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Chapter 33

Second sponsored chapter by me. Happy Birthday to me!!

 

In 2017, Google’s interview question had been similar to the following problem.

 

The Thousand-Dollar Game

 

  1. You are alone with a stranger in a room.
  2. You are ordered to divide a thousand dollars between you and the stranger.
  3. You can freely decide on the amount, but the stranger knows that the total amount is a thousand dollars.
  4. You cannot directly communicate with the stranger.

 

*If the stranger agrees with the amount you presented, the negotiation is deemed a success, and both of you keep the money.

*If the stranger refuses the amount you presented, the negotiation is deemed a failure, and the entire amount is confiscated.

*How much money will you propose in this scenario?

 

Each person interviewed was presented with various proposals from 70:30, 50:50, 51:49, 30:70, 1:99. The interviewer asked for the thinking process they would use to choose a proposal instead of asking for a definitive answer. The question itself was from behavioral economics, and it was really a question about human greed.

 

However, what if the question was about ten billion dollars instead? Even if the ratio changed by only one percent, that single percent meant one hundred million dollars.

 

***

 

The saying that human greed was endless seemed to be wrong in the face of billions of dollars. Jonathan seemed to have been playing that imaginary game all this time with the sixty-five billion dollars we had earned. He didn’t care about our agreed on shares, and Jonathan had decided his share was ten billion.

He was passionately explaining about the portfolio of ten billion to me. Since the amount was so large, Jonathan emphasized safety instead of aggressive investments. Therefore, he presented the idea of directly investing in the firms already included in the Global DOW. (EN: The Global Dow is a 150-stock index of corporations from around the world, created by Dow Jones & Company. Only blue-chip stocks are included in the index.)

In other words, Jonathan was thinking of investing in the thirty best firms in America, all of them known globally.

The idea was not bad since the DOW was the yardstick for performance. It had recorded an average of a five percent profit, and the current eight thousand points of profitability will come to exceed twenty thousand until the Day of Advent.

Even if we just let the investments sit, the profit will be larger than interest rates. The problem was that it was not especially good, either. If the twentieth century was led by manufacturing and energy firms, the twenty-first century would be led by the Information Technology firms.

However, the number of IT firms Jonathan had listed in his thirty was only five in total.

I spoke after waiting for him to finish.

 

“Isn’t it too early to divide our shares? I’ll give you time for that later. However, not now.”

“Sun, it’s sixty-five billion dollars. The money will continue to increase whatever we do with it.”

“Tell that to the Roc…”

 

I realized that I had spoken too much since I had mentioned a family name that was historically significant…no, a name that had MADE history. While I stopped myself from talking, Jonathan seemed to have heard the name in that brief moment. I looked at him with concern, and he was mumbling something with round eyes.

 

“What did you say?”

 

For financiers, that family name was a divine word. Jonathan looked at me with shock. While the name still existed in this era under trusts, managed by global banks, the name was something that belonged in legends. How much were they estimated at, five trillion dollars? The power they showed in their prime was evident, as they had built a country and changed the direction of a World War.

 

“Ah…”

 

Jonathan seemed speechless for a minute, but then he started to nod. On the other hand, I was keeping my mouth shut. Why had I chosen to return to the day I was born instead of on the day of the Trial Tests? Because of the Man Who Overcame Adversity trait? The stats I would develop? If I only considered the Eight Virtues and the Eight Evils, the day of the Trial Tests would have been the right choice since there were many opportunities to rebuild myself in that time.

I had come back in time so far because of what had happened before the Eight Virtues and Eight Evils appeared.

 

***

 

Humanity had time to rebuild, and there had been many opportunities to preserve our civilization and face the monsters. If we had taken those opportunities, human civilization would not have crumbled, and we would have been able to survive under the System. That meant that the internet and the electronic devices that had originally been for everyone’s use would not have become privileges for the Awakened.

However, humanity had frozen in fear in front of supernatural beings and events. They had made mistakes and made things worse, which led to ruin. Then, the Eight Virtues and Eight Evils appeared to tip us over the precipice.

 

“What I’m saying is that I’m still hungry.”

“…That’s a nice expression.”

 

Come to think of it, I had four years to wait until one of the more joyful times in my life. The 2002 World Cup had been a festival for Koreans, and there had been a jubilant passion that could not have been bought with all of my money in the Gwanghwamun streets. However, I would not be able to enjoy myself that much since I already knew the results. (EN: South Korea co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament with Japan. They had never won a game in the World Cup previously but the South Korean team achieved their first ever victory in a World Cup with a 2–0 victory against Poland when the tournament began.  I wonder how much Sun is planning to bet with the bookmakers… ^_^ )

I spoke to Jonathan clearly after coming back to reality.

 

“Don’t speak of retirement again. Did you hear me?”

 

Jonathan’s face fell for a moment since he had not directly spoken of retirement. However, his investment directions clearly spoke of his thoughts, as portfolios acted as windows to the mind for financiers.

Jonathan looked down at his portfolio and became silent. He then began to nod quietly.

 

“Hold on to that and use it for customers.”
“Customers?”

“What became of the small company mergers?”

