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Author Topic: Market Storm: A Solo Mythic Role Playng Actual Play Experience  (Read 1692 times)

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I have been working at this campaign for several weeks now. I am playing it solo with Mythic Role playing (the complete game, including the GM emulator).
Since it turns out that I am having a lot of fun playing this particular campaign, I have thought about sharing it with you guys for two main reasons:
See If I can get you interested in it as much as I am, and...practice my written English skills, which leave a lot to be desired, so you guys will have to have the patience to struggle through my idiomatic and grammar mishaps.

I am way ahead with the campaign, on which I have 121 pages already written down, all of them in my # 1 language (Italian). I am going to post the introduction right here, and if somebody is interested in it, I am going to continue it.

Let me know.

The main character of the story is Alvaro Pagano, an Italian-American 37 years old who got the American citizenship in 2008. He is an expert in finance, monetary theory and edge fund management. After attending high school in Italy he moved to the US where he was admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a full scholarship regime after he demolished all the previous records in the admission tests. In Cambridge he got a college degree in economics, followed by a Masters degree in financial markets management, and then he completed his education with a PHD in finance and bank management, with a thesis on derivative products risk management. At 27 he had two main choices: a job on the trading floor at Goldman Sachs, or a State job in Italy as chief consultant for an Italian sovereign fund called ALPHA.

He chose the second option, as in that same year, the big 2008 the financial crises originating from the United States subprime crises, spread to the rest of the world and Alvaro judged more prudent to move back to Europe at that particular time. He worked for ALPHA for exactly ten years when sudden disagreements with the Italian Secretary of Finance forced him to resign his position. Meanwhile Dr. Alvaro Pagano also developed a passion for the game of Poker, no limit texas holdem speciality, whose decision making process he found in many ways very similar to the ones that he applied every day at his job. His naturally gifted mathematical mind also adapted particularly well to the game, and by 2016 he had accumulated a series of victories on the Italian and European poker circuits. The final coronation came in July 2018, just at the starting point of our story, when he participated and won the world series of poker main event pocketing the $7,500,000 winner prize.

The reason for his conflicts with the Italian economic establishment had been about Alvaro's own economic theories. In years of experience in dealing with the financial markets he learned to hate the sharks who swim in that kind of ocean as well as their state crony buddies who maneuver entire economies towards more or less controlled disasters, risking nothing for themselves, as the bad outcomes are usually at the expense of the less affluent strata of populations, the so called 99%. Alvaro, heavily influenced by the the Austrian school of economics, is convinced that an ethic and clean capitalistic economy, where the government is not entitled to concede privileges to anybody, would work in much more balanced way, would avoid most of the crises, even though it would grow at a much slower pace, and most of all it would be a more just system of distribution of wealth. As it is easy to imagine, such theories could not cope very well with a job inside a crony government like the Italian one, even though Alvaro thinks that when it comes down to governments, they are more or less all the same.

All in all, in July 2018, Alvaro moves to Las Vegas for good after having opened a position with the Laurentian Bank of Canada, in which he puts all of his life savings coming both from all his years of work and from his poker winnigs; 4 million dollars in a private account and 10 million dollars in US treasury long bonds.

The last thing you guys need to know about Alvaro, and this is quite important for you to know, is that he is on the very verge of the autistic spectrum. In his life he never had a friend or a girlfriend. Apart from scant and quick sexual intercourses when he was in college, he has never been in a relationship with a woman. He doesn't know what it means to go out at night, and the only experience he has of going out is for lunch with its colleagues. It's not that he is a bad looking guy, on the contrary, but his mundane social skills are almost at ground zero. He thought himself a bunch of protocols for business social behavior, but he has never been intrested in any kind of social relationship, preferring to spend all his time with his studies, that he never abandoned for a day even after his PHD, playing or studying poker, or trading in options or commodities derivatives; his true passion.

So, as you can probably understand from this short introduction, we are going to have a heck of deep role playing experience with this campaign, especially when new characters will appear in the story. I know because I am at new year day 2019 with this campaign and a lot of things happened already.

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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2018, 06:29:15 PM »
Las Vegas, July 2018

It is a big residence complex the one where Alvaro lives, a typical mega complex for people who don't care or aren't able to look after themselves very properly. For 50,000 a year, he has his room, one meal a day, cleaning and laundry service all included, which is just what suits Alvaro fine. He spends his days between the trading account he opened with the Laurentian Bank, and his physical exercises schedule, which he keeps in very high regard. In the month of July, things don't seem to go too well; stagnant markets, scarce volatility, and the world economy not too far from a global recession, with a projected grow rate of about 0,7%.
then suddenly around the last third of the month something unexpected happens: for some strange reasons a war for the takeover of American Stores, one of the behemoths of US food distribution ensues between two giants of active investments; Gordon Gekko and Karol Icon, who both intervene through their proxy holding companies, Istanbul Insurance and Boston Equity Ltd, to race for who buys more stocks of the American distribution giant. The race triggers a series of violent fluctuations on AMS capitalization value, which is quickly exploited by Alvaro, who starts buying call options on AMS at once. Alvaro knows that he has to be very careful in dealing with derivative options on such a volatile company, you can be wiped out in a heartbeat if the price moves against you, but by mixing skill and "ass luck" as it is called in Italy, Alvaro comes out of the operation with 13 million dollars profit out of an investment of 4. On this profit he will have to pay 3,5 millions to the IRS, which fortunately is still mild with capital gains; around 18% taxation.
Alvaro's target is to get to the magic threshold of 100 million dollars in liquidity, which is the minimum requirement to be able to legally register a private equity edge fund in the US. It is true that he could get to his objective faster by turning to the private savings market, but to do that, Alvaro would need a net of social relationships, that not only he doesn't have, but that he doesn't want to have either; therefore he will do as he has always done; he will work it out by himself. The only difference is that he is trading with his own money now.
Meanwhile, the cleaning lady that fixes his room every day, has already asked him what the computer arsenal which practically occupies it all is for. Alvaro answered that he is a video game geek, which all considered is not a total lie, when we consider the nature of trading on the financial markets. By the way, one of the things that Alvaro is totally incapable of doing is to lie, a typical trait of his autistic spectrum, a trait that in the past didn't serve him very well on his Italian job.  
At the very end of July projections on further contractions of the economy puts the Federal reserve in full alert by the specter of another economic recession. The central bankers, bunch of morons and economy destroyers that they are, as soon s they notice that the economy slows down, seek refuge in the usual recipe to try and fix the imbalance: they start printing money like if they were possessed, attempting in their infinite economic ignorance to mitigate a fire pumping gasoline into it.
As the Feseral Reserve proceeds to drug the stock market as best as it can, said market doesn't feel yet the drag on the economy, and it is still moderately bullyish for the rest of the month, but other markets, like for example the corn market panics, faced with falling consumption rates and consequently the prices dive down to 2,70 dollars a bushel for the corn. This triggers an even bigger panic among the commodity traders, who start selling in an already depressed market. At 2,40 a bushel, Alvaro holds his breath and goes long on corn by throwing 16 million of his very own dollars in future contracts on the corn. He is betting that the corn price will have to rise again in a short time now. The counterpart of this long position of his, is Barclays Bank, one of the dirtiest, most cunning institutions in the world. Not a character that you want to have on the opposite side of your trade. The freaking limeys plunge into the operation head first, convinced as they are that the corn price will instead continue to fall. and it seems that they are right as in the following hours the prices indeed continues to fall all the way down to 2,10 a bushel; Alvaro is agonizing on a death bed; he has a loss of 15 millions out of his initial 16 in just a few hours. If the price goes down another thick, Alvaro will receive the doomsday margin call from the Laurentian Bank and he will be wiped out not having any more money to cover the bleeding.
Minutes away from the catastrophe, another shot of ass luck comes to rescue our hero, who this time had screwed up for freaking real. Caused by a shortage in the corn market once distributors realize that the previous spring weather didn't allow sufficient gathering, the price of corn starts to bounce back. The financial gods intervene to save Alvaro; the money hemorrhage turns itself into a profit in the span of 24 hours, and Alvaro, who is still cleaning the floor from his own pee, exits the operation at a price of 4,70, putting together 80 millions in profit instead of 16 in loss. He could probably have waited  a bit more to exit the trade, but the scare has been to much; better take the loot and get the hell out of there now.
You got it right guys; trading commodity futures is not for the weak of heart, neither in reality nor in this little game of mine.
to finish the month with a bang, our Dr. Pagano, revived by the financial gods interventioon, buys call derivative options on the French pollution cleaning giant Vivendi, which seems to be having a sensational second quarter, going from 26 cents of profit per stock in the first quarter to 1 dollar and 2 cents in the second. Needless to say, its stock takes off in July and when Alvaro sells the options the liquidity of his account is around 134 millions of which 25 are IRS fodder.    
the first mission is accomplished; by ass luck yes, but nevertheless accomplished: the gathering of the 100 millions to open a financial institution on which nature, Alvaro has still to think about. It depends on what he decides his second mission needs to be, and for this Alvaro needs a little more time to decide. It is clear that he could invest his 100 millions in any kind of fixed income asset and leave in peace in his little residence room, spending the rest of his life studying, playing poker, without ever risking a dime ever again. Average interest rate 3,61%, even though is doomed to go down because of the foolish policy of the federal Reserve; it's roughly 3.5 million a year in revenue. For a single man, not bad.
But since when Alvaro has been sacked from the management of the ALPHA fund in Italy because he wanted to use it to improve the lives of the common citizens, Alvaro has been meditating on strange projects. The fact that he now owns the same amount of liquidity that ALPHA had in 2008 when he started to manage it, makes his thoughts even more ambitious. He starts to cogitate on the fact that he might manage to do as a private investor, what the public investors prevented him from doing when he was their employee.

