Edward he quickly regained his composure and sped off after his mental stutter. I didn’t know what he wanted to do. Nonetheless, he wouldn’t sell a large volume of stones. If the price of the stones plummeted, he’d go bankrupt in an instant because, if he got rid of the stones, the sharp merchants would suspect a problem, thereby frantically getting rid of their own. If he couldn’t get rid of his in time, he’d face bankruptcy. He couldn’t sell all of his stones in one breath for there weren’t enough buyers. On top of that, noticing that he dropped such a vast amount would lead to buyers forcing the price down, equally sending him into bankruptcy. He was in dire straits either way.
The stones that could’ve brought Edward infinite returns had become a stone that’d burn him. He couldn’t get rid of so many at once but couldn’t hang onto them, either. He couldn’t pawn them with the bank to repay his loan as the stones would soon be worth scrap. He couldn’t repay the principal, either.
Edward could only comfort himself, praying that I was just rustling his jimmies. The reason he hastily left was surely to search for a news outlet. He wanted to know if any stones had recently entered the imperial capital, if somebody found a mine or not and even where I’d been going around in the imperial capital. He cared more about me than a yandere girlfriend would.
I approached the people from the bank at the heart of the trade centre, who planned to have me sign the acknowledgement, which proved that I was bankrupt. My wife, daughter and the three elves would all be sold off as assets, while my territory would be auctioned. That would be the equivalent of me acknowledging that I had utterly failed. Thanks to the existence of the popular mineral, the North had the potential to fetch a decent price.
Seeing me approach, they excitedly asked, “Did you want to sign now?”
“No, I wanted to remind you to detain Edward; he’s about to be bankrupt in a moment. He might try and flee from here,” I warned, dusting their shoulders at the same time.
“Sir, we understand how you feel, but it is pointless for you to do this… All you can do is vent to no avail… You should just sign.”
“I told you: I will sign. I just want to wait until sunset. When the sun goes down, business closes. Nobody will do business here at night. You said that, didn’t you? Now, however, I hope you keep your eyes on Edward. Oh, right, do you have a fast runner among you? Remember to call over your president when the time comes. I’m sure he’d want to see me.”
“I-Is that so?”
The two bankers were spinning. Thanks to Edward, the bank president had yet to declare my bankruptcy. I was planning to announce it myself, and giving them the North with the best timing. They’d be celebrating as they suffered no losses, yet pocketed the North for free. I doubt they imagined I’d use this method.
I returned to my seat and handed Ross some gold coins to buy us lunch. I couldn’t care less what the people around were tense and anxious about. I happily shared my lunch with Ross.
Edward came back in the afternoon, somewhat calmer after collecting information. He knew that no more stones had entered the city. I, as a matter of fact, never left the city. He had a faint suspicion that I was merely provoking him but still didn’t feel reassured. Hence, he came back to wait. On the surface, he looked his usual self. Judging from his gait, the way he sat and kept talking to others, it was clear that he was panic-stricken.
He didn’t dare to do anything with his stones for he was afraid. He didn’t dare to sell but didn’t want to keep them, either. He couldn’t do anything for everyone had their eyes on him. Any minute action from him would trigger a big wave. Why not take my time torturing him? I wanted him to pay; he had to pay.
Edward obviously looked relieved as the horizon turned into an orange hue. The fluctuation in the morning had readjusted on its own. Overall, the price of the stones had changed minimally. Edward smugly whistled.
I stopped two workers who approached me with a hand gesture and rose to my feet. I waited for all attention to be focused on me then cleared my throat. I opened the letter the dwarves sent me and chuckled.
“Gentlemen, this is a letter the dwarves sent me. As you all know, the original inhabitants of the area from where the stones are sourced use the stones to make jewellery. They don’t have any value because they’re literally the floor there. The only reason they’ve become so popular is thanks to you making a big deal out of them. In other words, they’ll be valuable as long as someone monopolises them, agreed? As a consequence, you all desperately searched for stones and tried to procure as many as possible. Sadly, I happen to be the master of the original inhabitants. After receiving my letter, they led the dwarf, Francis, to their location. Put another way, Francis is actually the one with the most stones. What you currently have is a stack of stones. You can have as much as you want now. This news will soon spread, and I’ll publicise the address. Once the ability to monopolise them ceases to exist, as you would all know, the stones will become worthless.”
