Chapter 684: Levelling the mountains and seas (1)
A very long time ago, it had been the land of the Native Americans.
Four hundred years ago, it had been a wall of the Dutch.
Two hundred years ago, it had been a finance seed beneath a tree.
A hundred years ago, it had led to the rise of America.
Afterwards, it had become a web of finance that spread towards the entire world.
This web was strong but frail, bright but dark.
While this web could cause economic growth to speed up, it could also strangle economies.
It was-Wall Street.
In South Manhattan in New York City, there was a street extending from Broadway to the East River. It was merely a third of a mile long and eleven metres wide. Its name was Wall Street.
It could be a golden tower that never slept, a stage of passions and rejoicing. It could also be a desolate, dilapidated...ultra massive graveyard, strewn with corpses.
The head of Bear Stearns Cos originally did not want to get up and go to work that day. After forcing himself to go, discovering that the coffee machine in the office was not working, he smashed it in a fit of anger.
Strangely enough, no one in the entire office felt that there was anything wrong with that.
A higher-up of Merrill Lynch threw a stack of reports out of the window…
It fell on the head of an employee of Lehman Bank named Edward.
At the time, the head of Bear Stearns Cos was carrying a paper box, getting ready to head home as he wondered if he should continue paying for his housing loan for that villa in Florida. Perhaps he should first be wondering about what he would pay it with after he had lost his job.
A meeting amongst the higher-ups of Morgan Stanley went on from 3am till the next afternoon. Even then, no one was allowed to leave.
As mournful wails resounded across all of Wall Street, the tribulation finally reared its ugly face.
Zhou Yuandai had originally been looking forward to this all along...
Yet, this matter had ultimately slowly surpassed everyone’s control and imagination, including that of the American government...unless it quit.
Zhou Yuandai had long since placed bets on both sides in this massive gamble. Due to the payouts and leverage, she had seen no possibility of herself losing whatsoever...moreover, she had won too, had gambled right on this economic crisis engulfing America.
Was it possible for the player to win big in a gamble but gain nothing at all?
It was possible. There was only one answer-the banker had gone bankrupt with no one to compensate them.
After the CDO she possessed became a pile of scrap paper, Zhou Yuandai abruptly discovered that her real gamble, CDS, actually shared the same fate as well. This was just like one having bought insurance and paid a large sum of premiums. Yet, when the time comes to redeem the insurance...the insurance company goes bankrupt.
This was not completely the same as in Xu Tingsheng’s previous life. Back then, the possibility of selling CDS had existed till the final juncture. Some people had still succeeded in offloading their losses. In this life, however, there were virtually no ‘survivors’.
In Xu Tingsheng’s previous life, more than 160 investment firms had collapsed during the American Financial Crisis.
Of Wall Street’s five great investment firms, only Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley had survived. Also, the two had only survived because of direct intervention by the American Federal Reserve as they had also transformed into traditional banks.
In this process.
The bankrupt Bear Stearns was acquired by JPMorgan Chase.
Merrill Lynch securities that were worth over a trillion were sold to the Bank of America at around 44 billion.
America’s fourth largest investment firm, Lehman brothers, went directly bankrupt.
Was this not tragic enough?
The problem was that it was even more tragic in this life.
In this life, because its debts were higher, JPMorgan Chase refused to acquire Bear Stearns, which directly went bankrupt. The debt of Merrill Lynch was such that it completely lost its acquisition value, going directly bankrupt.
Lehman Brothers which would have died in the first place died without a whimper.
Morgan Stanley which had originally lived also seemed fated for death this time around.
Who had made things reach this extent?
Who had thrown a barrel of oil into the site of the explosion?
The answer was Zhou Yuandai herself. Just as she had previously told Xu Tingsheng, the scale of her assets from over a decade of rebirth far surpassed what he could imagine...it was precisely because of this that her completely going all in on the gamble had exacerbated the crisis.
Not only was she the straw that broke the camel’s back, she was also the thousand kilogram rock that smashed even its corpse to smithereens.
On the 22th storey, there was a bit of light reflected on the glass window.
On the big wall-mounted television screen, the blonde beauty newscaster was narrating the final decision of the American government: The American Federal Reserve would go all out to rescue Goldman Sachs. They wished Morgan Stanley good luck, also expressing that the government would use this chance to completely rebuild the state of finance in America.
Zhou Yuandai shifted her gaze away from the television screen as it came to land on Xu Tingsheng sitting opposite her.
“I don’t have a single CDS from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley at all, right?” She asked.
“Right,” Xu Tingsheng answered.
“So…” Zhou Yuandai knew that this had all been part of Xu Tingsheng’s scheme.
“Both roads led to death. The one that I tried to manipulate you into walking led to death, and so did the one I left for myself and was waiting for you to discover...whichever path it was, so long as you stepped completely onto it, you would surely perish,” Xu Tingsheng said, looking at her.
At this moment, his situation looked no different from how it had been over the past year as he was just sitting solitarily there...yet, he had actually already reversed everything.
“So, Zhang Xingke’s betrayal and you despairingly killing yourself...that act was the final part of your scheme to manipulate me to bet my everything?”
“You can say that. Before that, whatever I did and said, you wouldn’t fully believe it, much less bet your everything...this is just how people are. As opposed to believing others, we are often more willing to believe our own discoveries...also, the tougher this discovery, the easier that letting it slip by would have been, the more we do not doubt it in the least.”
“Moreover, what I gave you that time was the truth...the lie that is best at killing in this world is the truth.”
Xu Tingsheng leaned back fully in his chair, no longer speaking as he looked outside the glass window.
Zhou Yuandai turned too.
A figure suddenly plunged off the rooftop opposite.
Neither Xu Tingsheng nor Zhou Yuandai knew or cared about who this person was. These few days and for some time afterwards, the same thing would happen countless times in various corners of the world-in an era of peace, bankers killed the most. It was a complete slaughter.
In truth, only a minority would leap off buildings to their deaths. Due to the economic upheaval, hunger and sickness would claim more lives.
At the same time, after yelling into the phone countless times, Lu Zhixin who was far away in Yanzhou finally helplessly hung up...before soundlessly weeping painfully. Just earlier, after that final call, Lu Zhixhin who had lost her mother before the age of ten had lost her father as well.
Lu Pingyuan was dead. He had just leapt off the building across from Xu Tingsheng and Zhou Yuandai.Of these two people, one was the cause of his madness and the other the result-to some extent, it was none other than Xu Tingsheng who had inadvertently caused the death of Lu Pingyuan. He had initially had the chance to advise him not to get involved in all this. Still, when Lu Zhixin had asked him about it, afraid of the plan being exposed due to the relationship between Lu Pingyuan and Zhou Yuandai, Xu Tingsheng had chosen to keep his mouth shut.
There would come a day when Lu Zhixin understood all this. While she might not grudge Xu Tingsheng for it, it was destined that she would never be able to love him again.
Her road was so much like the path to becoming a monarch, devoid of love, having seen death, then moving forward with unparalleled momentum on her lonesome.Previous Chapter Next Chapter