And a sort of dream starts forming in his head.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2018, 06:47:40 PM by »

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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2018, 03:55:00 AM »
Las Vegas  August 2018

After a long meditation about the possible choices, Alvaro decides to create a private equity edge fund, under the legal label of "Trading Company"; simply a firm registered office, with a bank position based on a checking account and a series of financial account for each type of investment. Alvaro's choice is dictated by the fact, that at least at the very beginning he doesn't want to deal with partners, customers, and employees. This would mean interviews, meetings, and discussions that he is not ready to undertake yet. Alvaro more often than not has difficulties in meet himself in front of a mirror, let alone a team of possible associates and or employees. No; for now ALPHA INVESTMENT GROUP will be a simple edge fund directed by him with adequate information technology to support its activities, and possibly an office to be rent somewhere.
The company is founded on the first of august 2019 in Canada. Alvaro is then forced to jump on a plane for Toronto and to go see a notary for the legalization of the new financial institution, which although small, is his own company. The second stop in Toronto is at the central branch of the Laurentian Bank of Canada, where Alvaro needs to set up the contributions to the new entity.

The central branch director, a sleek guy with a basset hound face and sticking out ears, welcomes Alvaro with the red carpet given the fact that he has seen Alvaro's deposits levitate from 14 to 100 million dollars in a couple of months. Alvaro tells him about the foundation of ALPHA GROUP, what are the future activities of the group, and informs him that he would like to open a standard edge funds service package for the entire spectrum of trading assets; stocks, private bonds, government bonds, and derivatives instruments, including, options futures and swaps.

The basset hound doesn't flinch a bit, and tells Alvaro that his requests will be meet in one week tops. ALPHA account will be set at 102 millions initially. This will leave Alvaro with  about 2 million on his personal account.
Then Alvaro shifts to the difficult issue:

I will need to see a complete report on the bank balance sheet, the list of the institutional customers, and of the bank investment portfolio, all of that possibly not falsified.

The sleazy banker's face shifts from normal, to white to red in less than two seconds.

Mr, Pagano, we are talking about confidential information here, and as far as we are concerned, never falsified.

Alvaro tries to collect all the negotiation protocols that he thought himself in the past years. He pauses for a second or two and then continues, displaying  all the patience he can gather.

It is my pleasure to hear about the second point. As far as the first one is concerned, my deposit constitutes the 5% of your bank's entire primary liquidity position. I would regret to have to withdraw it even before we start to know each other. Actually I would say that knowing each other better is a prerequisite for our relationship to continue. I am sure that you have gathered ample information on me before accepting my deposit. It would be fair that you gave me comparable access to the information about you, without me having to seek information from any external sources. Alvaro drops the last sentence in the conviction that the bank is knowledgeable of his past in the Italian ministry of finance.

The banker swallows nervously and tells Alvaro the request documentation will be in his e-mail box in 24 hours, then lifts the phone and orders one of the clerks to bring him a set of codes to encrypt the files, together with the electronic key which will let Alvaro access them.
Our man, for now satisfied for the outcome of the meeting, leaves the bank director, jumps on the first flight for Vegas and goes back home.

Not 24 hours later but two days later, the documentation is in Alvaro's lap top. He inserts the decryption code, and starts to open the files, laying on the bed of his hotel room.

First thing Alvaro is interested in is the ratio between the bank available liquidity and the demand and deposit certificates, that is how much money the bank has received from its depositors and how much of this money it has lent out. According to the report the ratio for the Laurentian Bank is 3%, meaning that its liquidity is only 3% of the deposits. The thing is despicable, but all banks do that. They are legally entitled to forge currency and expand the monetary base present in the economic system at any given time. How? When we put money into a checking account we think that that money is available for us at any given moment and legally is. But Economically is not because the bank lent 97% of it to third parties, who now are also convinced that they they have that money as well; our money. So instantaneously the monetary base is almost doubled, under the assumption that no depositor usually goes to withdraw all his deposit at once; and even if somebody does, he or she is going to be paid with the funds of other depositors, who presumably are not going to go and withdraw all their deposit at the same time. So with this little trick, banks effectively multiply the money in circulation, to what for all practical effects equates to money forgery; but the banks do it legally because they are all in bed and they have been with their respsctive governments since the 16th century.

Apart from being one of main reasons that trigger economic crises, this little trick, called "fractional reserve banking", is also very dangerous for the bank itself, insofar the slightest sign of bank financial weakness, by triggering a bank run, elicit exactly the catastrophic situation that we depicted above: every depositor wants his money back at the same time and the bank collapses. that is why the Federal Reserve was founded in 1913; to save the collapsing banks that went too far with the bullshit. Obviously the bail out of the failing banks is always at the expense of the 99%, who pays to keep the bank alive either they realize it or not. More often than not they don't realize it, as the bail out is organized via inflation and other kinds of hidden taxation.

3%: very border line thinks Alvaro and goes to the second point of interest; to whom the bank lent the depositors money. This is an important question in order to evaluate the solidity and reliability of the bank.

In the case of the Laurentan, it has around 58 billions in deposits. 2,1 of these constitute the primary liquidity. 4.3 billions are in government bonds long and short, as a buffer in case of multiple withdraw by depositors. 1.2 billions are parked in private bond, the worse of which are those of Ralston Purina and agribusiness company, whose debt exposition is rated CCC by Standard & Poor.

Loan to companies amount to 24 billions, while 30 billions are in private mortgages, 10.6 billions are out to "the have nots" consumption debt. much shit for mortgages and loans to the risky people who borrow money to go to vacation or to by the Plasma TV.

Quickly Alvaro goes into the details of the mortgage assets and realizes that the situation is all but good: 80% of the mortgages are subprime at high yield interest. The risk fund to cover possible losses on these mortgages is only 2 billions and a half; unacceptable and may be, also illegal. Alvaro takes a mental note to check the Canadian legislation on the specific point.

Look at these loan sharks, thinks Alvaro while examining the data: that is the way they compensate for an exceptionally high overhead expense, which usually means mediocre management: they pump up the fucking subprime. Learnt anything yet did you Laurentan?

Then Alvaro shifts to the bank business portfolio. He looks at the most consistent loans, and here too he notices a worrisome tendency: the bank is bogged down with a risky loan to the Canadian defense colossus: CAE Industries; a 13 billions loan, which is the 20% of the entire business loan portfolio. Probably another side effect of the perverted relationship betwenn bank and government; CAE is controlled by the government, which probably asked the bank to over expose itself to the debt of this company with the guarantee of government intervention in case of insolvency. Same old, same old.

I understand now why the basset hound was reluctant to give me these data, thinks Alvaro still laying on his bed. I don't like this bank not even a bit. Alvaro takes another mental note to recheck the situation of the entire circus at least every quarter, and to be always ready to change loan shark at the first sign of any crackling sounds.

All in all for now the situation is still under control, with assets for 3.2 billions, and the bank credit rating is A, for what the rating agency evaluation is worth. Last quarter profit declaration has been for 460 millions, 2 dollars per stock, not difficult to achieve at this level of risk. Pagano confirms to himself to recheck the situation every 3 months.

Last thing, Alvaro checks the situation of all his accounts and ALPHA's: is personal account is at 1.63 millions dollar, and on his saving account there are 10 millions in government long bonds. He then goes to his personal stock account where he checks that the 50 million stocks of ALPHA each of them at the value of 1,72 and all rigorously privately owned by him, are present on the prospect. They are.

On the checking account of the firm there are 102 millions ready to be used. Alvaro establishes a compensation for himself of about 200,000 dollars a year, forecasting that in the future his expenses for housing and transportation will have to necessarily go up. Should he save any money, the plan is to reinsert it into the firm in the form of capital contributions.  Alvaro has grand plans for the second half of the year. Given that he does not have anybody that shuttles him back and forth from work any more, when he finally will decide to open a regular office for ALPHA, he will also be forced to buy an automobile for himself; for the first time in his life.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2018, 04:20:07 AM by »

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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2018, 06:24:47 AM »
All in all August is a much quieter month than the previous ones in the boiling hot Nevada desert. There is no way to spend a second outdoor in this weather, but Alvaro has to sweat his way through his quest to find am office space, and as he decided at the last moment, of a house. He decided in fact that he is already tired of his residence room, not so much because it is just a room, as much as for the fact that the environment is too crowded, too noisy and to busy for his tastes. In the past the Italian government always paid for a quiet isolated apartment for Alvaro, and the experience in the community residence is rapidly becoming unbearable for our autistic hero who despises noise, crowds and any other form of senses overwhelming phenomena.

At the same time it is necessary to start working on ALPHA.

Essentially the plan for the month is to exploit the recessive tendency of the economy and the corresponding - for once - bearish tendency of the stock index. One of the reasons why financial operators are considered leaches on the economic tissue is that just that: they manage to profit when the economy does well, but also when it does bad, by betting like jackals on other people struggles, often making the struggle worse in the process. This month, Alvaro joins the Jackals club for once, speculating on the falling stocks of a series of companies that are currently doing not too good on their respective markets. He buys put options, a kind of derivative contract on these companies, among which the German Air Company Lufthansa.

Alvaro skillfully edges these operations, by betting on some companies (buying call options) that according to Alvaro's projection might instead profit from the current conditions and possibly see their stock increase in value despite the lag in the economy. NEC Computers and STORAGE TECHNOLOGY end up on ALPHA's long options position for the month of August.  

NEC computers operation goes bad, the price falls instead of rising, but all in all Alvaro can be satisfied of his trades for this month. ALPHA amasses a profit of about 26 millions dollar in high yield/high risk options operations, despite the loss with NEC, from which profit of course the company will have to deduce capital gains taxes. the company had a margin profit for the month of about 17%; considering that the average IOU nets you 5% per cent, but on an annual base, if you invest your money with Alvaro, your gains are going to be way more profitable, at least for as long as ALPHA gains.

Meanwhile Dr. Pagano has put his eyes on a pretty house in the northern suburb of the town, near Craig Ranch Park. The request is 450,000 for this beautiful 4 bed rooms house. The property is well hidden in a residential neighborhood, that is not too packed.

The real estate agent who accompanies him to see this house is a chubbyish lady called Jennifer Shmittd. She is a pretty and easygoing lady, very open to answer all of his questions, which coming from somebody that never bought for himself a pair of shoes, let alone a house, can be stupid questions at times. Jennifer answers to all of them with the same degree of professionalism and openness, which makes Alvaro feel at ease in a situation that should normally make him very anxious instead. Going through the property, she explains with abundance of details all the pluses and also some minuses of the house, not forgetting to make him notice the ample outdoor area for parties and barbecues. Alvaro pretends to be very interested, when in fact he couldn't care less about the parties and the barbecues. A good protocol that Alvaro always uses when he is forced to have any kind of dialog with anybody, is that it is okay to lie when the lie is designed to avoid offending the person in front of him.