They were still questioning the authenticity of what I said. Suddenly, though, one man threw his big bag of stones onto the table and shouted out to everyone in the centre, “I’m selling all of mine! I’ll swap you my stones for money! I’m selling all of mine!”
His voice shattered the silence in the trade centre. It was akin to watching starving residents of a village suffering a feminine racing after a loaf of bread. Even if Edward had the most stones, there wasn’t enough demand for him to get rid of them all. Additionally, the people waiting to buy instantaneously threw their stones out for sale. Within minutes, all workers at the venue switched out “waiting to buy” signs with “looking to sell” signs. They handed out bags and bags of gold coins, yet mindlessly threw aside the stones, because the stones almost on par with the value of gold had become nothing but stones with no value.
Edward blankly watched it all play out; his pale lips and shaky legs told the whole story.
“Hahaha.” I jumped onto the table and waved the parchment in my hand up high: “Sell! Go on! Sell! It’s too late to sell them! Those stones are just stones now! They’re worthless now! Did some of you buy insurance? You thought somebody would cover your debt? Ding! Correct! That was me! But I’m bankrupt now! I’m bankrupt! I’ll sign! Bring it here! I’ll sign!”
I snatched the document from the workers. I gave them my vigorous and lively signature before passing it back to them. I laughed as I pranced: “I’m bankrupt! That’s right! I’m bankrupt! I don’t have anything left! Your debts are done, too! Yes, I’m bankrupt! You succeeded! But, like me, all of you here, who bought Edward’s insurance policy, every single dollar in every money warehouse in the entire imperial capital has evaporated!”
Explanation of the financial crisis
I’ll use letters to try and make this simpler to follow:
We’re going to say that Edward is ‘A’ for alpha male.
A bought insurance from B. B, therefore, has to cover the losses and principal when A is bankrupt.
B sold the policy to C, so C also has to shoulder the risk.
C sells the policy to D, so D also has to shoulder the risk.
Repeat the process until it reaches Lin Dongqing, who can be assigned Z for all that matters, but let’s use G.
Now, when A goes bankrupt, B has to cover, but B thinks, “It’s fine. C will cover me.”
C thinks, “It’s fine, D will cover me.”
Repeat until you reach Goody Ol’ Lin, who says, “Who cares. I’m bankrupt anyway. I can’t repay it.”
As such, the one after Lin Dongqing, let’s say it’s F, has to cover. F can’t cover, so F declares bankruptcy.
E can’t cover, so E declares bankruptcy.
D can’t cover, so D declares bankruptcy.
At the end, A, otherwise known as Edward, has nobody to cover for him, which means that he’s also bankrupt. However, the majority of his investments were made from money he loaned from the bank. Consequently, the bank can’t get back their money; the citizens’ savings in the bank has, as a result, turned into a mountain of worthless stones. Now, due to the changes to the nature of the stones’ value, their money has vanished into thin air. Since the bank can’t payout their customers, the bank also has to declare bankruptcy.
This means that the money the people slaved away for and trusted the bank with had been turned into worthless stones, leading to the entire imperial capital having to declare bankruptcy.
Lin Dongqing essentially utilised the above concept to shatter the enormous “price bubble” that the popularisation of the stones created. The fluctuation in their price is basically the same as stocks evaporating.
Ling Dongqing couldn’t cover that amount. Edward, who had the most stones and took out the biggest loan, now wouldn’t dare to make Lin Dongqing bankrupt because, if Lin Dongqing went bankrupt… the entire imperial capital would be bankrupt. This means that all the people who made Lin Dongqing bankrupt would have to whip out their wallets as fast as they could to repay his debt for him. The issue was that nobody had enough to repay the entirety of his debt. As a consequence, Sisi would have to repay Lin Dongqing’s debt with money from the national treasury.
In essence, Lin Dongqing just one-shot KO’ed everyone. He doesn’t need to do anything as the entirety of humanity’s empire would be more than willing to repay his debt for him.
Hope that makes sense.
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