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Past Life Returner 14
The Hedge Funds Coalition, desperate for the baht to fall, possesses only a small portion of the futures market because obviously it was impossible for them to be certain that they would win. If the coalition were absolutely certain of their victory, there is no doubt that they would have massively increased their share of the futures market where they could make a profit tens and hundreds of times more than their investment. The futures market functions to disperse the risks in the spot market.
(EN: A futures exchange or futures market is a central financial exchange where people can trade standardized futures contracts defined by the exchange. Futures contracts are derivatives contracts to buy or sell specific quantities of a commodity or financial instrument at a specified price with delivery set at a specified time in the future.)
(EN: The spot market or cash market is a public financial market in which financial instruments or commodities are traded for immediate delivery. It contrasts with a futures market, in which delivery is due at a later date.)
The Hedge Fund Coalition’s main stage was, in the end, the spot market in the baht war, and the futures market was only used for risk management, as one of the many strategies.
Did they not believe in themselves? Of course not. It’s because the Hedge Funds manage billions of dollars, and the money is coming from a small number of the super rich. Using fiftyfold leverage is to take on a fiftyfold risk, and no fund would risk billions of dollars like that. Such a fund is a group of swindlers, and no one would blame them for being thrown into a bottomless pit.
However, that was exactly what we were doing now.
God only knows what tomorrow’s market price will be. No one had ever proceeded with a ten billion dollar transaction with a fiftyfold risk, and of course, no such bet had ever won!
Our massive profit was a problem, since it might become a historical incident that could be used as justification to freeze the Thai futures market itself. This was because the baht market was small and limited.
The futures market was a zero-sum game, as someone must lose when someone wins. That also meant that the opposition had to accept the transactions in order for losses and profits to happen. Jonathan could not answer, as he would feel that ten copies of him would not be enough.
While he probably had not slept a wink to monopolize a position that amounted to ten billion dollars, to liquidate them he would be so busy he wouldn’t be able to use even the restroom.
The foreign exchange information site restarted again after being frozen.
The Singapore exchange rate was rising, and the graph measured by ticks was already steep. The situation was different from history. While the rate originally fell without any recoil, after repeating ups and downs, the trend was now on the rise at the end.
The spot market and the futures market were going in opposite directions—29 baht, 29.5 baht, 30 baht. The baht was dramatically rising up! We would only make a profit when the baht fell down.
-J: The market mood changed due to our mass liquidation. I’m on it.
An urgent sentence came upon the chatting window.
-N: I apologize and won’t bother you. Please focus.
The chat was at a standstill for a long time. The meaning of us suddenly organizing our positions translates to ‘it is not expected the baht will fall, and it will change to an uptrend.’ It was true that our mass liquidation was changing the market mood, but it was not that problematic.
Thailand applying the floating exchange rate means that they have given up on defending the baht currency, and while no one knew how long it would last, I would bet my life that the baht will fall. Such a thing was clearly evident to anyone who has a little bit of financial knowledge, and our dealers were the global elite, professionally successful and famous investors. Their eyes would be hungry for the money they had lost in front of their eyes.
And it happened as I expected, as the trend changed to the baht falling again. The baht had sharply risen to 33, but now dropped to 30. However, the speed was crazy, as it did not take even five minutes for the baht to fall back to 30 after rising again to 31. I could feel the attention of investors worldwide gathered around here, and I could not even guess how much money was passing hands now.
-J: Liquidation 80% complete and advise that the remaining 20% be held until the expiry date.
I knew why Jonathan wanted to hold off on the last 20%. Completely liquidating our position when everyone was absolutely certain that the baht would fall was idiotic.
-N: I understand your meaning but proceed as agreed.
The money we were earning was from their pockets. We needed to give the investors a chance to make up some of their losses, so history would not diverge too much, and the battlefield would change.
-J: The baht at 30 is stabilized, and risks have decreased.
-N: No, Jonathan, the battle is over, and only the feast for hyenas remain. Liquidate all positions immediately and come to Korea on the weekend. The battlefield will change soon.
Despite having said that, I knew that Jonathan would not wait until the weekend. As he had in the second week of May, he came over the next day after confirming our profit. I also went straight to Gimpo Airport right after my classes were over.