Moreover our hero also uses the tactic of letting the other person do all the talking since he isn't usually interested in revealing anything about himself. So he learns from Jennifer that she is divorced and that she has a little 9 years old boy called Thomas who is affected by a rare blood disorder, and that she needs to close more contracts as she can, in order to pay medical care for her son. On this note, our hero asks Jennifer if she would help him in the research of an office space for rent for his company. The office would need to be located downtown. Alvaro is thinking that sooner or later ALPHA will need something like that just in case he needs to meet somebody to do business with. Jennifer Assures him that her company will be for sure more than able to provide him with an ample variety of commercial estate that will satisfy every exigencies of his.

After the tour of the house, which is the third one that Jennifer has shown him so far, Alvaro informs her that this one is the one that he likes best and that he will have a technical expert have a look at its conditions. If the result is positive, Alvaro will pay for the house with a check to be delivered in front of the notary at the moment of the property certificate passage in Alvaro's hands.

Jennifer shows all her happiness for alvaro's decision, a scene that amuses Alvaro quite a bit, not being usually able himself to express happiness other than a forced smile, may be if the conditions are right. Anyhow he is happy that Jennifer is happy. Happy humans lose at least some of their dangerousness.

Just one more thing, Alvaro turns toward Jennifer after having given a last look at his future house on the way out to Jennifer's SUV

Yes Mr Pagano...

I need to buy a car for myself. Next month I have my driver license test. The point is that i never owned a car before, and I know nothing about cars. I don't have an idea of what car I should buy. If I buy a German car I am safe right? They are good cars, aren't they?

Jennifer, who has heard a certain number of weird questions by Alvaro today, but not as weird as this one, looks at him with a mix of surprise and incredulity.

What do you mean you never owned a car; you are joking right?

No, I am you think that a Volkswagen would be okay?

Yes of course; German cars are good, but even ours are not bad you know?

Like Fords for example? Alvaro asks, suddenly curious to explore Jennifer's car expertise.

yeah..yeah...Fords are good, but also Chryslers and GMs. They are all good.

You are knowledgeable about cars?

Well...not so much, but my father is...before retiring, he worked for a long time at CAR MAX reconditioning used car to be sold.

Oh that is good, answers Alvaro all of a sudden very excited. Do you think you could ask him if I can ask for his help when I need to go buy my know to be sure that it is in good conditions?

Jennifer bursts into a sincere laugh, to which Alvaro gets defensive. The solar smile of the girl makes him lower the shields at least partially.

Mr. Pagano; if you buy a new car you cannot go wrong; these days all car companies have got products that can easily last 20 years, without any problems along the way. Even if you want to buy a used car, here in the States we have chains of specialized retailers that also offer ample guarantees according to the price. But you don't want to buy a used car do you?

Oh; I would buy a new car.

Then you don't have a problem. You just buy the car that you like best. Anyway if you really want to I can talk to my father; if you want to, I think I could talk him into going with you.

Well...if you say that all cars are good these days, then I don't need help. You know, I am well versed in the commercial aspects of buying a car, I mean, I know the contract. It's the technical part that I lack skill with. I was never interested in cars before, but you know, every now and then I hear people complaining about this or that brand.

Yes that can happen. I mean any given brand can have a defective car out of the production chain every now and then you know? It can happen to any producer.

Jennifer pauses for a second.

Do you really never owned a car?

No I was always shuttled around by my employer

And who is that if I can ask

Well I used to work for the Italian government, but this year I got fired and I moved here to be self employed. So you see, now I will need a car. You know from going from home to work and back.

Oh yeah...I know...I do that too. Sometimes I also transport customers like you in my car you see ?

They look at each other and they both start laughing. Alvaro doesn't even notice that is doing something that he doesn't do very often. Having fun in a conversation.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2018, 07:17:05 AM by »

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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2018, 09:47:36 AM »
The last appointment for Alvaro in this hot August is the heads up challenge issued by Olea, a 2 times poker world champion, at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Alvaro is one in of a long series of world champions who qualified online who got a ticket for the main, and then somehow managed to win it all. The first time and amateur player managed achieve something like that was in 2003, and Alvaro is the latest in a long series of such amateurs. Like all the others before him, he now has to prove that he is no fluke and that he belongs to the circuit for real.

Playing 20 hands heads up against one of the strongest on the planet is a good start. The format of the challenge is somewhat unusual: the players will start with $ 200000 of their own money, and will play 20 hands of no limit Texas Holdem. The winner will be the one with more money at the end of the 20 hands. The players have agreed to give up 50% of the winnings to a charity foundation that deals with Alcohol and drugs dependencies.

The 31st of august, in a bright hot night, a black limo from Bellagio picks up Alvaro at his residence and takes him all the way down to the "strip".

As soon as Alvaro enters that particular area of the town he is not a private citizen any more; he is now the world champion, and as soon as he steps out of the car, in front of the casino red carpeted runway, he is assaulted by microphones, flashes, autograph requests and questionable girls looking for a future. Alvaro who is genuinely horrified by crowded environments, tries to walk inside the facility as fast as he can, he also manages to fake some smiles and to wave at the crowd on the two sides of the runway, while he runs through it escorted by three casino bouncers.

Once inside, the ball is in to the event organization: Alvaro handles his pregame interviews by shifting to his script business attitude protocol; then he meets Olea in the back stage area. the two start chatting.

Promise you won't be too hard on me young man.

Olea, seriously? I don't even know why I accepted this challenge.

Because you are an Italian gentleman?

No! Because I don't know what I am doing.

Hey, you won the main event, I busted out the second day.

Too small of a sample, means nothing.

Let's go get a drink before the circus starts.

When everything is ready, the two are invited at the short heads up table placed in one of the VIP poker rooms, where high stakes games like this one are usually played. ESPN already placed all the necessary equipment to broadcast the event live, and the hosts of the show are in a separate room to give a full commentary of the match.
Olea and Alvaro shake hands and take a sit each at one extremity of the short table. After some more moments of preparation, the dealer shuffles the deck and deals the first hand.  

Hand #1
2 s 8 s
shitty hand, at least suited, which in heads up it is at least something. Olea is the small blind: 500 dollars, Alvaro is the big blind: 1000 dollars. Both players have a 200000 dollar stack.
Olea being the small blind, goes first and puts down the 500 to call Alvaro's big blind. Alvaro checks and decides therefore to play for that amount.
The flops comes
A d 7 c 6 d
a draw to a straight, no spades, but it is possible that Olea connected with such a flop, given her action pre flop. Alvaro goes for the cautious way, and checks. Olea bets 6000,
Hmm...may be she connected after all, thinks Alvaro, still looking expressionless at the flop on the table. In her hand range there could be a  a 6 or also a 7. No Ace, she would probably have bet pre flop with an Ace, unless she slow played it to trap me. Well, do you know what? I will muck this one.
Alvaro mucks his hand and loses his big blind. Olea draws first blood.

Hand #2
K s 5 h
This time is Alvaro's turn to speak first.
Not a great hand normally, but heads up is playable. In heads up, aggression is even more important than in normal play.
Alvaro raises Olea's big blind: 4500
Olea lets it go immediately. Situation now even

Hand #3
3 d 9 c
even crappier than the first hand, this time it's not even suited. Olea calls the big blind, Alvaro checks his options.
4 d A c 7 h
total shit, way worse than the first hand; non connection, no draw at all. Again, 7 and 4 are possible connections for Olea. Alvaro checks, Olea shoots 4000. Alvaro folds and Olea sneers.

Hand #4
3 c 8 c
Napkins again, for fuck's sake,  thinks Alvaro; at least suited this time. Alvaro decides to keep himself on the aggressive side even with a modest hand, and rises Olea's big blind to 4500. Oleas folds; either she doesn't feel ready for a post flop confrontation yet, or her hand is as crap as Alvaro's.

Hand #5
9 h 10 s
Nothing to proud of, offsuite connectors to a straight, but playable in heads up. Olea raises to 1500 and Alvaro calls. He doesn't plan to show any weaknesses to the old lady. The flop is:
2 h 3 h 10 h
Double edged flop, thinks Alvaro staring at it blankly, I've got a pair of 10, and a flush draw, but only 9 high, so not the most reliable flush if another heart comes on the board. I need to proceed with caution. There is 5000 in the pot. On a second thought, Alvaro throws the caution in the toilet and slings a 6000 bet; If Olea doesn't have a heart in her hand, the bet is designed to have her pee in her pants, if she does...well; calculated risk, 40% and 60%, like with the future contracts on corn. Olea tanks for a minute, starts fidgeting with the chips, but in the and she mucks.

Hand #6
8 d 5 c
Alvaro is the small blind and goes first. He is starting to get frustrated by the mediocrity of his hands but decides not to tune down the aggro factor. Raises to 4500. Olea calls and a cold shiver runs through Alvaro's back. the flop comes:
J c 5 h 2 h
a pair of fives; with a J on the board, nothing to be enthusiastic about. Olea checks.
Weakness or "trappiness"? Alvaro asks to himself. There is a flush draw on the board. May be if she just checked, she has something like Q x or something; less probably a J x. Given Olea action so far it is difficult to put her on a narrow range of hands.
I need to decide speculatively, thinks Alvaro, who is a player that likes selective aggression. This may be is one of those moment to be aggressive. He thinks some more juggling his chips, and then shoots out a 10000 dollars bet; if nothing else I will find out where I stand thinks while splashes the table with the chips. Olea does not flinch and calls; there are now 30500 in the pot.
for the first time in the match a turn card is required.
5 d.
Alvaro face reamains blank, almost annoyed but his blood pressure surges. Fucking three of a kind; and it's not even a heart, so it doesn't help Olea possible flush draws. Now Alvaro needs to place a value bet which grows the pot, but without scaring Olea. Alvaro tanks for half a minute looking straight to a fixed point on the board, then places a 20000 bet, around two thirds of the pot. Alvaro has to reevaluate all his plan when Olea far from being puzzled by Alvaro's bet calls the 20000 and raises to 91000. Now there are 120000 in the pot.
What the hell does she have? is Alvaro first thought. A pair of jack that she slow played on the Flop? Very risky for her. The alternative is that she thinks I am bluffing on the turn and she wants to show me that I am dreaming. What are the worse cases for me ? She has J J and I am dead. It's a risk but not enough to shock me. A minute goes by without Alvaro realizing it, then when he comes out of the tank he raises for another 80000. Olea X rays him with a steel stare, Alvaro can almost see the cranking wheels in the American poker star's head. There are 200000 dollars in the pot now, and it is kind of clear that all the money is going into it in a short time; beauty of no limit holdem.  