 

Jonathan began to smile, and he had definitely put it on hold. I could not blame him since he had been so busy lately. As Jamie was tormented by Korean politicians and financiers, everyone would be on Jonathan by now. I had seen his face at least ten times through various media.

 

“Refuse all interviews and events. Since you can’t focus on work, you’re getting overloaded, and you’re overthinking things.”

“You’re asking me to decrease my load once I get back. I can do that, but…”

“Everyone is looking at you now, and once you open, customers will come in flocks.”

“What about the clientele? Managing a property management company is not easy.”

“You’re right, and we have to choose carefully the investment firm we will buy.”

“The focus should be on the quality of the managers instead of their funds. The firm will be filled with investors better than me. That was quite stressful and was not at all enjoyable.”

“You’re talking about Jeffrey Kay, right?”

 

He was the firm hunter we hired for the New York firm a while ago.

 

“Yes, I’m avoiding him as much as possible. I don’t even open my mouth when I see him, in case he may guess everything.”

 

Jonathan smiled in self-mockery.

 

“…Jonathan, you would have succeeded without meeting me.”

“As much as now?”

 

Jonathan firmly shook his head when I had been about to say something. He was telling me not to console him in any way. Jonathan regarded himself as not having contributed much to our success, and it was true.

The trading Jonathan helped me with was the basic procedure for any Wall Street financiers who had graduated from “junior”.

However, I decided I would not think what Jonathan was feeling now any longer, as he would realize by himself when expanding the investment firm. He would know that a hungry beast was within him…

That kind of primal instinct did not come with only the loss of loved ones, as human beings find a new side of themselves when they reach their limits.

Expanding the firm will give Jonathan such a chance. I will be requesting an aggressive expansion. He would have to go into war, using money instead of guns and swords. I spoke about the investment firm mergers that we had strayed from.

 

“I’m looking at the Bluestone Group now.”

 

Since it was the largest private equity company in the world, Jonathan would, of course, know the name. However, I saw something more in Jonathan’s expression, and he revealed that he had been persistently approached by the Bluestone Group before coming to Korea. (EN: A private-equity firm is an investment management company that provides financial backing and makes investments in the private equity of startup or operating companies through a variety of loosely affiliated investment strategies including leveraged buyout, venture capital, and growth capital. )

 

“However, they let go of me after realizing the shares I hold in the company.”

 

At the moment, Jonathan was richer than the owner of the Bluestone Group. Jonathan’s expression loosened at remembering the encounter, and he questioned me instead.

 

“You’re not really talking about buying the Bluestone Group, right?”

“Is it possible?”

 

Jonathan spoke in a lethargic voice.

 

“It would have been possible if Bluestone had also jumped at the Asian financial crisis since they would have taken a few hits. However, it’s not the case. Their original funds are going well and have succeeded in accumulating more than four billion dollars this year.”

 

“Bluestone Capital Partners Fund III.”

 

Jonathan’s face grew a bit rigid.

 

“You really do know everything. Yes, Bluestone is paying meticulous attention to their third product. Why do you keep hiding in the shadows with that talent? Is it because of your country’s attention? Your age? Come to America. You should be at the helm instead of using me as a front.”

 

Jonathan rushed to speak the words that had to have been deep inside him. However, his expression changed, and he started to scratch his nose.

 

“I’m sorry. I’m under stress in this situation.”

“I told you to exercise. You know that your belly is fatter than before. Also, I explained why I cannot come out in the open.”

“It’s because of the tax audit, right?”

“Yes. And on the side, I was serious about it before.”

“What?”

“That you would have succeeded without me.”

“Oh, that.”

 

Jonathan was indifferent, but it was the truth.

 

“If you feel stressed, show your abilities this time. It’s not about investments, though.”

“What is it?”

“The management of the Bluestone Group is in Korea now.”

 

Korea was the battlefield between corporate hunters at present, and Bluestone had a corporate hunting team. While their business cards said that they belonged to the ‘Special Reclamation Fund Management Team,’ what they did was to buy firms and real estate and sell them in pieces. They increased their customer’s returns through such tactics.

 

“Win over the corporate hunter team and add them to the New York firm.”

“You were serious?”

“Of course. Shake things from the ground. Without them, Bluestone’s new fund product is useless, and we will start from there.”

 

I wanted Blue Rock the most out of their property management firms. While the Bluestone Group itself was famous as a global investment firm, Blue Rock was the true treasure. Blue Rock was a dragon lying in wait and would start to rise from 1995 after becoming an independent firm.

After two decades, along with Kim Cheongsoo, Jillian, and Jessica, they would become the greatest Global Investment Firm. Blue Rock managed about four trillion dollars at the time, and counting the funds that followed the investments, the amount they influenced would jump to the quintillions.

However, the Blue Rock I wanted was in the future and not in the present. They were being pressured by the Bluestone Group and had barely scratched the top twenty in the field. Their heyday would only be in my memories anyway. (EN: Sun is buying out his future competition.  Unfair! ^_^ )

 

[The Authority over the shadow banks that control global finance from behind the curtains]

 

That title will belong to someone else.

 

Edited by Userunfriendly

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