Emily was unable to believe, much less accept the situation. Jonathan was one of the many who had just graduated from being a junior level broker and trader. Guys like him could be seen by the hundreds on Wall Street. Moreover, there had been recent rumors that Jonathan’s past performance at both had been less than lackluster around her alumnus.
Yet, impossibly, a guy like him had achieved an impossible success that would go down in financial history in the span of a single day. With a stake of less than a million dollars, Jonathan had pocketed ten billion dollars in just two months. It was an incredible record that would be forever unbroken.
Jonathan? That Jonathan did this?
She and other teammates talked about this whenever they ate together. While they spoke every day, the conclusion was always the same. There was only one way that Jonathan could have made such a nonsensical profit.
As Jonathan had hinted, he had placed his entire fortune on maximum leverage. He had liquidated his assets in a suicidal manner, and unbelievably it had worked. It was miraculous luck, and even if gods of fortune such as Tyche from Greek mythology, Ganesha from Indian mythology, and others from all over the world had graced Jonathan, it still did not cover it. He was the monkey that had written Shakespeare. (EN: Tyche, in Greek religion, was the goddess of chance, a capricious dispenser of good and ill fortune. Ganesha is the Hindu god of wisdom, success and good luck. The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. In fact, the monkey would almost surely type every possible finite text an infinite number of times. ^_^ )
‘He had been boasting and congratulating us on entering the major playing field…and now he’s having us perform this farce.’
Emily sighed as she looked down at her briefcase. She was certain that Jonathan was drunk in his success. Wall Street was full of people who overestimated momentary luck as an unbeatable winning streak, and Emily knew this better than anyone else. She had been one of them, and although she had repented, her ruin had become irrevocable.
Therefore, she had come in running when Jonathan called her. Emily had thought this was her second chance at Wall Street, but…
Emily wanted to throw her briefcase off the nearest bridge, as it was full of documents that proved she was an imbecile. When this bet is made between the banks and Jonathan Investments, her regained position will disappear.
‘If he wants to throw money away like that, give it to me.’
Emily’s destination was right in front of her, as she was at the head offices of DP Krump, one of the top four firms in the financial field. She had been pacing at the front of the door for thirty minutes even though it was almost time for her appointment. She had to stop Jonathan but had no way to contact him. She had strict orders to follow the instructions, and Emily grabbed her brick sized cell phone. (EN: This was the ‘90s. 😀 )
<I’m at the front of DP Krump, but I can’t go in. My legs won’t work.>
<The same. Jonathan is not answering still?>
<Yes. Do we have to do this? I feel like an imbecile.>
<Damn the guy. Did he call us to make us do things like this?>
<So what are you going to do?>
<What can we do? We have to follow orders. He’s going down, and we have no way to stop him. Do you think Jonathan actually sees money as money?>
Emily thought she had made a mistake in making the call, as her mood became even gloomier. Eventually, she entered the massive bank like a cow walking into the slaughterhouse. The wait was not long since she had already scheduled a meeting.
“I’m Emily from Jonathan Investments.”
While Emily offered her business card, she thought it would become useless soon. Only a single ordinary employee from DP Krump had come into the meeting, who did not even have the authority to make decisions. Emily placed the documents, and as the employee looked over them, he scratched his head and stroked his nose.
“It’s a new type of swap transaction, and you seemed to have prepared a lot.”
Emily agreed that this had taken much preparation, as she had been impressed by the expertise that had gone into Jonathan’s product proposal. However, trash was trash.
“I have to tell you that I will look over this as usual, but I do not want to waste your time. Who will accept such a deal like this?”
The employee was polite, and Emily thought it was inevitable that the DP Krump employee had misunderstood the proposal.
“Jonathan Investments is position B, and we will take the position where we would only make profit when Hong Kong short-term interest rate increases over 100%.”
The employee picked up the documents again, and she looked at his face while waiting for him to speak. It was just as Emily had guessed, as his facial muscles were working desperately to hide his laughter. He was doing his best to do so and quickly got out of the room, saying that he had no authority over this. Emily covered her reddening face.
After a short while, new employees from DP Krump came in, and they had more weight this time. A team leader, who could make decisions, and three subordinates were added to the mix. They greeted each other, and the new people began to confirm the documents.
