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Chapter 62

 

I made a clicking noise with my tongue and opened the account of one of the Bahamas paper companies with the largest amount of funds.

 

[Account name: Midas Bank Corporation]

[Account Value: $432,500,000]

[Estimated Profit: -13.50%]

 

The fund’s value had decreased to four hundred and thirty two million, and the estimated profit was now negative, -13.51% indicating a loss. This account was now operating at a net loss, instead of a net profit.  And getting worse over time.

 

[Estimated Profit: -14.00%]

 

Twenty-five million dollars has evaporated, and losses would be incurring in other accounts in the tens of millions of dollars. In my past life, I would have looked at the monitor with a rigid face and waited for my superior to ask me what was wrong.

However, I was calm as this situation was expected. I hoped the estimated profit would fall more, as the account was investing in the Yen futures market. The loss meant that there was a high probability that investors have bought more Russian government bonds, strengthening the Russian Ruble. It was the only reason the Japanese yen would fall like this when considering the finance policies of relevant countries. (EN: Futures are derivative financial contracts that obligate the parties to transact an asset at a predetermined future date and price. The buyer must purchase or the seller must sell the underlying asset at the set price, regardless of the current market price at the expiration date.)

 

Asking Jonathan to salt the mine in early June had worked, and the hedge funds that had allied to attack Seoul once the IMF expired now gathered to protect Russia. It was not only because of the difference in skin color, but those hedge funds had massively bought Russian bonds in June. Russia’s bankruptcy meant huge losses.

So, not only Russia but all the markets in the major Asian and European countries and the raw materials stock markets became battlefields. The war front spread with Russia at the center, and this situation had not existed in the past. Back then, the most significant event had been the major Asian countries significantly changing their financial policies, and it had not been this intense, nor had they been pushed into a corner to protect Russia.

However, my salting the mine by a billion USD had changed their stance, and things will become hectic after the funds from New York and the Isle of Man came into play.

 

***

At a desk in the Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM), Gerald tightly clenched his fists. He wanted to scream, but he seemed not to have been the only one who had won. He looked at a comrade who met his eyes, and they quietly stood up. The senior trader was also stretching instead of reprimanding them for leaving their desks, and Gerald saw him calling somewhere. It would be the higher-ups sending their praise.

 

“We can stride with our heads raised high if we keep going like this.”

“The office atmosphere has become better. How much did you lose during the Asian financial crisis? I lost two hundred million.”

 

Gerald’s colleague was the first to break the unspoken rule, as they normally did not speak of such things even amongst themselves. However, that rule was ignored on days like this, they even actually spoke out loud about past losses.

 

“More than that.”

 

Gerald smiled for the first time since late last year.

 

“Who are they?”

“Their goal seems to be clear.”

 

They both thought that another major Hedge Fund was betting on Russia’s collapse.

 

“Mutual Funds cannot be this aggressive.  They’re scrutinized constantly by their investors, after all.”

“They are people like us. While they seem to be prepared, they will be bankrupt after this ends.”

 

Gerald agreed with his colleague’s words, as the hedge funds were generally at a precarious position due to the Asian losses. If another suffered a huge loss after that, the firm would be removed.

 

“They will be laughed at, as the idiot who wrote their investment proposal got everything wrong.”

 

Gerald stifled a smile, even as it was the victor’s right to laugh at the loser.

As they gloated over their victory, the senior trader also came to the rest area and lit a cigarette near a window. He spoke to them with a complicated expression.

 

“We have more funds available and check the investment proposal from the director as soon as you go back.”

 

Gerald and his colleague knew that the revised proposal would be much more aggressive than the one before. However, Gerald felt sudden anxiety from the senior trader’s expression and wondered what it was.

 

“…Is there a problem?”

“Haven’t you two felt it?”

“Yes?”

“Things are going too well. While we’re winning, it’s because of their mistakes and not our skills.”

“I will check the transaction amounts again.”

“I did.”

“How was it?”
“They have the initiative, and our opponents feel like they do not care about us. They’re going at their own pace, and we are the ones responding.”

“The attack on Russia?”
“It doesn’t feel right. We are waiting for Russia to fall at this rate.”

 

If the senior trader was telling the truth, the opposition was waiting for Russia to fall, and that would change everything.

 

“What do the Directors say?”

“Haven’t I said we got additional funds and a revised investment proposal?”

“……”

“Yes, the Professors would have felt the same thing earlier if I did. However, we’ve gone too deep to change strategies even for them.” (EN: Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) was a large hedge fund led by Nobel Prize-winning economists and renowned Wall Street traders.)

“……”

“So, now is not the time to be so happy. If things go wrong, we’ll all be…no, that won’t happen. Rest up and go back to work.”

There was a silence in the rest area after the senior trader went out, and only the burnt ashes of his cigarette remained. Gerald and his colleague smiled at each other awkwardly.

 

“We seemed to have forgotten the Wall Street idiom.”

There were times when they should stop thinking too much, especially when the situation was this clear. They just needed to win more.

 

“Let’s go back.”

 

***

 

During the Asian Financial Crisis, the Hedge Funds had spread fear to conquest Korea by attacking Southeast Asia and then Hong Kong. The foreign funds flowed out of Seoul, and the lending institutions asked for their money back much earlier than the borrowers were ready to repay.

Korea had no choice but to crumble from the inside, and now, the hedge funds seemed to be seeing the massive funds I invested in Korea as an invasion force poised to attack Russia. Well, Jillian and Cheongsoo Kim were intentionally pretending to do so, but the funds were not for that purpose.

 

[Estimated Profit: -14.1%]

 

The Estimated Profits falling was clear evidence of that, as we would not have gone in like this if we wanted to attack Russia. Jillian, Cheongsoo Kim, and I finally finished as the month-long operation ended here. Now, we only needed to reap the profits from those who will fall with Russian bankruptcy. However, we would need to observe the losses calmly, which may be the most difficult thing to do.

The door going out to the exercise room creaked like a dungeon door. The building had been built over twenty years ago, and the door seemed like it needed to be replaced.

Yeonhee Woo was practicing her archery skills, and she shot her arrow into the target. Yeonhee Woo looked at me to make sure I saw her good shot, and approached me.

 

“Work?”

“It ended.”

“You live intensely, and that makes me think about myself.”

“Stop saying nonsense. We’re going into a dungeon within two weeks.”

“Two weeks…”

Things would end then.

 

Edited by Userunfriendly

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