Chapter 45 - Financial Crisis 4: Stock Market Turmoil
Shao Qingge got up early in the morning and saw the news. He was suddenly alarmed. He had majored in finance at university. After graduation, he set up his own fund company to operate in the stock market. Therefore, he knew exactly what it meant by the stocks falling 50%.
He went to the bathroom to wash his face as quickly as possible and then ate some breakfast. He took some of the food in the suitcase and put it in his travel bag, hiding the rest under the bed.
At 8:30, Shao Qingge went to the agreed place and met Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou.
The two people also carried backpacks. The black bags picked by Yu Hanjiang were very suitable for travelling. They could fit seven days of biscuits, chocolate and water. In addition, carrying the bags would make local residents think they were visitors from a foreign country.
Mobile combat, this was the strategy of Group Leader Yu. Even if their other supplies were looted, they could survive on what was in their backpacks.
Yu Hanjiang spoke in a low voice, “We have just passed the pedestrian street and there are still many people at the snack bar having breakfast. Everyone isn’t very agitated. They think it is only a temporary price control.”
At the nearby breakfast store, a young man complained loudly, “Boss, what do you mean by this? I have breakfast here every day. In the past, a bowl of soy milk and steamed buns cost 800 gold coins. Today, it is 1,600 gold coins. Are you stealing money?”
The boss smiled. “I also don’t want to do this but the nearby stores have all increased their prices. I went to the supermarket this morning to buy ingredients such as flour, rice, vegetables... they have all doubled in price. It’s really evil!”
The young man put down the money, took the bag and turned away.
There were also two old women talking in whispers. “I went to the vegetable market to buy vegetables in the morning. The previous pork belly was only 2,500 gold coins. Now it has risen to 5,000. Is there another outbreak of swine fever?”
Another person said, “Fruits have become more expensive. An apple is 2,000 gold coins! Fortunately, I bought a box of apples a few days ago or else I wouldn’t even be able to afford apples.”
There were many similar discussions.
During breakfast, in the face of the sudden price increase, the residents of the city complained but many of them thought the prices would return to normal in the next two days. There were some cautious residents who went to the supermarket to sweep up goods, fearing that the prices would continue to rise tomorrow.
Today happened to be a Saturday and most companies were off-duty.
It was reasonable to say that there shouldn’t be many vehicles on the road during the weekend but today was exceptionally abnormal. At 8:30 in the morning, the three men walked the entire way and found that the main roads in the city were blocked by private cars, all heading in the direction of the supermarket at the central square.
Xiao Lou looked at the car jam. “It seems the residents here are aware that something is wrong. They are anxiously going to the supermarket and the supermarket will soon be in short supply.”
Shao Qingge suddenly spoke. “I have to go to the stock exchange centre again.”
Yu Hanjiang turned to him. “Do you still want to speculate in stocks.”
Shao Qingge explained, “When I first entered the secret room, I saw the tip that the stock market would crash at 8 in the morning but I couldn’t accurately pinpoint which stocks would fall. That’s why yesterday, I used the fast-forward, fast-out method to make money, so that we have enough money to buy supplies.” His eyes swept over the crowd as he whispered, “I might be wrong but the stock market probably hasn’t instantly collapsed. Some stocks are still very stable, for example, real estate-related stocks.”
Xiao Lou reacted quickly. “On the road, I really didn’t hear anyone talking about house prices.”
“Since this secret room is a Spades and Clubs joint room, the two keepers, A of Spades and A of Clubs must be in control. They should be using a step-by-step approach to slowly destroy the city’s economic system. Inflation is the first step and the housing prices collapse should be the second.”
Xiao Lou, who spent years saving in the real world to buy a house, felt the same way.
If only food, vegetables and other daily necessities temporarily increased prices, even if they doubled, everyone had a certain amount of deposit in their hands. They could still afford it. Everyone in a small city had their own housing and it wasn’t a big deal to eat noodles every day. The financial crisis wasn’t a big problem.