“A swap transaction of this kind is unprecedented. It takes a long time to create a new product, and to build such a market with Hong Kong bonds…” (EN: What is a swap transaction? A contract to exchange two financial liabilities. For example, swapping fixed interest-rate debts for variable-rate debts. They are commonly used to enable a borrower to change the basis of interest payments and will often incur a fee.)
“We are aware.”
“However, since you had made such immaculate preparations, we can go about this with less work. How much money are we talking about?”
Emily inwardly shouted that now was the time to stop.
“500 million dollars.”
It was an OBSCENE amount of money, and Emily knew that they were sneering at her at that moment. The DP Krump employees became busy with them, and the time they took to confirm there were no hidden tricks in Emily’s product proposal took much more time than the first reading.
‘There are none! Congratulations. You’ve earned a humongous pile of dough just by sitting there on your fat a$$.’
Emily grabbed a pen, as only Jonathan’s parents would refuse that worthless proposal. The highest ranking of the DP Krump people was also taking out a pen from his breast pocket and after they signed, he asked for a handshake.
After the handshake, he asked a question.
“I know that this is impolite, but I have never heard of Jonathan Investments before.”
“We have been open for less than a year, and Jonathan Investments looks forward to an amicable partnership with DP Krump.”
Both Emily and the DP Krump people were thinking the same thing. They would never see each other again. After the signature was on the proposal, Emily made her escape. While she could not actually hear the sound, she knew that the sneering laughter of DP Krump was following her. The worse thing was that DP Krump was not the end, and she had to fly to Europe to do this again.
“Conquest preparations complete.”
Jonathan confirmed the email and turned his chair towards me. He had remained silent about my predictions about Hong Kong’s crazy maneuvers from that day.
“We’ve bet 5 billion dollars.”
Bonds were done, and it was now time for stocks.
“It’s our turn.”
My heart beat faster than it had in a long time. I knew the strategy that the investors will use and the method the Hong Kong government will use to defend against them. However, our 50 billion dollars bet had not been figured into their calculations. Also, I could not guess the exact date now, so earning profit by using maximum leverage had become impossible. The choices I will make now were the important ones.
“You’re thinking of betting 50 billion dollars on the stocks falling, right?”
“Hong Kong will crash with that much money. The foreign exchange market would be destroyed. Sun, your calculations will be useless then.”
Jonathan saw things accurately.
“Therefore, we have to stop at exactly that level.”
“The level that Hong Kong will still hold its deathgrip on the foreign exchange market. If Hong Kong changes directions to protecting stocks because of us, we will…”
“Be ruined. It’s us against the Hong Kong government. However, the bigger the battle, the more we will gain, right?”
It seemed that Jonathan had made his decision last night, and he now spoke with determination.
“An all-out war with Hong Kong? We are not at that level yet, Jonathan.”
Moreover, I did not want to face such opponents, those who would give up their limbs to win. If Hong Kong does that against the Hedge Funds, and we make our move, the country will use the same strategy against us. Hong Kong would choose to die with their enemies.
“We will use fear like the Hedge Funds did.”
“Hong Kong is Asia’s financial center. What will happen when Hong Kong burns its stock market by its own hands?”
Jonathan shook a little, as he understood what I was saying.
“The entire world will be shocked, and what will happen if we ‘encourage’ that fear a little?”
“The global stock market will shake, and we will bet on it.”
It could not be helped. While the Korean IMF crisis will come faster than in the previous history, it was an inevitable outcome even without my intervention. I started booting up the computers.
“We will bet the five billion dollars when it’s time. What you and I will do now is…”
“Move the ghost companies with the rest of the funds under the prediction that the global stock market will fall.”
“That’s right. While the most important thing is profit, another thing just as important is that no one knows about us. If someone discovers our tail, that means the end.”
As we had accumulated this much in an instant, the fall could come just as quickly.
“Then let’s start now. We don’t have much time.”
This was it, that familiar racing heartbeat. It was just like the times I had to open reward boxes with everything riding on the outcome, good or ill. I placed my hands on the keyboard with memories flying in my head.
Then, the day came.
Edited by Userunfriendly