Another minute inexorable goes by. Oleas looks sure of herself, she shuffles two of her remaining 10000 chips. There room is dead silent.
Then suddenly Olea pushes a big pile in the middle; she calls the raise,
The river card is:
9 d

A brick, thinks Alvaro, kind of difficult that this one changes anything, unless the old lady has 9 9, which is as remote of a possibility as it was J J.
Olea pushes her remaining 13000 and Alvaro calls without hesitation. Olea Turns her hand and shows

Q s J h

Alvaro had correctly forecasted Q x, and that x was a J. He assumes an indifferent expression and turns his hands with the 5 in it.

Olea's face pales a little but other than that she has no reaction. Three of a kind vs. two jacks. Alvaro cleans the deck, busting the American champion in six hands. The new house is paid for a quarter and it would be paid for a half if he didn't agree to devolve half of the winning to charity.
Olea has the style of the consummate pro. He approaches Alvaro while he stands in the middle of the room receiving the standing ovation.
I didn't put you on a 8 5. That was careless on you part. If you play like that you can be lucky once, but in the long run you are dead money. I can't wait too meet you again at the tables.

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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2018, 01:47:15 PM »
September 2018 Las Vegas Nevada

The news of the month are that first of all Alvaro passed his driving test. Now he is the proud owner of a Nevada regular driver license. The first driver license he has ever obtained in his life.

Second He has been going around with Jennifer to visit a certain number of commercial buildings to find an office for ALPHA. They used the brand new car that Alvaro bought for himself. After having visited a certain number of retailers, Alvaro opted for a bright white 2108 Ford Fusion, which Alvaro judges to be a very nice solid car. After all even the guy who sold it to him has stated clearly that the Ford Fusion is a nice solid car.
Instead of using Jennifer's red Durango, Alvaro boarded her in his new car, and he and nice little brunette have been going around the city to find an office space for Alvaro's edge fund company, so Alvaro managed to snatch some free extra driving lessons from Jennifer. In the end after having seen a certain number of buildings, Alvaro decides to stop on a very sober office in the business district with a beautiful view on the town. Through Jennifer, who helped him with the negotiations, he agreed with the owner company a 5000 dollars rent per month for one year to be considered automatically renewed every year unless canceled three month before expiration.
The second half of the month Alvaro tests his new office, spending all of his time in the serious room (the trading room). He heavily invests in options on the stock of Hudson Corporation, which is is the company who controls Target Stores Co. #2 American discounter. Calls options are also heavily bought on Macy's group to edge the Hudson operation. The results are a record for ALPHA Canada.: 240 millions profit for the Fund. Alvaro is really starting to earn his management fees now. With a little more liquidity, the fund can start to take some risks on commodities market as well. Alvaro manages to catch crude oil at a price of 87 a barrel and shorts it while still going down. when the future contract expires, the price is 67. Another good forecast by our hero, which pockets 76 more millions in the liquidity position of ALPHA. There is the rumor in Wall Street that in that  September 2018 even Ray Dalio lifted an eyebrow, looking at the results of this new Canadian baby edge fund.

At the end of the month Alvaro finalizes the rent agreement for ALPHA's office, through the brokerage of Jennifer company, Deltona Estate Corporation. Jennifer is so happy to cash her commission, which adds up to the big one she pocketed for brokering Alvaro's house purchase, that she proposes to go celebrate by offering Alvaro a drink. We are in front of another first: Alvaro going out at night. As scared as he is to enter in whatever kind of mundane place, he really thinks about declining the offer. Then just a second before the words come out of his mouth, a little bell in his head informs him that he could hurt Jennifer. After all she was so helpful and efficient in solving all of his problems in the research of his house and ALPHA's office space. With the characteristic speed that distinguishes his thought processes, Alvaro manages to avoid the cliff.

Listen Jennifer, I am not really at ease in crowded places and I am also hungry. Is there any place where we can eat something instead? A place where there are not may people.

You mean to eat out?

Yeah, but it must be a quiet place with not many customers. Do you think there is anything like that?

Jennifer pauses to think. After all there is no thing that cannot be found in Vegas. Her roundish beautiful face assumes a puzzled expression

Well there would be a place.

What is it?

It's a restaurant on the north side. It is called the blue rose; a friend of mine talked to me about it. It only has six tables, and it is very quiet. It has very selected customers.

Let's go, shoots Alvaro's

Alvaro it is a thousand bucks restaurant, I don't think I can buy you a dinner there.

Well then you will have to let me buy you dinner.

Alvaro, I don't...

Hey, did you say that you wanted to celebrate for real or you are just all talk?

Yes, sure I want to celebrate but...

c'mon there is no but...let's go...six tables you said ?


c'mon let's go.

The White Ford Fusion is underway again to shuttle Alvaro and Jennifer from downtown to the Lamb Park Area.

When they get to the place, Alvaro notices with pleasure that the restausant is in fact a very small establishment with little and elegant lamps outside.

Wow...what little nice place you have taken me to, says Alvaro smiling to Jennifer. It reminds me about Italy.

I told you it, if you like to be alone and you want to eat super well, you can come here anytime you want. If you come early enough you can probably be really just the only one in the restaurant.

Alvaro doesn't even register the next words that came out of his mouth. They just come out without him even realizing he had pronounced them:

But I don't want to to come here by myself, I want to come with you.

Then when he realized that his brain let go of his tongue, he tried to put a patch on it.

I mean...I've never been to a restaurant...I mean inside a restaurant, except from when I used to go for lunch with my colleagues in Rome in those chaotic places that made me hate restaurants for the rest of my life.

Alvaro and Jennifer look at each other for a second not being very able to say anything more.

Ok, come on let's go. Alvaro breaks the stalemate. What do they serve in here.

Oh...they serve everything, European Asian,, whatever you want...I told you it is an expensive one.

Ok let's go then.

Kind of reluctantly, Jennifer follows Alvaro at the door. They ring the bell.

Good evening sir, a waiter in impeccable white and black opens the door, where you expected for tonight?


do you have a reservation?

No but we hungry, and my friend here told me that this is the best restaurant in town, Alvaro tries to please the guy.

I am sorry Sir, the tables for tonight are all booked. If you follow me inside we can book you for the first available night of the next week, because for this week we are completed booked up.

There is no place available tonight ?

I'm sorry sir, As I told you...

Alvaro makes it closer to the waiter, who is consulting the booking register.

Listen; how about I make a further effort and at the same time you do the same for us. Alvaro takes out his wallet and pulls out a bundle of cashier's checks guaranteed by the Laurentian Bank. Takes out one of them filled with a 10,000 amount, and very kindly asks the waiter the legal denomination of the restaurant, so that he can issue it.

The waiter pales out and asks Alvaro to wait there. He runs in the back, and a short while later he reappears with another gentleman, who introduces himself as the manager of the place.

May be you would like a quiet isolated table in the garden outside Mr...

Pagano; Alvaro Pagano, and this is Miss. Jennifer, a dear friend of mine.

The director smiles kindly.

Mr. Pagano, we have a table outside in the private garden that we reserve for emergencies and for customer that have particular exigences.

Let me thank you for your willingness to find a solution for us, Alvaro switches on his business mode automated protocols.

Jennifer who just then managed to close her mouth, finds some breath to speak.

Alvaro. are you crazy ? We could have booked and come back another time!

No. We closed the office contract today; you said that you wanted to celebrate today. You thought me how not to destroy the Ford, and I need to thank you for everything you have done for me in these weeks. Today, not another time.

But Alvaro...TEN thousand dollars!

Look...I guarantee you I don't mean to impress anybody here; I just want the table now and not another time. If you are ready to pay for your choices they are not caprices, are they ?

No doubt they are not, but still, I don't want you to spend that amount money for me.

But it's not for you....I should be for us no ? For the beautiful productive day that we had. We accomplished a lot in these past days didn't we? Normally this time at night I would be in my bed reading Thaler. You know, last year they gave him the nobel prize in economics for his revolutionary work on the theory of incentives. A real phenomenon y'a know ?

Alvaro approaches Jennifer with a furtive attitude.

Do you believe me if I tell you that it is the first time in my life that I go out for dinner with a girl?

Are you making fun of me Alvaro?

No no! It is true I tell you. I don't even know what to do or how to behave. I never had a girlfriend before; If you by chance would like to be my girlfriend I would be very happy.

Alvaro stops in his track, again realizing that his brain has lost contact with his tongue once more; two times already in the same day.

I don't have a hard time believing that you never had a girlfriend Alvaro, Jennifer smiles at him, If this is you technique with the opposite sex, that doesn't really surprise me.

No, no!! You don't understand hyperventilates Alvaro. Let me explain to you: you know even if I have never gone out that much, I have seen a lot of girls in my life you know? I mean there are a lot of girls around in the streets no?

Yes, I would say so, answers Jennifer more and more amused by the conundrum Alvaro is caging himself into.

Right...I wanted to tell you just that, goes on Alvaro: All these girls, you know? I always looked at them because you know, a beautiful girl is a beautiful girl; I mean she is a job well done by the Lord you see. He woke up in a good mood that day and decided to mess with that particular person you see? but despite that, I've never really been interested in girls; I mean, do you want to compare "Human Action" by Ludwig Von Mises with a night out with a woman? I mean no comparison.

Even though Alvaro is totally absorbed in digging a deeper and deeper hole for himself, at a certain point even he realizes that Jennifer is looking at him more and more perplexed.

So he makes a last ditch desperate attempts to bail himself out.

Yeah...this is exactly the point you see? With you is different. You re a beautiful girl that is also an interesting person for me. I do not have any difficulties to communicate with you, you see?

Jennifer raises an eyebrow in skepticism.

I'm telling you goes on our hero. To me, communication with other people is booooooring. I really don't have any fun. But have a different way...a way that is easy for me to understand.