“The Thailand baht fell to a record low rate due to the Central Bank announcing the application of the floating exchange rate system yesterday, and the baht was transacted at 30.40 baht per dollar. There is a sense of crisis all over Southeast Asia due to the fall of the baht…”
Yesterday’s news was mentioned on the television installed in the airport. History had dramatically changed. Originally, it had been 28.40 baht per dollar after a 16% fall, but there was now a huge difference of 2 baht. A 0.1% difference in exchange rates and interest rates was higher than the sky and earth in the financial world. Another reason why we should not deal with Thailand again was added.
Jonathan approached me in an even worse condition than the second week of May. He looked like he had participated in endless battles where he had bet his life and actually looked about ten years older.
When we had conquered dungeons together, he had been an old beast that had only malice left in him. He never fluctuated between hope and fears and only ran for points that would allow him to open a challenger box. Therefore, Jonathan had been a man who prepared for tomorrow even when he gained a great profit rather than basking in immediate joy.
I had never seen him so completely tired before.
We started to stare at each other without speaking, and I moved first. The restaurant we had our first meeting in was still unpopular like it had been then, and Jonathan’s footsteps sounded heavy as we headed there.
The reason we could not find words to speak easily was evident because we had no words to describe what was happening to us.
Jonathan sat on my opposite side, and since both of his arms were clearly shaking, my eyes wandered toward them. However, Jonathan was not the only one doing so, as the water in the cup I was holding was also making ripples. I swallowed the water in a gulp and set the cup down.
The sound the cup made on contact with the table functioned as a sign, and Jonathan started to lay down the documents on the surface. They were past transaction records and the final profit in our accounts. The transaction records themselves would make a thick book.
I saw only then that Jonathan’s fingernails were ruined, and his forefingers that would have pressed the buttons were even more so.
“During the…liquidation…process, the…estimated profit…decreased.”
Jonathan’s voice was shaking as he spoke, and he now clenched his teeth to get a hold of himself. Jonathan looked like he was waiting until he calmed down. My insides also shook until Jonathan confirmed the liquidation amount with his words.
“That was inevitable.”
My heart was going crazy as it would burst out of my skin.
“The final liquidation amount is…fifty billion dollars!”
Ah! While I had made a guess, my breath stopped when Jonathan confirmed that amount. We had hit the jackpot, and it was a different sensation from when I had been lucky in opening a box.
I had felt bliss enough yesterday, and then what did this tremor mean? The emotion overwhelming my body at the moment was similar to when I had met a boss monster alone. I had been unable to think of anything as my entire body shook. Yes, it was like that time, but…
An Awakened needed to be able to observe their own emotions and their body’s state objectively. You could die in the dungeons by being unable to control your emotions, particularly if your emotions have an external source.
Then what was this feeling coming over me now? Fear or joy? Why was my body shaking? Come to think of it, was not a potential S class ability more valuable than fifty billion dollars? I had not been this shaken then.
Yes, that was it. While Jonathan could not know, fifty billion dollars only meant the beginning. I only had used two opportunities out of the many that lay ahead of me. Knowing what would come tomorrow was this amazing, and people saying that it was like being God to know what would be tomorrow’s market price was correct.
The best thing that could have come out of the challenger box, which was the greatest of all boxes, was a chance to travel back in time. It was on the verge of being a God! So this shudder would be the greatest joy I could feel, and I finally felt that I had come back in time now.
“Are you all right?”
Jonathan asked me, and I nodded.
“Fifty billion dollars.”
Jonathan mumbled as he understood.
“Jonathan, we have to come to our senses and start working. The Asian financial crisis is only beginning.”
“Maintain your health well. We will not be entering Malaysia and Indonesia.”
Jonathan looked at me with aware eyes as I mentioned my plans for the future. He did not ask why we would not enter those two markets. That may mean he had complete faith in me now or had understood that the foreign exchange markets of those two countries were not big enough for our intervention. We had grown that big.
“We will enter Hong Kong soon.”
I knew that Jonathan was most confident in the Hong Kong foreign exchange market, and his eyes glistened with a different excitement than before.
“I have a few things I need to ask of you.”
Jonathan spoke like he would take his heart out if I asked him to.
“I need to buy some land in Korea.”