When I translated a teaser a few years ago my website was quite small and I was in a poor financial situation. I have been getting a few comments about...
Jonathan had come in to work first. The drawing he saw yesterday must have made an impression on him, as he stood in front of it again.
“It’s detailed. You would succeed as a manhwa illustrator. Is there something you can’t do? However, why did you draw a monster? Is there a reason?”
Jonathan looked like he was evaluating art and was stroking his chin as he looked over the drawing inch by inch. Actually, he seemed like more of a psychologist examining a Rorschach inkblot?!
“The size is about thirty meters.”
“Were you inspired by Godzilla?”
This abomination was similar to Godzilla, as it had not been even scratched after being hit by a 15 megaton thermonuclear warhead.
The Eight Evils and Eight Virtues had to join forces for the first and last time when this monster had appeared, and I had watched the battle from a television with bad reception.
Jonathan, you asked why I drew this monster. It is because this massive Kaiju reminded me of my enemies. It would be another twenty years before we see this monster again. During this battle I had felt existential dread, and my own insignificance from an entity which had withstood the ultimate technological might of humanity, the Thermal Nuclear Bomb, and survived. I also felt the vile strength of the Eight Evils and Eight Virtues, both hating myself for the feeling of relief as we were saved, and despising those humans who emulated the monster they had fought, regarding those lesser Awakened and simple humans as insects to be trod beneath them. I was certain this time around I will amass a wealth beyond belief and change the future completely.
Human beings are like that, they need purpose and I hung that drawing to remind me of my enemies and my goals…
“You can have it if you want since I can draw another one.”
I took off the drawing and handed it over to Jonathan. If he held on to this until that day, he would naturally know how I could have drawn this picture. How I had become a “Genius”. I will not be able to hide from Jonathan after that day, and I will need comrades who I can trust explicitly, especially those who were Awakened.
“You don’t exercise much, right?”
“Muscle guy, don’t lecture me that trading is also a physical battle. Don’t you know that exercise erodes vitality? There are parts of the human body that can be healed, and those that cannot be healed. Why do you think athletes die young? It’s because…”
I let Jonathan’s excuses run by, as the reason that Jonathan could pass the Trial Tests was not because of his strength or stamina. The damn Trial Tests were taboo among the awakened. There were incidents that could not be spoken of after the tests, and we had to do anything and everything to survive, and each moment tested our humanity.
The reason why so many awakened had twisted personalities may have been this simple. Jonathan had been a survivor who had lived despite having ordinary physical abilities. However, people like him had been cunning.
While Jonathan probably had gained those instincts from Wall Street, he had changed after meeting me. I would need to train him hard when the time comes, so he would not fall behind during the Trial Tests.
Jonathan opened the door to a different room. He seemed to have explored our office while he waited for me. The office was divided into two spaces. One was my personal exercise room with my personal desk, exercise equipment, and drawings that Jonathan had been interested in. The other was the computer room that stored our weapons. There were ten tables, and each had one computer, five monitors, and an internet connection to the New York Stock Exchange.
With other equipment, the room looked like the operations center of a major bank. The men in the elevator also worked in a space like this.
“Where’s my desk?”
Jonathan asked me.
“Half the room is yours and worth 25 billion dollars.”
Jonathan immediately understood what I was saying.
“There won’t be any additional people, right?”
“Yes, there shouldn’t be.”
Why should we show others how we hid the funds when we had gone through so much trouble to obfuscate the trail in the first place? Jonathan and I would deal under various ghost company names from now on from these ten computers.
“However, it won’t be as harsh as before.”
“All right, let’s talk about that.”
Jonathan sat on a chair and faced me.
“I’m planning to limit the leverage to the minimum.”
“That’s good. The situation has changed.”
It was not because of the massive increase in funds. I made the choice because history was changing from our intervention. As the baht had fallen on a larger scale than past history, the Hedge Fund Coalition and investors were more aggressive in attacking Southeast Asia. The Philippines peso, the Malaysia ringgit, and the Indonesia rupiah had been crushed simultaneously and not in succession. Events were happening faster than in the previous history.