Jennifer decides to put a stop to Alvaro's agony. Still smiling at him she goes:

You know that as a suitor you are a total disaster?  You wouldn't manage to convince a girl to go out with you not even if you used hypnoses. Says Jennifer with one her smiles that already had warmed up Alvaro's soul more than once during the past days they spent together doing business.

However...goes on Jennifer very amused...however, tonight we are already out and it would be too late for me to turn you down ok? so let's wait that this kind people put together a table for us. Just let me remark again my disapprobation for the exaggerated amount of money that you have decided to spend.

I just wanted the table now.

One of the waiters finally approaches our duo and invites them to follow him in the private garden, where they find an isolated table superbly prepared with all the style of a $ 1000 restaurant. They find themselves in a beautiful garden, surrounded by small trees, flowers and ivy bushes that hide the view of the table to anybody else.

In Las Vegas there are no mosquitoes, and that makes it even better.

Mr. Pagano are you satisfied with your location asks the director who suddenly reappears from behind one of the bushes.

Absolutely Sir. Alvaro, again in business mode, approaches the man and shakes his hand, looking him directly in his eyes.

Let me thank you for you time and for your service Sir.

It is our duty Mr. Pagano. Please makes yourself comfortable and enjoy your dinner.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 02:18:00 PM by »

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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2018, 04:32:57 PM »
So how come that your marriage did not work?

Alvaro and Jennifer were at the second course of their magnificent dinner, supplemented by mineral water and a single little glass of red wine each, which they sipped very slowly; DUI laws in Nevada are merciless.

The point is, answers Jennifer, that when you are young, you are not careful about what you do, and I fell in love with the high school big guy; da boss. He then started bossing me around too after we got married. God, I was just 18. He started to boss me around to the point that he became violent. I filed for divorce three years ago. Last year he died in a car accident. He was drunk and crashed his car.

And you were left alone with your son ?

Yes, Thomas is a sensible little boy, and he suffered a lot for the loss of his father. Even after we split, he maintained a relationship with his father; they saw each other once a week. His death has been a terrible blow to Thomas; his health deteriorated even more and his performance in school started to deteriorate as well.

And you know live alone with him?

No, we went back to my parent's house. I am their only daughter. So by living with them I can take care of them too a little bit. You know, they are starting to get old. Moreover I save a lot of money per month that I need to pay for Tommy medical expenses.

What does he have exactly?

He has been diagnosed with a kind of blood disorder, which doesn't let a balanced production of white globules, this has serious repercussions on his organism.

does he need continuous treatment?

For now yes.

what hospital do you take him to?

Saint Patrick, in Spring Valley.

Alvaro pulls out his smart phone, the only phone on the planet without a phone number. He just has a portable modem that he uses for the internet.'s a facility belonging to Tenet Corporation. Do they serve you well?

Well, the boy survives.

How many doctors did you see?

Two, and they substantially concur in their diagnoses and therapy. It didn't seem necessary to me to consult a third doctor.

Big company this Tenet thing, Alvaro mumbles while consulting Yahoo Investments.

Oh yeah!...answers Jennifer. Healthcare companies are very big here in the US

Alvaro continues to scan his screen. Hmm...35 billion capitalization, inflated stock price to six time it's real equity, but the last quarter they made half a billion in profit, and 1,25 billions since the beginning of the year. Fucking big player we are talking about here! And efficient too.

Why are you checking all these things?  Asks Jennifer puzzled.

I was thinking may be we buy a piece of it for Thomas.

A piece of what?

A piece of the company; an equity stake in Tenet Corp. Once he has it, you don't need to pay for his medical expenses out of your pocket any more. They would pay themselves via the stocks dividend that the company pays to its shareholders. By the way let me see how much dividends it distributed last year. How much do you spend for the boy's treatments?

I have a plan for 60.000 a year of which I pay half. That's the agreement I reached with the insurance company in order to avoid to have Thomas dropped. I have to work a lot to come up with that amount every year.

Then she stops, suddenly realizing what Alvaro might be meaning here.

Alvaro what are you up to?

Alvaro, not listening, enters in calculation mode and starts computing at light speed

Hmm...mumbles out loud...71 cents per stock of dividends last year. To get to 100,000 he needs..let's see...141,000 stocks. Current quotation 35,5...that makes...5 point 1 millions to buy the stocks.

Alvaro please!

He ignores her.
How'bout we wait that the price goes down to human levels, which probably will happen within the year. It must happen; the stock is actually at 567% times the equity; can't stay there for long. Then when it comes down, we buy the stocks for Thomas, and puff...end of the payments for his medical treatments. In my opinion once the stock reaches its natural price, we can easily snatch the stake we need with a couple of millions.

Now Jennifer is looking at him with a seriously upset expression.  Alvaro pulls out of his computing mode.

Alvaro...please listen to me. I like you Alvaro; I like you a lot, but I have a bad character you know?

Honest girl thinks Alvaro.

I don't want others to deal with my responsibilities. I consider my responsibilities as my own. If you want to continue this dinner and our friendship, you have to understand this upfront okay?

Alvaro looks at Jennifer in silence, realizing too late that with his speech he basically offered charity and he has offended her.

Okay you are right concedes Alvaro. Please believe me when I tell you that my intent is a sincere one. I didn't mean to say anything to upset you. God I would hate to upset you! But you know, I work in finance, and in finance even things that seems impossible at time become possible, sometimes even without paying anything or making any economic sacrifices. How many sacrifices do you sustain to keep your son healthy? Alvaro presses on.

The ones that are necessary retorts Jennifer still upset.

Okay, let's say, just hypothetically, that I liquidate 2 million dollars of my government bonds holdings and then I buy 2 million dollars worth of Tenet corporation stocks for myself. Tell me Jennifer, did I do any sacrifices for you or for Thomas?

Two millions dollars? answers Jennifer

Wrong...Alvaro makes the impression of a beep for the wrong answer. I made zero sacrifices. I just moved some money from asset class A to asset class B. Now; after I buy the stocks I give the usufruct on those stocks to Thomas and I make you pay for the notary expenses. Tell me, did I spend any money on you or Thomas?


You are right: I did not. Tenet Corp pays 100,000 dividend per year to Thomas, on a bank account on his name but on which of course only you can operate, being his only parent. Now he can pay all his expenses by himself. Tell me did I give up anything?

the 100,000 dividend that Thomas receives on your own stocks instead of you?

Wrong again, Alvaro goes with another beep. Whatever I don't earn in dividends I make it up with the stock fluctuation; do you remember, the stocks are mine because you said I can't buy them for Thomas, because it is not my business (little rock thrown at Jennifer by Alvaro here).  So all in all my expenses for the entire operations are five minutes spent on a computer and the physical time I need to put a signature in front of a notary. I gain, you gain, Thomas gains, nobody loses. Power of finance.

Alvaro you talk like one of your computers.

Jennifer please!...It might sound stupid or premature to say, but you and everything that regards you is very important to me. Don't take this thing away from me...Please! I didn't have an idea of how wonderful it could be to have somebody important to care about. You see, for years I had almost no human contacts. My mother died when I was 18, my father threw me out of the house the year after that because he thinks I am crazy, which I probably am. He put 25,000 dollars in a suitcase on the kitchen table and told me to get lost. You are the first human being to whom I can intimately speak without any anxiety or preset protocols, and in fact you see, every three sentences I screw everything up. Do you have an idea of how much all this is worth for me. Not to mention that if you didn't come up with the idea of going out for a drink, I probably wouldn't ever have found the courage to ask you out. So I owe you that too.

Jennifer remains silent looking at Alvaro for the longest time with her big sweet brown eyes, or at least it seems a long time to Alvaro. Then she moves one arm past the pure crystal glasses which crowd the table, and takes Alvaro's hand into hers.

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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2018, 06:59:27 AM »
Not even the Mythic Roleplaying Game rules are powerful enough to adjudicate Alvaro and Jennifer's action after our two heroes go back to Alvaro's place, after their dinner at the Blue Rose. I even tried to pick up some dice, but these were so hot that I had to drop them and go put my hands in the water. So I eventually gave up and thought better about it. I closed their room door behind me and left my heroes alone. Suffice to say that by the time Alvaro got up to go to work he had just fair memories of the physical part of the night, but the mental part will be probably branded in his mind for the rest of his life!

At 0530, a guy named Howard is driving him to work in his black Wrangler. It's a silent drive along the large road lanes of an almost empty town. At a certain point Howard turns towards Alvaro and notices that he is wiping a couple of tears from his face with the right hand, doing everything he can to get unnoticed.

...The fuck is wrong with you!


Jennifer wakes up about four hours after Alvaro left. She only finds a little envelope on Alvaro's pillow with a message inside. Before reading it, Jennifer looks around Alvaro's bedroom, which she hadn't the time to do the night before. There is a nice tray on a corner table with breakfast on it. It has everything on it but the beverages.

Jennifer opens the envelope:
I left the Ford keys in your side table. I am at work. My Skype is open at all times. At home you will find Howard, who is at your service for whatever you might need. You are the number one.

Jennifer still unsure if she's able or willing to leave the bed, finally manages to walks herself to the window and she actually sees the white Ford parked in the driveway. Besides it there is another vehicle, a Wrangler, which she figures must belong to Howard. The point is who the fuck is Howard. Jennifer takes a shower, gets dressed and then exits the room to go downstairs.

Does Madam prefer her breakfast served in the living room or it is ok where it is. A huge man, appears from the kitchen. Jennifer observes that he probably pushes seven feet in height and by the size of his shoulders, he looks every inch broad as he is tall. His crew cut white hair, makes him look older than he really his; all in all he can be in his very early fifties. The man tells her that his name is Howard and he deals with Dr. Pagano house keeping and he has received instructions to be at Madam disposal for whatever exigences she might have.

Jennifer observes the Dinosaur with surprise and a little bit of fear. His gray eyes don't move an inch from the position she occupies in the middle of the staircase where she froze when she saw him.

Thank you very much Howard, answers Jennifer embarrassed at the thought that the giant imagines what she has been doing there all night.

I think that I will get myself a coffee and I'll go drink it in the bedroom, then I have to run home. She looks at her watch. God, it's so late. Thank you very much Howard.

The giant remains impassive.

As Madam desires, in case you need me, I'll be outside mowing the grass. You'll find the coffee pot in the kitchen. It's still hot.

