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Chapter 111

 

Jonathan looked excited as we returned to the car and let out a shout of excitement that surprised the driver. He looked back at the White House like he was leaving Disneyworld. I hated to rain on his parade, but I had to tell him he should not be too excited. The White House had only stepped back because it wasn’t worth it to them. Their desire to control us, or suppress Jonathan and Associates wasn’t worth the amount of trouble I had threatened them with. More precisely, the amount of trouble they thought I could cause, because they had drastically underestimated the amount of liquidity I controlled. That was why I had been able to harshly attack the Secretary, but I realized that I needed even more wealth if I wanted them, and not just the United States, to fear me enough so they would never dare to do something like this again.

Humanity fell into ruins in three stages during my previous life. First was the idiocy of governments and the financiers. The second was the widespread use of Nuclear Weapons. The third was the general war between the Eight Virtues and Eight Evils, and their supporters and allies. If the damage from the first and second stages could have been reduced by just half, things would not have been so bad.

The initial response by the world’s governments to the Day of Advent had been complacent, understandable as the monsters that had come out first had been manageable with conventional weapons. Those higher up should have prepared for the worst, for a possible escalation, instead of praising technology and their military. Instead, when the monsters could no longer be controlled/contained anymore by the military, and we began to understand the scope of the threat, government officials and financiers tried desperately to protect their own power and personal properties without making any sacrifices, heedless of the consequences. The results had been catastrophic as the global economy crumbled. That had been a sign that there was no future for humanity, and all hope would soon be lost. The first stage happened like that, and the second and third stages followed from there. However, I was determined that this time the world would be organized and ready, and the world economy be prepared for the Day of Advent. If so, humanity would not be ruined this time around.

Even if there was a Global Depression as before, we would be able to face monsters with our financial system intact. That was the future I wanted and why I needed to earn money.

 

**

I had been looking out the window to see various people going about their daily routine while Jonathan calmed down. He spoke to me.

 

“They will continue to try to keep us in check.”

“Reduce the New York firm’s tax evasion methods to the absolute minimum. You do know this happened because I am an Asian, right? Those bigoted [email protected] don’t want me playing in the same playground.”

“Yes, of course. I didn’t want to say anything because I couldn’t do anything. Anyway, sorry for bringing you here. Next time, I will do this myself…”

 

Jonathan could not finish his sentence as our car sped up while ignoring the stop signal. I heard other drivers blast their horns, and the driver drove on dangerously despite Jonathan’s questions.

 

“Alcarthy!”

That was the first time I heard the driver’s name.

 

“There’s a black Explorer that’s following us, sir.”

 

Jonathan’s face was rigid as he looked at me with distaste.

 

“What do they want by following us around?”

 

The car shook once more as Alcarthy entered the expressway by a ramp on the right. He partially jumped the divider, in an attempt to lose our tail. I saw that a black SUV continued to chase us. Due to the traffic and Alcarthy’s sudden maneuvers, the black car could only follow directly behind us, visible and unable to hide amongst the cars behind us. I wished they were gone from my sight.

 

“That’s a warning for me to be quiet since I’m being watched.”

 

I spoke indifferently, but Jonathan seemed to take that hard as he glared at the car that had followed us. I actually preferred such visible warnings rather than an audit, for example. If the Internal Revenue Service started a special audit, the New York firm could not do anything for a while. I would fight back, but still. We had been riding the expressway for three hours when Jonathan’s phone rang. Brian had called him, and Jonathan’s eyes were thoughtful as he ended the short conversation.

 

“It started. GOL went down.”

 

He then smiled like someone watching a house on fire.

“The Dot-com bubble burst, Sun.”

**

Wall Street was frozen, with more than just the harsh New York winter in January of the new millennium. The dotcom bubble had burst a few months earlier than it had in my past life, and people went about like ghosts as IT stocks crashed. Jonathan did not go inside the building as he looked out the window to watch the faces of those that had lost. They were investors and managers who had not sold off their holdings and left the market in time, because they thought they had one more chance to make a profit. Regardless of their gender, sex, and occupation, they went about like zombies.

 

“How hard will it fall?”

 

Jonathan asked me that question, but I did not have an answer. If I had not intervened, the Dot-com boom would have peaked on March 10th, 2000. The NASDAQ went over 5000 that day but went down after some fluctuations to under 1000 in October 2002. The government had begun to increase the Federal Reserve Interest Rate starting from 1999, and once the government started to decrease the Federal Reserve Interest Rate, in response to the crash,  the market would realize that they had been chasing after an illusion. (EN: Nasdaq is an acronym for “National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations.” The term, “Nasdaq” is also used to refer to the Nasdaq Composite, an index of more than 3,000 stocks listed on the Nasdaq exchange that includes the world’s foremost technology and biotech giants.)

 

“What was the NASDAQ index yesterday?” I replied to Jonathan’s question with a question of my own.

“5239.”

 

That was also something different from my past life, along with the fact that the Kurshon Group, the biggest multimedia group in the world, had bought GOL using 160 billion dollars to fuel the Dot-com boom earlier. I wanted to ask Jonathan’s question myself, since I no longer knew how hard they’ll fall, but I knew that the profit made from the bubble would be at maximum.

 

“Let’s assume that the index will go below 1000.”

 

Jonathan smiled, but no one could know that the Dot-com crash was but a middle step to the 2008 Subprime Crisis. I thought it was time that Jonathan should hear about this, as we needed to prepare from now on to gain the biggest possible profit.

 

“Look, the Asian foreign exchange crisis was just the beginning.”

“The Dot-com bubble? What are you talking about?”

“The pieces are coming together. The Asian foreign exchange crisis spread to Russia and Mexico, and major Hedge Funds had nowhere to go with the increased interest rate. Bedazzled with the promise of Information Technology, the Hedge Funds started the Dot-com bubble. However, the past is not important. Let’s…”

 

I glanced at the driver’s seat, and Alcarthy closed the window on the transparent shield between the driver’s and passenger compartments. The little sliding pane closed softly before I spoke again.

 

“The FED will start to lower the Federal Reserve Interest Rate to alleviate the shock from the stock market.” (EN: The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve or simply the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States of America.)

“They have already lowered a point, and with this crash, that’s plausible. How much?”

“I will write a short-term and a long-term proposal once I go back to Korea. I will tell you the long-term one, so listen carefully.”

 

I started to explain after Jonathan nodded.

 

“I estimate that the Federal Reserve Interest Rate will start dropping drastically from 2001, and most likely the trend will continue up to 2008.  It will hit 1% at approximately the half-way point and hold.”

“Then, real estate?”

“Real estate will naturally become more expensive. However, that will be the poison that will seep through between 2007 and 2009. It’s going to be bigger than anything you can imagine.”
“Give me a guess.”

“The global economy will lock down.”

 

Jonathan’s eyes widened, and I thought of a tragedy that would happen before the Subprime Mortgage Crisis. I could see the World Trade Center from where we had parked. I still remember watching the news with horror on that fateful day…

 

“Remember, nothing has happened yet. All this is supposition and purely my speculation.”

 

However, events are linked in cause and effect. The IMF, the Dot-com bubble and crash, 9.11, the Iraq War, Oil and Real Estate, the dominos have already begun falling. All will come to an end in 2008 with the Subprime Mortgage Crisis. Also, it was imperative to calculate the effects of the Hong Kong shock and the Russian Financial War I had incited. Things were getting bigger and faster, which meant I had to be on my guard. Now was just the beginning.

 

Edited by Userunfriendly

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