger than it had been before the IMF. While Korea still had not fully overcome the IMF crisis, things were getting better quicker than in my past life. The KOSDAQ Dot-com boom was a major factor for this, and the newspapers in my mailbox all said the same thing. (EN: KOSDAQ (acronym of Korean Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) is a trading board of Korea Exchange (KRX) in South Korea established in 1996.)
[KOSDAQ may be overheating due to the IT boom, and individual investors may suffer if stock prices fall suddenly…]
The news had been talking about the stock market non-stop for months. When the KOSDAQ seemed to have a steady growth, the so-called “financial experts” endlessly expounded on how the Dot-com boom would lead the market to a brighter future. However, when stock shares had been sold by the tens of thousands a few days ago, they pontificated about market fear, conveniently ignoring the optimistic attitude they held a week earlier. The market was fluctuating in unprecedented amounts, and the entire Korean population had become stock experts.
However, no one could blame them, as most saw stocks as the only way to pay off debts in the shadow of the IMF and buy a house of their own. IT items had increased by a hundredfold in the last two months, and while they would still increase for a while, now was the time to leave.
[Account owner: Sunhoo Na.]
[Account value: 21,193,550,000 won] (EN: 31 million dollars in 2021 dollars. ^_^)
I reserved all of my shares to be sold tomorrow at market price. I could hear the participants scream at me, setting the price using the market cap, but considering Korea was a seller’s market, they’ll snatch them up anyway. My real account really was not that valuable, except that Father had given me the money… (EN: Only Sun would consider 31 million US as pocket change… ^_^ ) (EN: Market cap—or market capitalization—refers to the total value of all a company’s shares of stock. It is calculated by multiplying the price of a stock by its total number of outstanding shares. For example, a company with 20 million shares selling at $50 a share would have a market cap of $1 billion.)
Jonathan called me on a day I had been working on an investment proposal.
<Has anyone contacted you?>
<They broke their promise…I’m sorry.>
Jonathan’s voice was filled with self-reproach, and I felt a chill down my spine.
<Don’t tell me the White House…>
<They leaked your identity to Forbes. While they say that it was a mistake, of course, it was intentional. This had been their plan all this time…>
I knew that the White House would not like an Asian teenager delving so deep into the US financial markets, a world they felt they were entitled to control and they decided to reveal my identity if I would be earning this much money. Despite having complied with their demand, they wanted me to play by the rules THEY had set. I had forgotten their bigoted, elitist attitude despite all my experiences in the past. I spoke as I fisted my hands.
<You seem to have misunderstood my saying I would go public next year, Jonathan.>
<I cannot have my true identity revealed. I have too much going on now.>
The biggest reason was my parents. They were not prepared to live the rest of their lives surrounded by bodyguards. It would be like prison. Father had just been promoted, in a job he was proud of, and Mother still loved to chat at the stores with other women while shopping. Such peace would go out the window, and my movements would also be restricted. I still needed to raise my stats until the Day of Advent, and this would ruin everything. I ordered myself to calm down.
I could still act, and it was the end of the year. London, New York, and the Isle of Man would be waiting for my orders after completing their year’s-end duties.
<Your name will be on their January edition. Sun, how about threatening to break the contracts on all the pension funds and say that we are on antagonistic terms with the White House to the pension committees? It may work…>
<No, let’s go bigger. Set up meetings with the Russian acting President and the Japanese Prime Minister. I will go myself.>
Since everyone at that would know about me, I had nothing to lose.
<Russian and Japanese pension funds?>
<That’s option two.>
<Then what’s option one?>
<I’m going to buy as many American treasury bonds as I can from those countries.> (EN: Treasury bonds (T-bonds) are government debt securities issued by the U.S. Federal government that have maturities greater than 20 years. T-bonds earn periodic interest until maturity, at which point the owner is also paid a par amount equal to the principal.
Treasury bonds are part of the larger category of U.S. sovereign debt known collectively as treasuries, which are typically regarded as virtually risk-free since they are backed by the U.S. government’s ability to tax its citizens.) (EN: Sovereign debt is a central government’s debt. It is debt issued by the national government in a foreign currency in order to finance the issuing country’s growth and development. The stability of the issuing government can be provided by the country’s sovereign credit ratings which help investors weigh risks when assessing sovereign debt investments.)
There were financial weapons that could be used against the White House all over the world, and the bonds were one of them. While they were pricey, it was cheap compared to what I would have to give up. By buying up the US Sovereign debt held by the two biggest holders, I will hold my dagger to the throat of the US economy.
<Russia and Japan won’t sell us the treasury bonds after they understand the situation.>
<They wouldn’t want to anger the White House, but I’m not going to give them a choice. I will buy Japanese treasury bonds from Russia and Russian treasury bonds from Japan, and exchange them for American treasury bonds from the respective countries. Money will solve this.>
<I am sorry things got out of control.>
<No, this was something we needed to do eventually.>
Only one thing bothered me. If the American government was financially attacked, the Dot-com bubble would explode, and things would go haywire. Of course, my goal was to make them surrender before things went there, as the only thing they would need to do was to promise me that they would not reveal my identity. They could not have guessed that their little “leak” would bring about a financial war. I was not “little people” that they could step on with impunity. They needed to learn manners.
<All of our personal funds in New York. If that doesn’t work, we would have to contact London and Isle of Man, but that would mean an all-out war. We may lose or win from that, but I do not know at present. It will be a pyrrhic victory for the United States, though.> (EN: A Pyrrhic victory is a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat.)
<So, 300 billion dollars for now?>
That would be equivalent to the National Defence Budget for America during this time.
<I think we will lose 30% of the 300 billion converting them to US Treasury Bonds. Can you calmly consider my “investment proposal”?>
It was then I heard Jonathan laugh.
<You do the most unbelievable things. We’re attacking the government. Were you always this aggressive?>
<I need your consent.>
<Consent? They’re the ones who started the war, and attacked us first. You have no idea how much stress…>
<I’m going to do it then.>
<Please do. I want to watch this desperately.>
I could pressure America by attacking Japan, as the two countries are closely connected. However, the history I knew would be irrevocably changed, and a second Korean IMF Crisis would happen, as the attack would bring about a second Asian Financial Crisis. While the cash I had was only a small amount of the global liquidity, the New York firm was the only private company in the world that had amassed such individually controlled funds. That was why the White House wanted to bring me under their heel, but they picked the wrong fight…
It was then I felt the heat on my face. I had decided to act so rashly because the happy life of my parents was on the line and now realized that I could bring about a Global Financial Crisis just by trying to keep my identity a secret. I let out a deep breath before speaking.
<Jonathan, hint to the White House how far we will go. If they’re stupid, we have no choice.>
<I’ll make the appointment now.>
<You know all this but listen. This happened because they thought of us as a mere investment company and thought they could cripple us by revealing my identity, or use the threat of it to control us. We only need to correct that assumption, and if so, we do not need a war.>
That was the best-case scenario, and I would have to do this personally as I could not allow Jonathan to go against his own government like this. As my head cooled down, I remembered you don’t always need to bribe politicians to control them. Threats worked too. Time to go threaten the White House. (EN: ^_^)
<I will be coming with you on that appointment.>
Edited by Userunfriendly