However, housing prices affected the lifeline of too many people. Even if the housing prices in this small city wasn’t high, an apartment was a few hundred thousand yuan and when exchanged to gold coins, it was tens of millions of gold coins. The housing prices collapsing meant their life savings instantly became worthless.
People would panic, become angry and then become violent. The social problems caused by them would become more and more serious. Combined with the stagnation of some enterprises, if water, electricity and transportation also had problems then the whole city would be paralyzed.
Xiao Lou felt his spine become cold. “Why did 3 of Spades suddenly become an economic-related linked secret room?”
Shao Qingge frowned before speculation, “It is possible that the 3 of Clubs room is relatively mild and doesn’t directly eliminate people like 2 of Clubs. Therefore, the third level elimination task is placed in the survival Spades room.”
The four keepers knew each other. Xiao Lou remembered the opening sentence about the friendship sponsorship of A of Clubs.
It seemed that this secret room was the consultation between A of Spades and A of Clubs to eliminate a large number of challengers.
Yu Hanjiang was immediately alert. “We will split into two. I will go to the decorations market to check that there aren’t any problems with our materials.”
Then Yu Hanjiang glanced at Xiao Lou. “If you encounter a robbery attempt, remember that the materials in your backpack can be given to others. The most important thing is to protect yourself.” He whispered into Xiao Lou’s ear, “The life-saving equipment card, remember to put it on just in case.”
Xiao Lou smiled. “Don’t worry about me. This is the first day and there shouldn’t be many people who will make a direct robbery attempt on the street. I am acting with Mr Shao and we will look after each other. It is you who should be careful.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded, his eyes calm. “Rest assured. We will meet back at the guesthouse at noon.”
The three people parted ways.
The stock market.
Today’s trading hall was full of people. Shao Qingge and Xiao Lou walked into the hall, looking up and checking the situation of today’s stocks.
The first day’s crash were food, medicine, daily necessities, textiles, clothing and home appliance related stocks. Investors who bought these stocks were emotional. Many people in the hall were gathered to discuss it. Some look depressed as they stared at the stock curve that kept falling in a daze.
Just then, a sudden scream was heard from the window. “Ah! Someone is going to jump!”
A group of people immediately went over and saw that on the roof of the securities centre, two young men were holding a huge banner with the words ‘Return my hard-earned money!!!’. The row of red exclamation marks was shocking.
Someone downstairs had probably called the police and a police car soon arrived.
The police moved quickly and within three minutes, they set up an inflatable pad downstairs.
As the crowd screamed, the two young men jumped down from the roof with their banner.
There was a loud noise as the two people fell on the air cushion. Their life wasn’t harmed but the sound was heavy, like a hammer knocking on the hearts of all investors.
The jumping off event made the atmosphere in the trading hall more depressing. Everyone’s faces were full of fear and some people started to cry. Some people swore while others prayed with their hands joined together, “Tomorrow it must rise again. My entire net worth is in the stock market...”
Xiao Lou watched this and his scalp became numb.
He remembered when there was a stock market crash in the previous years. Some people on the Internet joked that the rooftops would be overwhelming as those who invested in stocks lined up to jump off the building. Those who risked investing and put all their money into the stock market would really lose confidence to live. The two people who jumped off the building today were rescued but what about tomorrow or the day after? Would more and more investors choose to commit suicide?
Xiao Lou didn’t speculate in stocks but he could understand the mood of these people.
Seeing Shao Qingge watching the stocks, Xiao Lou whispered, “What about the real estate stocks?”
Shao Qingge replied, “They are still stable. I have to find a computer as soon as possible.”
The computers in the hall were crowded with people and they couldn’t find an unused computer. The two people had to leave the stocks centre to a nearby Internet cafe to find a computer.
Xiao Lou had the change from the supermarket buying and asked Shao Qingge, “How many hours?”