Thanks you again Howard.

Without saying another word, Howard turns around and disappears.

Jennifer goes into the kitchen, puts some coffee in a cup and goes back upstairs. First of all she calls her parents to tell them that she will back in one hour, then she sits at the desk, under the big window, where there is a computer turned on with Skype running and a single contact on the left: Alvaro.

Jennifer, how are you doing! did you wake up well?

Alvaro! At what time did you leave.

Five thirty, I've been here for a while.

Why didn't you wake me up, we would have left together, I have to get back home.

I could have, but you were sleeping so good, you were the most beautiful thing in the world.

You are a crazy man Alvaro, Who is the four door closet that I met downstairs?

Oh...that would be Howard. I stole him from the Bellagio security. I call him Howard, but his name is Kreuger. He is a former South African Special forces soldier. He moved to the States when the apartheid regime ended in South Africa. He's capable of doing anything, from cooking and ironing, to making the house safe. He is a nice sweet old man.

Yeah, but he is scary!

I hired him for that too. Plus he is able to multitask.

Listen how do I get home?

You choose; you either take the Ford or Howard takes you.

Oh my God! I'm going to take the Ford. when do I give it back to you?

when you want. You can find me in only two places; I am either in the office or I am at home. In both cases my Skype is open. If I am travelling, I have my modem on.

Listen, I'm going home to my son, when do I see you again?

Whenever you want. When you whish you know how to find me. Say Hi to the boy for me.

It doesn't know of your existence yet.


Goofball; he knows that you are one of my nicest customers. Things moved too quickly with us.

With somebody of your caliber it couldn't have been different. You are the number one.

kisses Alvaro!

See you around number one.

The Skype sound announces that the call is over, and also that it is time for Jennifer to move out. she stares for a second the laptop desktop depicting the Statue of Liberty. Her last relationship was one where her man wanted to know everything and control everything that she did. This relationship, if it could already be called that, seemed to be of a totally different brand.

I'll see you when you want. Give me back the car when you want. My Skype is always on.

Please God; make it so that this is not just the enthusiasm of the first day, Jennifer prayed while getting out of the door. As she walks on the driveway to pick up the Ford Howard greets her with a gesture, to which she answers to with cautious confidence.

During the rest of the month, Alvaro organizes his work at ALPHA. First of all he puts the quotation of Tenet Healthcare Corporation and puts on his main screen. He wants to know what its stock is doing in real time. On the same screen he also places the stocks of Deltona Estate Ltd the company where Jennifer works.

During the month of October the IMF reports a substantial recovery of the international economy; it's not difficult for the stock market to begin a moderate bullish tendency, and neither is difficult for Alvaro to chose those two or three stocks that can produce some decent profits for the month. The choice falls on the options of HUDSON GROUP, which was in ALPHA portfolio last month as well, and also on a young and dynamic scientific firm called BIOGEN, which operates in the Biotech industry. Investors start to buy BIOGEN stocks like if there is no tomorrow, when the rumor that it has a new exclusive patent starts spreading around, towards middle October. The third company that Alvaro bets on this month is the Italian car producer FIAT AUTOMOBILES, which this month has already matched the entire profit it made in 2017, and we are just in the third quarter. It is kind of a given that its stock starts to go extremely well in the obvious expectancy that the company will do way better than the previous year.

All in all an easy month for ALPHA and his manager, who shuttles every day between home and office, having quite a good time, intellectually and financially. for all this time Alvaro resists to call Jennifer on Skype or to send her a message. Her little green icon is always empty anyway; the girl must be at least as busy as he is thinks Alvaro while fighting every day the temptation to disturb her.

Gross profit for ALPHA in the month of October is around 700 millions, once more a record figure. Net equity is around 900 and liquidity at the end of the month, when all the options are turned back into money, sits around 1,1 billion. Projected taxes are going to deprive ALPHA of 250 millions.

It is around the end of the month that Alvaro, with the counseling of Phil Kreuger (Howard) begins to plan ALPHA's next operation: the direct acquisition of a private company by the Fund, and it is a big acquisition.

Alvaro is interested in ALPHA's participation as an active investor in a military contractor company. Krueger doesn't have any doubt on which company Alvaro should choose: A meeting is organized by the end of the month with the board of SPYNX DEFENSE Ltd, a mercenary company that employes around 900 men and women; practically an infantry battalion at full strength, trained in any kind of military operation. Kreuger has some friends in the board which if composed by five different individuals: two former British SAS, a German GSG9 operator, a guy coming from Israeli Shayetet-13, and a friend of his a French former operator of Commando Hubert.
The company is listed in Wall Street at a value of 28,5 dollars for each of its hundred million stocks circulating in the market. These stocks are largely detained by the public, but a 7% of them is owned by a mutual fund, which invests in general services. The company has 880 millions in business assets of every kind, included 4 Agusta Bell A-109 Helos, and military equipment up to the 81 mm mortar level, with all the annexed authorization by the Pentagon to detain and transport this weaponry for contracted operations inside and outside of the US. Moreover the company has 80 millions in receivable compensations for services it has already provided, and 5 millions in cash, which is a little streched, but sufficient for the most immediate needs. On the liabilities side, the company is indebted with the French Bank Credit Lyonnaise for 597 millions, has 2 million in taxes still to pay for the year, and has an emergency fund of 730,000 dollars.
All in all the financial situation needs to be improved, but there is no doubt that the company has some solid prospective of growth for the future, with a record setting level of contracts for the next two years, which eclipses, at least for 2018, even the requests to the leader company in the industry: Pinkerton Whitewater.

Of all this outfit, Alvaro is planning to buy a 20% outright, by picking up stocks in possesion of the public for a planned disbursement of around 570 millions that would come from ALPHA liquidity. The fund would then control the military contractor for all practical purposes, given the fact, that nobody else, neither the board members, nor the mutual fund, controls such a quantity of stocks.

The reason why Alvaro is interested in such a company is twofold; number one he gives him an access to the military industrial complex and to the legislator in general on one hand. On the other hand such a company must maintain some kind of contact with the bureaucracy of the secretary of the state.
Number two, military contractors' services are becoming more and more requested in an international market with shrinking state military apparatus and contemporary deterioration of many local situations.

Least but not so last, Alvaro is a public figure especially in Las Vegas, since when he won the world series of poker. If he plans to enlarge his economic activities, he will need to travel around to do business, and he needs some kind of security personnel. For sure a company like SPYNX can satisfy all his exigencies in that department.
moreover, and nobody knows that yet other than you guys who are reading this play by play, Alvaro has the firm intention to convince Jennifer to move in with him. If and when this happens, the security around her and the place where she lives must become ironproof.

does this company has any women equipped with balls?

Sure, answers Kreuger. In my knowledge there are at least eight of them, all highly selected: three are from Israeli security services, and one comes for Taiwanese intelligence.

Good, if it even becomes necessary, I want a woman for Jennifer protection.

Shouldn't be a problem. First we need to close the deal though.

Phil, if I find an agreement with your friends, you will have to manage the whole thing; I'm going to give you the management of the company at 850 grands per year, which is 4 times what I currently get from ALPHA.

This will halve the compensation of all the other member of the board, objects Krueger by looking at the papers.

Well...then you will have to find yourself a formula for the compensations, and reach an agreement with your friends. I just want you in the CEO position, I do not trust anybody else.

Can do.  
sneak picture of Phil Kreuger caught during his daily yard maintenance routine at Pagano's Homestead
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 01:20:23 PM by »

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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2018, 11:04:36 AM »
end of September 2018 Pagano House Las Vegas

After almost three weeks that Alvaro hasn't heard from Jennifer, he finally finds a skype message from her:

She is online on Skype; Alvaro makes the call.

...I can bring you back the Ford if you want. I am free tonight; my parents will look after Thomas for the weekend.

I am home, you'll find me here if you want to come.

I can be there by 7 is that ok?

I'll be waiting for you

End of call

Howard ?


Take the weekend off, Jennifer is coming


I'll see you on Monday morning, 0500

Ok; are you sure you don't want me to stay to serve you guys dinner?

No; I'll take her out to the Blue Rose

How in the hell are you driving her out there

She's bringing the Ford back


I'll see you on Monday then

Ok, let me finish what I'm doing here and then I'll get lost


At 7 o'clock Alvaro is on the driveway waiting for Jennifer; can't even wait inside. He's stuck there until he finally sees the White Ford appear at the far corner of the street. His heart starts racing like when he finds a flush on the river at the poker table.

she gets out of the car, smiles and turns him into a pile of trembling rubble

He takes her in, hugs her tight and keeps her in that position forever without being able to move or talk; he can't even kiss her. she smells like the fresh outdoor air of September

I missed you like the oxygen; you managed to take away from me the will of watching my economics shows on Youtube.  I would have never believed that I would lose interest in listening to Fredrich Hayek on Youtube. If I didn't have to work like a horse, I wouldn't have made it.

She hugs him as tight, You never called me, she says with a sigh.

I thought you had been very busy.

You didn't even ask for your car back all this time

Don't give a shit, there's Howard's Wrangler.

What's the plan?

Dinner at the Blue Rose

No, let's stay here

But I sent Howard away, there is no dinner.

good, I'm going to make you dinner

Yeah ?


Breaded chicken with mineral water?

Ok, do you have the stuff to make it?

No idea, I have to explore in the kitchen. I never go in there, Howard looks after everything.

In one hour time our heroes are sitting in the patio area, where there are the mini pools.

bread, breaded chicken and mineral water. Alvaro and Jennifer eat their dinner slowly and quietly in the noise of the palm trees moved by the evening breeze, It is dark by now, and apart form a candle on the table and a lamp on the wall, there is no light.

In Las Vegas there are no mosquitoes, so that makes it even better.

I had a couple of hard weeks; customers, customers and some more customers. thanks God there are plenty, I am wrecked, but happy. Than I've been busy at home with Thomas, taking him to the visits, to the treatments.

Listen, is there any way that I can make your work lighter?

Don't see how; Thomas needs to go to his things, and I can stop working and helping my parents at home, after all they don't even make me pay for rent.

Alvaro opens his mouth and then shuts it back. Too many times already he said the wrong thing at the wrong moment.

What were you about to say Alvaro?

