Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Radical Trading

He had a gift. He could – without effort – assimilate what was going on around him, and translate it into financial outcomes. In news that others ignored, he saw price signals. A fire on the west coast meant that, in coming months, apples, or wheat, or something else would be in short supply. Adverse weather meant that electricity prices would increase. Hurricanes were good for construction companies, and bad for agriculture. Global conflict was linked to the prices of oil and gold. He had an ability to pick these linkages, and to use them to make money.

In the beginning, he used his gift as an enabler. Trading the markets meant that, with minimal effort, he could generate enough income to support himself and his comrades. The irony of the term struck him. Back then, he truly believed in the communist system and its ideals. It was the type of society he wanted to create. Trading was the way to fund his aspirations, and a way to triumph over the very system he wanted to bring down. He saw no contradiction in starting a company, and in using the system he despised to provide the resources, to allow him to pursue its downfall.

In those days, whatever he generated filled an immediate need. He did not want wealth. He wanted freedom. He wanted to change the world. Without having to worry about food, shelter and all the basics, he could spend his time changing the world. Trading allowed him to do this. He was respected as a provider, and he proudly took on the role.

Gradually it all changed. Saving the world became less relevant as he turned toward generating more and higher returns. Comrades disappeared, and clients took their place. What was once a means to an end, became an activity of itself. Back then, Radical Trading was a name he was proud of. It reflected his ideals and outlook. Today, the name of his large and very successful hedge fund, felt hollow.

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Written for Trifecta Challenge week forty two. The word is radical, the context

11 comments:

  1. I've always wondered how that kind of foresight worked; I like the little window into his gift that you give us.

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  2. This was a fascinating read. And very well written.

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  3. I like this a lot - Interesting personality and also interesting how his goals changed as he acquired more wealth (and power?)

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  4. That really was fascinating. It left me feeling sad at the end... which is a good thing. I love stories that make me feel. :)

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    1. thanks - I'm glad I manages to get through. I was a bit insecure about the ending. I hope it works.

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  5. Interesting story. I guess he sold his soul to the Devil. I've seen people whose personalities changed and priorities shifted in such ways that they never realized it happened. That's how I see this character.

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  6. A great take on the word. Different somehow, in a very good way. You did a great job of conveying that sense of idealism that eventually is done in by capitalism and the accumulation of wealth. Thought provoking. I liked it a lot.

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  7. I think the ending does work. I loved the character's idealist approach to providing the basics for himself and his comrades. And you've described how addicting the "rush" of success or money changes things, people, over time. I'm married to someone who trades so I actually "get" some of this. Very engaging story!

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  8. This reminds me of a line from the Breakfast Club - when you get old, your soul dies. Idealism turns to cynicism. Interesting read. Thanks for sharing it.

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  9. I really enjoyed that, and it resonated with me - in fact, I think you and I were saying the same thing in very different ways this week... Selfbegotten

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  10. Really quite good. I see a current political figure in this post.

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