I could not use the method of guessing the exact date to use maximum leverage again. While I could no longer predict events exactly, I had no regrets.
I had already gained 50 billion dollars from the investors’ pockets, and while there would be changes in dates and numbers, the general trend was the same.
That was why I was not trying to exploit the investors who were knocking on Hong Kong’s backdoor from early August. I was anticipating the events in Hong Kong’s October, when the investors’ attacks reached maximum, that was our chance.
“You can guess from the ongoing situation. The investors chose Hong Kong as their next goal and had begun operations as we expected.”
“The attackers will bleed.”
Jonathan spoke the conclusion first, and his tone was full of confidence. I saw the expression I had seen when Jonathan had looked back on his heyday in 1997 Hong Kong in the future. I welcomed it.
“From the circumstances, China will not intervene.”
“There’s one more thing, Sun. The attackers will believe that the Hong Kong Government will do anything to protect the stock market.”
“You don’t think so, Jonathan?”
“Hong Kong is familiar with Wall Street’s offensive strategies, and they have the most elites after Tokyo in Asia. Also, Hong Kong has been under British rule until last month and they know how to think like the attackers. They also have endurance since they have about 100 billion dollars in their foreign currency reserves.”
He was accurate, and Jonathan proved why his heyday had been 1997 Hong Kong. Being able to think like one’s enemy was just as important as knowing yourself. The reason I had been able to irritate the Eight Evils and Eight Goods with my low level abilities had been because of that, as I had been able to predict what they’ll do to a certain extent.
I folded my arms and nodded to signal that Jonathan should go on. However, he had finished. While Jonathan had correctly guessed the trend, he had not been able to go into specifics. It was inevitable, as Hong Kong’s method to defend against the investors had been beyond imagination.
“I’ll ask you a question. The only method to defend against the attacks is to raise the interest rate, and the stock market would inevitably break down from that. Can Hong Kong solve this contradiction?”
“Yes, they can. It’s Hong Kong, and the investors cannot break them down, Sun.”
“No, they can’t. It’s certain that the stock market will break down when the interest rate is raised.”
However, Jonathan’s eyes did not shake, as he was still certain that Hong Kong could defend itself. His face said that he thought while he could not know the exact method, the attackers could not break down Hong Kong.
“Sun, are you thinking of betting that the attackers….will win?”
“At the end, the Hong Kong Government will abolish the fixed exchange system to protect the stock market, the Hong Kong dollar will fall, and they will get the profit.”
“The Hong Kong Stock Market is the only route China has to the capitalist world, and Hong Kong has to protect its stock market no matter what the cost. It is China’s future.”
“Even by giving up their foreign exchange market?”
Jonathan’s tone was wistful since I was going in the opposite direction from him.
“Yes. If Hong Kong has to give up either their stock or foreign exchange market, it will give up their foreign exchange market.”
Hong Kong giving up its foreign exchange market meant that the attackers would win.
“Sun, do you actually believe this?”
I had not thought of testing Jonathan, as I had already tested him multiple times. When the forty thousand became 200 million, when the 200 million became 50 billion, and when those dollars were divided into numerous paper companies, he could have pushed me away each time.
While I would have not gone down easy, he had not and passed all three tests.
“There’s a saying we Koreans often say.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You have to listen to me to the end. Hong Kong giving up the foreign exchange market instead of their stock market would be what the attackers are thinking.”
“You are right. Hong Kong can think like that, which means that the answer is evident.”
“So, Sun you’re saying…”
“If I was the Hong Kong government, I would give up on the stock market instead of the foreign exchange market, to an extreme level that no one would be able to expect. They will raise the short-term interest rate to the maximum.”
I raised three fingers.
“A 3% increase?”
Jonathan’s face cringed.
“300%? 300%! Sun, I believe whatever you say, but not this time. That’s crazy. A child wouldn’t do that.”
Yes, if one read Economics for Dummies, you could know how crazy this idea was. However, Hong Kong was going to do exactly that.
“Jonathan, Hong Kong will destroy their stock market by their own hands.”
Edited by Userunfriendly