Listen Jen; from now on whenever I say something wrong, I would like you to understand that I don't mean to ok? If I say some bullshit, you tell me and I stop ok?


Are you sure that I can't send you somebody at home, at least to help you take care of it, and may be to help with you parents a little bit too?

Alvaro I've met you a month ago, we spent one night together, as wonderful as it has been, and you already want me to start being a drag on you.

Jennifer, look...I know nothing of couple strategies ok? But I can tell you this: I've been thinking about you. All the time you know? I've been thinking of you busy, tired and stressed out. Believe me I don't want to interfere with you life, I wouldn't do that not even if we had been married for a century, but I do have to tell you that you are the first person that has some serious meaning in my life. If I propose you something it is to improve my situation and yours. If your situation can be improved, then mine is sub optimal, God! Pareto would have something to say 'bout that.  The real drag for me is when I know that I could support you but I'm not sure if you would accept my help.

And your optimal situation would be what, Doctor Economist? Asks Jennifer looking at him with her chin on her hands, head sligthly tilted and her hair gently sliding aside, which again turns Alvaro into a pile of trembling rubble.

He pauses, and without moving his eyes from her figure, he pulls together all the courage he is capable of.

Can I say whatever I want like if I was 5?

I would never like to hear anything else from you than the truth Alvaro.

He catches his breath and goes:

I want you to come living with me, I want you to take Thomas with you. I want to live with you...he pauses...I mean not an obsessive thing you know...but together anyway. I want to send somebody to help your parents, or alternatively buy a bigger house and make them come live with us too. So you would continue to have all your loved ones close to you.

Alvaro feels a couple of tons lighter.

And what does living with somebody means for you Alvaro?

Uh...this is a great question number one. To me it means to observe the other person life without interfering in her choices; being there to help. If we can't help anybody, what the fuck do we live for ?

Alvaro Pagano you are a crazy man did I have already told you that? anything else?

Yes, you need to make the other person life less cumbersome; it's an exchange you see? Nobody is a drag for anybody. Just a simple plain trade. I never understood all this fear that people have to be exploited. It must come from their willingness to exploit others. I have never really understood that.

There are many things that you don't understand Dr. Pagano. Do you think that everybody is like you?

I've no idea, I never investigated that.

Do you have an idea of what kind of experience do I come from ?

I can only begin to fathom how hard it must have been on you.

You didn't ask your car back for three weeks.

When I lend things I forget about them.

If I said yes to all the things that you asked me, what would you think about me ?

Why do you ask?

Because your opinion is the only one I care about.

last Jennifer's sentence hits Alvaro like an antitank rocket.  A surge of endorphine runs through his body like a cascade.  

If you said yes to all of that, we would have to spend some more time together so that I can explain to you where I came from and where I want to go. Then you could tell me if you like what you heard or not. If you don't I would have change the course of my projects, because you are the number one and my first project in order of importance.

You don't even know me.

I don't need to

I thought the same of my husband when I was 17

You are not like him, You don't represent a risk for my serenity.

How do you know that?

I just do.

You didn't tell me what you would think about me yet

What I think rightnow; that you are the best human being ever put on this planet.

It's Jennifer turn to be turned into trembling rubble, the wall cracks, the gate gives.

And would you ever change you mind?

No, not even if you changed


Are you sure you don't have to go back home tomorrow?

Yes I am, I took the weekend off

Let's go to bed number one. Tomorrow I'll explain to you the rest.

Curtain down.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 01:15:43 PM by »

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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2018, 12:53:29 PM »
On the patio under the beach umbrellas around the twin pools, are Alvaro and Jennifer laying down on the deckchairs. Alvaro never thought he could use one of those. Orange juice, jelly, and toasted bread are the trademark of this beautiful September morning; 68 already at ten in the morning. Jennifer still in underwear enjoys the morning sun, at 10 not too hot yet. Alvaro after having shuttled back and forth for some times carrying all the stuff, sits down as well.

Do you like the jelly?

it's delicious is it the Mejer one?

No, Howard got in the Target bakery two days ago. Normally he eats it, but I'm glad that you like it too.

I am happy to be able to spend some relaxing time here with you Alvaro.

Alvaro sips his hot milk with coffee, typical Italian breakfast he has been consuming every morning of his life, and lays down as well.

Listen, yesterday, before we went to bed you told me that you had to explain something to me. What were you talking about?

I wanted to tell you the few things about me that you don't know yet. Fortunately there are not many things about me to say, so, most of it you already know.

I'm listening professor.

I've studied here in America, I told you that right? Then I worked for the ministry of finance in Italy.

You told me that too.

You know, what I didn't tell you that I've always had a pretty limited vision of my job. Somebody gave me objectives and I achieved them.

sounds normal to me. I do the same in my job.

But you see, with the years, the more I entered into the system, the more I started to understand that the objectives were wrong, or to say better, inefficient. So I started to be loud about it, until I lost my job.

Well you have a new job here now, don't you.

That's precisely the point. Here I had to start to think differently to set my own objectives.

What are they?

I would like to become big and strong enough to show that my economic theories are right and can work. If they had let me I could have done that in Italy already, You know the sovereign fund I used to mange was a 35 billions powerhouse, if they just had let me use it properly!

Alvaro doesn't move his eyes from the fixed point on the floor he is looking at.

Here I would like to start all over again, with my own money. Become strong and big again and be able to change the system in a way that can benefit everybody that is willing to work and improve. The American dream.

We already have that.

You had it; it has been lost in the last 50 sixty years.

You don't need to become bigger and already have full success in your life, Jennifer looks at him with a serious expression.

Not before I met you. My life wasn't complete without you.

What do you lack now?

Alvaro turns back his eyes on the floor, while he appreciates the intelligence of Jennifer question.

You know, there are people that changed the world with their vision. There have been people who have vastly improved some industries with their companies and their products. The point is that each of them did it in single sectors. Nobody ever managed to make a dent in the global quality of life of people, You see, this is why rich people set up charitable foundations, It is an admission that they couldn't globally improve people's quality of life.

And you could do that?

I think I have the theoretical tools and the ability to implement them in the economic system, But I need to be big and strong in order to make ir work.  

Jennifer doesn't understand a flying fuck of what Alvaro is talking about, but being the intelligent woman that she is, she asks his man to make an example of general improvement in global quality of life.

Well...Alvaro answers: for example; imagine a world were the governments cannot intervene to favor this or that company. No more lobbies, no more free lunches for any big business. No more bail outs, no more quantitative easing. In such a world, after a couple of year of dis-intoxication shock therapy, the economy would be cleansed, and then all the producers whould align their interests with the public or die, with no help from the government. I' m simplifying but you get the idea.

Kinda...anyway that's your field right? Finance.

Yes. I always been working in finance d I saw things that are worse than you previous marriage. Do you know what bank your company works with?

Yeah, it's Wells Fargo & Co.

A giant isn't it

yeah I believe so.

It's one of the first five banks on the planet. How many mortgages do you close a month to people that shouldn't ever be approved for one?

I don't know, I don't deal with that. I just bring the customer to the preliminary contract then it's out of my hands.

Well I'm going to tell you; Wells Fargo has 40% of his active portfolio in high risk low solvency mortgages.

Shut up!...I thought we was done with that.

No we aren't I have a confidential document of the Italian ministry of finance where the risk of a new catastrophic recession is very real, for the subprime and for the out of proportion dosage of quantitative easing by all central banks.

It drives me crazy, continues Alvaro, that all these powerful people use the protection of the government to be always shielded from their own mistakes, They always make the common people pay, so they accumulate more and more, while the middle class disappeared.

Are you a communist?

No I believe in capitalism, but not this capitalism that we have rightnow. This is a giant mafia system; nothing to do with capitalism.

and if you became big enough and strong enough you could change that.

I like to believe I could.

Jennifer observes Alvaro eyes grow in brightness while he pronounces those last words.

Do you think you could do it alone?

Alone? No, it's impossible; in time I will have to create a net of companies and financial institutions which will have to work in the frame of my theories. If they don't they willl corrupt like the ones that we have now.

And were are you with this process now.

At the beginning; a drop in the sink

How important is this think for you?

Is the number two thing

Listening to how excited tou are when youtalk about it, it should be the number one

I'm telling you it's the number two; Alvaro gets super serious. You would share a project like that with me or you just think I'm crazy.

I know nothing about economics Alvaro, and yes, I think you are crazy. but I don't care how crazy you are. For as long as you want, I will always be with you.

Jennifer, are you sure? We can also be content with what we have; I guarantee you; it's a lot already.

We have nothing if you didn't try to do what you wanted to do.

Then we go.

Yeah, we go

When we become to grow, we will have to make sacrifices and compromises.

If I am with you, I am not afraid.

Alvaro stares at her for the longest time; the most precious thing in the world.

Ok then. We go...I begin next month. I have a meeting to take control of a big company of military contractors. I need that as a base of relationship with the government.

Didn't you say that's a bad thing?

It depends on how you use it.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 12:57:36 PM by »

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« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2018, 12:55:34 PM »
We have nothing if you didn't try to do what you wanted to do.
Jennifer Shmittd

You need to be skillfull in choosing the companion of your life, but you also need a little "ass luck", like with financial instruments.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 12:58:17 PM by »

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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2018, 05:20:43 PM »
End of October sky over San Diego

The first class seat of the McDonnel Douglas Jet Liner can barely hosts the giant ass of Phil Kreuger in a minimum of comfort. The plane is orbiting above San Diego international airport waiting that its assigned landing runway clears a couple of departing flights.

So, is everything clear Alvaro? Inquires Krueger to his boss sitting in the seat opposite to his, while an elegant American Airlines hostess comes by to check that all passengers are set and ready for landing.

With these guys you need to show determination. They are people with cohones, and most of all, do not underestimate their brains ok? To pass the selection for the special forces no matter in what country, you can be uneducated, but not stupid.

I don't need to count on people stupidity to conduct a negotiation. If the deal has solid basis it solves by itself.

As you wish; don't tell me I didn't warn you.

The thump of the landing gear touching the ground reminds the two men that their trip from Las Vegas has come to an end. They listen to the usual boring post flight messages, and prepare themselves to exit the plane. Being first class passengers they are out first, and our two characters, once on the tarmac get picked up by dedicated personnel and diverted to a decentralized area of the facility by van.

