It was a bank robbery, however this time the gunmen came not for the cash but for the bank itself, and all that followed happened faster than a domino knockdown.
The bank was bankrupted professionally. Bad debts of the Third World countries, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Morocco, and The Congo have been returned on the bank's balance sheet. Once, the bank sold the debts to itself, to an offshore company. Who did this? The banker finds out the bank in Amsterdam... and has taken it over completely.
ABOUT THE SERIES
These are stories about a man who is not alive anymore. He was a financier, a retired intelligence officer. I had the good luck to arrange a couple of financial frauds. We bumped into each other before the recession, in the flood of shit, together in the dust. After his death I still had power of attorney. Of course, Victor knew I wouldn’t be able to work on his contacts. I had tried. Now it’s funny to think of it. I am, and always have been, a go-between, a rat. Nobody needs middlemen. They get rid of them; they send them to Hell. But I had a white shirt with a necktie, and copies of million-strong contracts for oil, gas, diamonds, and rare-earth metals: light-as-air, rolled fax sheets with lots of zeroes. They made me giddy; they made me drunk. And I ran along with them, and easily foisted them for the middlemen: muddy, middle-aged misters. When some of the first deals failed, I went into hysterics. I wanted to throw everything in. Once I had a dream. In my dream, I heard a telephone call, – Miss Schlegel? We need your signature to extend a contract concluded by Mr. ... I woke up scared; something turned over inside of me. I realized that I was spending my life waiting for such a call. It didn’t matter where it caught me. But there was no going back. Once you’ve taken a step forward, you realize you can’t turn back anymore. Why did he leave all this to me? I looked the papers over, recalling past years, deals, people, talks: everything from the first meeting to the last minute. And I couldn’t find anything for me; because it wasn’t for me, actually, for the old me. So I changed. I became a con. My life was changed. Sometimes it was as convincing and disgusting as a life of a whore. It was as inaccessible as the man who despises you. It was like vomit or sweat from the body from heavy hangover shivers. You wish to run, and there’s no place to run to. It’s a cold stupor. So it’s stupid to look at the smeared corpse on the road, and it’s impossible to regain consciousness to look away. This passion nests in the heart, and you don’t know what is it. I have his photo, the last one, taken at Arkhangelskoe hospital. Summer. We’re sitting on the edge of a dried-up fountain. He embraces me with one arm, and I’m lost next to him. He is gray-haired and corpulent. He has a mocking look. And behind us there are towering white marble angels.
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Anna Schlegel has a degree in philosophy. She was Securities trader before the recession. The last ten years she has been involved in off-market private transactions as a middleman in Moscow. Anna lives in Novi Sad, Serbia.
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