12 Hours After 155 Chapter 155. Sell China, Part Ii
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After the meeting with the company executives, our company began to buy Chinrelated short-selling a.s.sets, such as FX yuan selling, Shanghai Stock inverse leverage, and Hong Kong Hang Seng foot option, very quietly and secretly. We joined hands little by little if they were betting on falling Chinese-related a.s.sets in various markets - Korea, the U.S., China, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Originally I had planned a very aggressive FX foreign exchange transaction, but Jang's dissuasion s.h.i.+fted my mind to diversified investment. "If you do that, you could lose your entire fortune in real time."
The future news for me did not exactly say what the yuan would be on which date and month, or where the Shanghai Index would be. All I could see was the approximate direction. As Jang said, falling a.s.sets could go up in a day or two. If I were very unlucky after making an extreme bet, the loss could be too big to handle. In other words, the worst-case scenario was not only about losing money, but also about being demoted back to the Gold or Platinum Cla.s.s. It might take years to come back. So I carried out the sale of Chinese a.s.sets on a somewhat common-sense level, though it seemed to be crazy to the general public. I was sorry, but it was okay.
'Originally, all economic cycles are like four seasons, so there's reconstruction after the crisis, there's a boom after the reconstruction. In any economy, once it's ruined, it's just a rip-off. If I buy the items cheaply with the money I earn then, I will earn several times as much money during the economic reconstruction. After it goes down, when it goes back up, I'll make a lot of money twice. So if I can figure out the inflection point of an a.s.set, if I know the timing of the seasons, I can sweep the money completely.'
And I was getting the timing right. 'It will be July of this year.'
Perhaps some of the global hedge funds were aware that the summer of the global economy would be over, and that a harsh winter was coming after the fall.
According to reports from several directors, they were hearing such news.
[China Inverse Leverage is getting a little pricey.]
[Personal foreign exchange dealers are selling the yuan at a little less than the stated exchange rate.]
[Hedge fund Yellowstone has decided to dispose of its shares in Alibaba. The discount rate is quite high.]
They were seeing strange signs not only in our company, but also elsewhere. The Garden Royale Spring Conference in March also had such stories. I did not say anything, especially when it came to the future news. The third and fourth generation of chaebol who attended the meeting also talked about China.
"We`ve decided to scale down our Chinese distribution business a bit."
"Some of the directors tacked the business plan, and they said the atmosphere was weird. This year, China's economy could be in a bit of a slump, so we cut back on our investment."
As I listened, I had thought, 'A bit of a slump? It's not a bit of a slowdown, but the Great Depression. The directors are idiots. No... not idiots, maybe they are too smart.'
Some directors who had tackled the issue might have made a correct prediction, but failed to give him proper advice, as I read the owner's countenance.
'The owner is motivated to run a business, no one can say, "We need to withdraw now." Even if they say it directly, they should say it properly so that it doesn't hurt the owner's feelings. Directors have a high salary, but they're all contract workers. If they save their position, they can earn one or two more years' salary. In any case, the future is an area of uncertainty for humans.'
The directors might not want to be responsible for that alone, saying 'It has to be this way. It has to be like that.' It would be safe and good to avoid danger saying, 'It could be this way. It could be that way.'
"How much did you cut?"
"70% or so."
'You should've reduced it to zero.'
Although they were at the top of the nation, none of these people were actively moving, even though they noticed some signs. It was inevitable. No matter how much they were aware of this situation, it was hard to think The Great Depression was coming to China.
And as I watched them, there was also a personal bias problem for these people. Unlike his great-grandfather, grandfather, and the generation who had founded large companies on bare ground, the third and fourth-generation chaebol lacked the spirit of challenge and looked toward stability.
They only took the so-called 'safety bread' that would win an economy of scale with inherited money. Betting their good fortune, like their ancestors, did not go well. That might be how the nation's economy had grown.
"There's going to be a slowdown in China? Our group's economic research team says that it will be fine. What do you think, CEO Han?"
Some of them asked me for my opinion, but I just replied like a real professional investor, "It could be dangerous. I think it's better to be careful."
This was the way people predicted the future of a.s.set prices, regardless of stock and real estate.
'I think it's better...'
'You'd better do it...'
They would say something in vague terms. It would be good to be right, or it would be bad to be wrong. They would not mind if it was right or not. In fact, it was just a vague statement that they could escape from easily.
Someone who had a good grasp of my psychology said, "Come on, CEO Han. Please talk about it honestly. You're the best professional here. Up or down, what is it?"
It was a management-like breakthrough, but I managed to get away with it. "n.o.body knows about the future. There's a saying in the stock market: stocks are not forecasting, but responding. Watch how the economic indicators in China come out, how the exchange rate moves and how the stock market flows. Respond carefully. Then at least you won't lose."