“One hour is enough.”
They found an idle computer and Shao Qingge opened the stocks market website, logging in with his personal account. Xiao Lou sat next to him to watch. As Shao Qingge operated the computer, he whispered, “Professor Xiao, have you heard of shorting stocks?”
Xiao Lou shook his head. “I have never traded in stocks.”
Shao Qingge explained, “Look, Tianhong Real Estate, Rongguang Real Estate, Fangke Estate Group... these stocks are relatively stable compared with the stocks that have already plunged, such as daily necessities, clothing, etc. However, this is only an illusion. According to my estimates, A of Clubs will take steps to destroy the urban economic system. The first step is inflation and people still have a chance to live in the beginning. After all, house prices are stable.”
Xiao Lou understood. “So real-estate stocks will plunge after two days? This is to let the people completely collapse and not see any hope?”
Shao Qingge nodded solemnly. “Destroying people’s psychological line of defense step by step and making them fall into total despair. Then the real violence/disorder will start.”
After all, this secret room required challengers to survive seven days and today was only the first day.
Many people of this city thought that the prices would return to normal tomorrow. They didn’t know... this was just the beginning.
Xiao Lou took a deep breath and asked, “What are you going to do?”
Shao Qingge hit the keyboard at a very fast pace as he borrowed a large number of real estate stocks and sold them. As he did this, he explained to Xiao Lou, “Shorting stocks, in other words, if you speculate that some stocks will fall, borrow them through an agent. This method of ‘borrowing’ is to obtain a large number of stocks and sell them at the current market price. Then once the stocks fall, buy them at low prices and repay the loan.”
In order to facilitate Xiao Lou’s understanding, he gave an example. “For example, the current market price of ‘Tianhong Real Estate’ is 80 gold coins. Say I borrowed 1,000 shares through a middle party for a loan period of three days and sold them at the current price. I would get 80,000 gold coins. Once the stocks have plummeted by half the day after tomorrow, I will buy 1,000 shares at the market price of 40 gold coins and repay the 1,000 shares I borrowed. I only need to spend 40,000 gold coins and the difference in the middle is my net profit.”
This was simply an investment deception.
Shorting stocks, Xiao Lou hadn’t heard of this before but he quickly understood due to Shao Qingge’s explanation. In other words, borrow stocks and sell the borrowed stocks at a high price. Once the stocks fell, buy them at a low price, return the borrowed stocks and the profit would be the difference.
It was the opposite of the ‘buy first then sell.’ Shorting stocks was ‘first borrow at a high price and then buy at a low price.’
Shao Qingge could instantly think of this, relying on the two days before the real estate stocks collapsed in order to quickly make money. Xiao Lou had to admire the entrepreneur’s sensitivity to the stocks market.
He couldn’t help saying, “A professional in economics, like you, should be able to make a lot of money in this secret room?”
Shao Qingge nodded. “I made a fund company and making money this way is okay.” He pinched his brow and spoke thoughtfully, “Still, I think that A of Spades wouldn’t open a secret room for us to make money. In the next few days, there will be many incidents that threaten our survival. It will rely on our ability to take the money we earned out of the secret room.”
Xiao Lou smiled and spoke very confidently. “We must be able to. After all, we have Group Leader Yu.”
Shao Qingge raised his eyebrows. “You trust Yu Hanjiang that much?”
A bit of worship filled Xiao Lou’s eyes. “When I met him in reality, he was a legend in the Jiangzhou police community. He took two days to clear a murder and it is said that many criminals will piss their pants with fear when they hear his name.”
Shao Qingge laughed. “He is that good? No wonder why you directly joined his team after clearing 2 of Clubs. It seems that since the police officer is such a strong teammate, I also need a bit more confidence.”
The stock market in this world had restrictions on borrowing. Once Shao Qingge used up his limit for today, he logged off and left the Internet cafe with Xiao Lou.
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