Waiting for them behind a hidden hangar is a low laying Italian manufactured A-109 helicopter. The pilot, his face completely hidden by his black visor, is checking the aircraft controls, and doesn't pay attention to the newcomers. They are instead received by a woman and a man. The man is dressed with an impeccable black two piece and a blue tie, while the girl displays an elegant gray business pantsuit. Both are wearing military style sunglasses. The man introduces himself as John, while the woman, clearly of Asian origin, introduces herself as Lin Mei.

Kreuger and Alvaro are each given a radio headset to be able to communicate above the noise of the turbines that are beginning to spread their deafening whistle in the air.

We've got a 20 minutes flight to our destination gentlemen, states the Asian woman with a smile; please make yourself comfortable and enjoy your trip. While she boards the aircraft, after having looked around for one last time, her jacket opens up a little bit and Alvaro spots, a holster, close to the woman's left breast, containing what it looks like a huge hand gun but bigger, which scares Alvaro to death, even though he manages to keep it for himself, (Alvaro cannot be more precise but I can; Lin Mei is carrying an MP-5 K the hyper shortened version of the popular Anglo-German sub machine gun).

The flight lasts more or less the time that the woman had announced, and at the end of it the Aircraft lands on a helipad on top of one of the buildings of an isolated complex facility located in the middle of the Californian countryside.

Nice little place, thinks Alvaro, maybe a little too green for my tastes, while the aircraft completes its docking procedures.

Would you be so kind to follow me please, the woman invites Alvaro and Kreuger with impeccable savoir faire and style, while our heroes dismount the Italian machine and quickly cover the distance between the Helipad and a roof door located nearby.

The group goes down through an internal steel staircase and reach an ample hall equipped with two elevators, one on each side. They tale the one on the right, its doors sliding open automatically. Once everybody is inside the elevator, it quickly starts a descent from the 10th floor to the first. The woman leads through a narrow corridor which ends to a metal sliding door. In front of it Lin Mey stops, pulls out a magnetic card and inserts it in a hole in the wall. A little green light comes on and the doors slide apart letting the group inside a big room which contains four men, two of which in shorts, T-shirt and flip flop, and the others in suit and tie. The four guys are sitting around an elliptic conference table made out of wood. The rest of the room is elegantly furnished, and the floor is covered with light blue carpet.

Lin Mei militarily salutes the men inside the room, while Alvaro notices that John doesn't use the same courtesy. One of the two guys in shorts, gestures to the woman that she can leave, and after she does, Kreuger approaches the man who let her go, in a friendly and determined fashion.  The gigantic South African hugs the man in shorts and addresses him in Afrikaner. Alvaro of course doesn't understand a word of what they say to each other. Then when the other men join the reunion, they all shift to English and Alvaro reconnects.

Kreuger introduces Alvaro to the four men.

Alvaro, let me introduce you to the founders of SPYNX DEFENSE CO. Apart from John that you already met, here we have Karl, and points at a man on the right not so much smaller than Kreuger himself. Here we have Mark, Shaoul and Alain.

Gentlemen, continues Kreuger, addressing the four knights of the apocalypse, this is Alvaro Pagano, the man I talked you about and who is ready to put half a billion dollars of investment in this company. the four man all x-ray scan Alvaro for a second, but Alvaro who is not able to discern the slightest non verbal language stance, is not a bit impressed by the show. In order for Alvaro to pick up on the mood of the men in front of him they should say something, but they don't, so Alvaro doesn't find anything better than sitting in there as silent as they are.

The first to speak is Mark, who was expecting everything but a cold bastard spaghetti eater, whose tongue had been withheld at the fucking airport.

Would you like something to drink while we get comfortable Mr. Pagano? Did you guys had lunch already? Mark extends the invitation to Kreuger too.

The answer comes from the South African, who informs the Englishman that they had more than enough treats on the plane. It is at this point that Alvaro talks for the first time.

I would like a glass of carbonated water if it is possible.

Mark, the British trash guy in flip flops approaches an intercom in the center of the table to order the liquid component of the meeting.

Please take a seat, Mark gestures to the two visitors. Everybody else sit around the table.

We have a vague idea of the reason of your visit Mr. Pagano, but may be you want to explain better to us, shoots Mark which clearly appears to be the boss.

Alvaro sits down and leans forward towards his interlocutor, displaying confidence, one of the business protocols hat he follows blindly without having any real feels for what it means.
First of all let me thank you all, he turns his head to each and every of the men around the table, for having given me the opportunity to come here and make my proposal to this board of directors. I have been thinking about this proposal for two months now, I have noticed that this company is very competitive in its particular market segment, and that he could become even more competitive with a more fine tuned financial management.

Are you saying that we don't know how to manage our company Mr. Pagano?, the guys on the left asks with a very discernible German accent.

I am saying that you are evidently more skilled in the operational aspects of a company like this, than you are in the financial ones. I will tell you more, Alvaro continues looking at the German guy: I noticed that your competitors are not in much better shape than you are. Even Pinkerton Whitewater, the industry leader, has a financial situation which could be much better than it is. From what I've examined in these two months, this is due to the fact that the demand of your services is raising faster than you can expand your operations. This forced more or less all of you and try to chew more that you can swallow so to speak. I have noticed that all the companies of this industry, included yours, have been forced to dilute their stock ownership considerably. All that leaves your companies exposed to possible hostile takeovers, not to mention at the mercy of the creditor banks.

Mr. Pagano, Mark intervenes again in the conversation. Let me tell you something: in our industry there is no such thing as a hostile takeover. Usually such operations are hindered by car accidents or other kinds of unfortunate events that may happen to any wall street fag that comes here to put his nose into our business.

Alvaro is unimpressed by the hidden threat.

And tell me Mr. Mark; similar accidents can also happen to the French Bankers you owe 600 millions to, or it's them that can cause unfortunate accidents to you.

The British guy resets not having a prompt answer to a very pertinent question. But the French guy picks up the ball.

They don't have any problems to wait. They know what we are doing and how we do it. We have a lot of contracts to fulfill and we are in full expansion.

Alvaro listen patiently to the French former marine commando, like an engineer would listen to a child playing with Legos.

that is true replies Alvaro to the frog, but this expansion as you call it, reduced you liquidity to 5 millions, which is what you guys declared yourself in the last quarter statement. If you open even a new operation to protect an old lady dog, you have to expose yourself even more with the bank and the bankers, loan shark as they are, can't wait for that. I am here to propose you a different solution. By the way, I know you are an efficient company. this is exactly the reason why I chose you over all your competitors.

what kind of solutions are you proposing, comes the careful probe by Mark.

What I can give to this company, answers Alvaro, nobody else can give you. I guarantee fresh capital every month for your operations. You guys are going to continue to expand your business like you are doing now but without raising the debt at the same time, something that your competitors won't able to do. We'll get on top of this industry. My project is to settle all of your debt with the bank which is now holding you by your balls, squeezing or releasing at their whim. You give me a little bit of time and we bring this debt to zero, without giving up the expansion. Then under my guidance this company becomes the market leader, and you become even richer than you guys are now; more importantly you get the best operations, the best customers and the best contracts.

You guarantee fresh capital every months; and how would you do that, asks Mark, still visibly skeptical, and not at all impressed by Alvaro tirade.

About that you don't need to worry, Kreuger gets into the conversation. I have personally seen this man in action on the financial markets. If he says he guarantees the capital, then the capital will come. You guys just have to do what he says and deal with the operations. Pagano frees your asses of all the bureaucracy. No more financial or administrative shit for you guys. No more fear not to be able to pay the salaries, because the bank asks to reduce the exposure for that month.

the four man look at each other,  knowing full well that Kreuger is not a clown.

And in return, what do you ask in return, the only guy that didn't speak yet, chooses that precise moment to get into the conversation; his Hebrew accent is pretty strong.

I will assume the control of the company. You let me deal with the Bank that sold your stocks to the public, and I will buy back 20% of all the stocks that you sold to hairdresser and waitresses. I will not interfere with the operations per say, but the strategic control of the company shifts to me. I will decide what mission are approved and what are not, and all the operative assets of the company are under my control as well. I want Krueger in the position of CEO, of course under your due vigilance. Last but not less important, I want you to know that I am never going to extract a single penny from this company, neither in compensation nor in stock options or dividends. You decide how to use the company profits. I don't want any part of that until I see that your polices threaten the financial health of the company.

The five man look again at each other, this time with a pleased expression. Still Mark has an objection.

If you control the company assets, in actual fact you say that we control the operations but you tie our hands behind our back.

Alvaro answer is prompt and swift; he really is convinced that good arguments and transparency win negotiations.

I didn't come here to go against the company; I'm putting half a billion into it, But if I need a platoon for an operation of mine you give it to me, and if I need two you giv'em to me as well. I can veto any operations that threatens the well being of the company. All the other decisions are on you.

The 5 are still perplexed, so Alvaro is forced to pull out his ace. You you should always have a reserve ace for your complex deals.

I see that you are still not totally persuaded of my good faith, Let's see if I can help.
I am going to attach a clause to the contract in which I state that I am prepared to resell all my stocks to the public. to you guys, or to the company if I don't raise the capital of this company every year. So If I prove myself useless, you guys get rid of me as soon as you decide it. Until you don't, your ass, those of your employees and the company assets are under my control.

The British piece of trash Exchanges a look with his colleagues, then stares even more intensely at Kreuger. Finally he walks towards Alvaro and extends his right hand.

The bank that put our stock on the market is Merrill Lynch; in 24 hours I'll put you in contact with the manager who took care of the IPO. Let's see what the fuck you can do Pagano.

And he offers him the glass of water that he asked at the beginning of the meeting.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 05:35:38 PM by »

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Market Storm: A Solo Mythic Role Playng Actual Play Experience
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2018, 11:27:16 PM »
Guys, just a question for you.
Since I am at the 12th post and I dind't see a single comment, I was wandering if anybody is interested in Alvaro's story and his friends.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 07:07:54 AM by »


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Market Storm: A Solo Mythic Role Playng Actual Play Experience
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2018, 10:35:40 AM »
They might not have realized you wanted input.

Its an interesting adventure so far. Though personally I'd like to see a little more of how the Mythic system is being applied here. Perhaps some commentary on how you interpreted the oracles answers?