I was a little bit conscience-stricken when I said that. I didn't predict the future, but knew it regardless. And the economic indicators were not at all reliable because China was a country that had authoritarian aspects in economy and politics, and so they often manipulated statistics to make a good impression on their superiors. In fact, the economic indicators were still coming out good now, just five months before the date. They didn't know how rotten it was in the real world.
In the meantime, Tak Mun-su gave me some support again. "Don't be so hard on CEO Han Sang-hoon. He's not even our sole adviser."
He was always a good man to me. I didn't know why he did that for me. However, it was hard to believe that he was a good man. I had seen him say "Let him go" on the roof of Suyeon Travel. I couldn't regard him well because of the way he had tapped his wrist with one hand.
He still had a friendly face, and when I looked at him, I naturally thought 'Will that smiling expression go on until the fall?'
In April, two scheduled events took place. First, Tak Mun-su's father, Tak Woo-kyung, was taken to the emergency room for acute myocardial infarction, as the news had said. He was quite healthy for his early seventies, but suddenly he had a heart attack. As the owner of a large company, a medical professional would have been a.s.sisting him. In any case, life and death seemed to be in the hands of providence.
Of course, if I had a heart attack, I would have gone to the hospital and been lying down, but most of the few people who were able to understand when Tak Woo-kyung was taken to the hospital would have thought like so:
'If Tak Woo-kyung dies so suddenly, there's a problem with the inheritance tax.'
'So, what happens to Suyeon Group's succession process?'
However, such news never came out in the media. It seemed that Suyeon Group was checking on it so that it would not be an issue.
I recalled Tak Joon-gi's words, "When Tak Woo-kyung dies, I will look for a chance," but I decided to watch the moves for now. There was something more important in the near future. I'd been busily spending every day watching and listening to Chinese stories on the future news, and getting reports from directors about investments, rather than following their moves currently.
The second scheduled event was none other than the presidential election. The presidential vote was on the second of May. Another presidential race was held about a month before the vote. Just as I prepared the way, Mayor Joo Sung-won was definitely in first. In the People Search, Joo Sung-won was the constant winner.
What was a little sad was that Mayor Joo Sung-won would face a major crisis as soon as he was elected president. He came up with an ambitious pledge to ease regulations, support low-income families, enhance welfare, support small businesses, and promote start-ups. He would not be able to complete that pledge to help the Korean economy once it started staggering due to the financial crisis in China.
[President Joo Sung-won visited Sejong City and ordered all preparations to prevent damage by the financial crisis.]
[President Joo Sung-won will check whether the savings bank is insolvent.]
[President Joo Sung-won provides public funds to companies on the verge of bankruptcy.]
'In fact, there is a certain level of luck in managing state affairs, but he doesn't seem to be very lucky...'
As I knew the results anyway, I didn't pay much attention to the presidential election itself, but I found out what happened afterwards.
'The presidential election will be held on May Second... So, when will he be taking office? Previously, a new president took office about two months after the vote. This time, with the const.i.tutional revision reducing the current president's term by a year, the voting is in early May and his term will immediately begin in late May. So, Joo Sung-won will take office as president in late May, and just two months later, he will face a financial crisis originating from China.'
Seeing that, I decided to help him a little bit while I was busy.
"Secretary Park, call Chung So-young, CEO of Oracle News, and have her come see me today."
One day in April, I called Chung So-young to the president's office.
"Did you call me, boss?" CEO Chung So-young appeared in a vividly colored suit, as always. Although she was growing older, she seemed to be getting more attractive. I knew it was not common, but sometimes there were lucky women like her.
'Why is she still single?' I told her, thinking about it. "I'd like to put a story I want on Oracle News, as I said last year."
"What kind of editorial do you want?"
"It's about the economy. The t.i.tle is..." I hit the table a couple of times with my fingertips and said, "How can we respond to China`s financial crisis? I'd like to do that."
She said, with slightly wider eyes, "Are you going to write it yourself?"
I nodded. "Yes. I'll write it. But it's a secret, absolutely a secret. Don't let it slip outside."
"Yes, sir. If you send us the ma.n.u.script, we'll send it out after we do the proofreading."
After Chung So-young left the president's office, I began writing the ma.n.u.script right away, based on what I had seen in the future news. It was an editorial that actually showed the President how to get out of the crisis by managing the state. And the next president, Joo Sung-won, would certainly see the article, as he was still on my leash.
Korea's large trade volume with China made it impossible to avoid the impact of the economic crisis in China, but he might at least take measures to ease the shock if he managed the state affairs this way.
There were two benefits that I could gain from this. The first was to win the trust of President Joo Sung-won. If he saw the editorial in Oracle News go right, President Joo Sung-won would trust me more and rely on me. Then it was clear that my influence on the government would grow even bigger. Second, for a simpler reason, I was also a businessman. If the country did well, I would do better in many ways!
12 Hours After 155 Chapter 155. Sell China, Part Ii
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12 Hours After 155 Chapter 155. Sell China, Part Ii summary
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