“And what did we learn during your liaison session with the butter babe, hmmm?”
Stalker, tired of the leering questions, retorted, “She learned that I was actually there on business. Further, if she persisted I would have my manager speak with her manager about inappropriate flirting with a government agent. I suggested that following that discussion, she could be offering regular donut holes over a bakery counter at her next job. Then she began to give me some useful information.
“Do you want to hear the useful part of our conversation, or do you just want to hear about how many times she straightened stuff during the audience warm-up?”
Eric puzzled a moment then responded, “Boy, that’s a tough one. Oh alright, let’s talk shop and save the lurid imagery for another time. What do they say is the issue with the coal supply?”
Stalker was now into his business character and stated, “The fact is, they really don’t know what’s wrong with the oil and coal supply numbers either. As near as I can figure out, this is a Sweet Old Boy network fully populated with SOBs looking to screw each other. That’s a figurative and literal observation, having been here just a few days.
“They crunch and munch numbers day in and day out, based on information feeds from the producers of each commodity in every country. You throw in a little political intrigue carefully mixed with juicy high ranking government employee scandals, doused with global climate warnings, not to forget predictions from your Ouija board, and the entire contents to be stirred, not shaken, to yield the trade de jour milliseconds ahead of your competitor. This place and these people move and act so fast so as not to be on the losing side of a transaction that they are not really digging into the growing supply numbers. Trades are almost totally driven by computers, and their computers are only driven by inputted numbers, not rational thinking. But because everyone is afraid of being whipsawed by a changing commodities market, they all seem to have the herd mentality and simply follow along.”
Eric then asked, “So you are saying that no one is researching the numbers or questioning the values being posted? They are just stampeding from one transaction or position to another because the numbers being fed into the computers say so?”
Stalker gave an exasperated sigh and admitted, “I don’t know. These people are mutants. I’m glad you didn’t ask me to work on currency arbitrage traders. Geeze, there is something flat wrong with those people! They trade based on huge blocks of currencies with six to eight digits out to the right of the decimal point!
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