The Case of Killian Hill vs The State iii

Setting: offices of Giles & Jerico Actuarial Practice

Personae:
Killian Hill, high net worth individual – client of Giles & Jerico
Giles Goldstein, personal wealth manager

If I didn’t have to worry about admission of guilt, I swear I’d be telling it like it is – just like Cornelius Vanderbilt did, when he said: “What do I care about the law? Haven’t I got the power?”

You do indeed hold power, in the finest of hours… I don’t doubt it. But as Montesquieu expressed it: “Laws are the necessary relations that are derived from the nature of things.”

I’m more in favour of his separatist views on political power…

Right, got it!

Anyway, shall we get straight to it? You said you’d rather we meet to discuss instead of a Skype call… I’m here, fill me in!

See, I needed to give you an update on what we spoke about when last you were here, and I figured it’d best we didn’t discuss the matter over the air…

Right! You got my full attention, let’s…

I know I promised to fix things and find a way to avoid the hefty taxes… and I was making good progress on it, the right, legal way of course, but in light of the recent Mossack Fonseca crisis, I’m considering changing course since there has been much talk of tax avoidance and unethical practice which has created a lot of undesirable scrutiny and I feel it’s just way too risky to be associated…

Giles, I get all that… those diety damned Panama Papers… absolutely bad timing, I agree. So what are our other options?

I’m looking into it.

Is that it? Because that’s not good enough… need I always remind you that I’m paying a lot of money… you said it yourself… you promised…

That I admit and trust me, I’m working on it… may take a little longer but I’ll get it sorted before the next tax cycle.

You’ve been saying that a lot lately, Giles. Why must I continue to take your word for it? This is disappointing.

I’m doing the best I can under the circumstances. I’m trying my utmost best… we go a long way, Mr Hill… haven’t I always delivered?

I guess…

You’ve got to trust me, but you need to be forthcoming… you also made a promise in exchange – that you’d let me know everything regarding your finances, but doing my due diligence recently, I did pick up on an undeclared transaction for gold and silver coin purchases – way above the once-off transaction limit… you must have forgot to alert me… which means I now have to adjust the books to resolve…

Oh, yes… that! But you know how that story goes… can you really blame me though, I got an opportunity and I took a risk. One has to have some sense of security, don’t you agree? I mean… look at the fatal mistake Venezuela recently made… don’t you think they should have rather defaulted on their debt instead of shipping all that gold to Switzerland to make those gold swaps with Deutsche Bank? The very gold they had fought so hard, just a few years ago, to repatriate to Caracas in the first place… and now look, a couple of months later – the economy has tanked – where’s the liquidity in that?

Costly error, but that’s got nothing to do with you putting us at risk….

I’m just trying to illustrate my point… don’t overstate things Giles, c’mon now… know your position.

But that’s exactly my point, I’m your wealth manager… I should be privy to any actions that will be implicating…

You’re right! I apologise…

Apology accepted but we’ll have to discuss a price…

Of course, you’ll be compensated, fully!

Are you going to bring those in for safekeeping?

I will guard the gold and silver coins myself… no harm, no danger, no injury – no need to worry. They are safely stored in my vault. I don’t need you for that. It’s this plentiful paper that I need you to take care of. If they never ended the specie currency do you honestly think your profession would even exist?

Is that a mockery? Of course, yes, I’m certain of it. You’ll always need me, as much as I do you… our relationship is very much reciprocal… like discovery and invention… one leads to the other.

Well, you’re an actuarial scientist and I’m a capitalist… and I like to think your work is more of a science and mine an art… and art precedes science… science is merely interpretation, but of course it’s still a unique kind of reasoning…

You reckon?

Believe it! But in all honesty I do need you. I have no interest in leaving my currency in the hands of speculators otherwise I’d just dump it into the market and let it be at the mercy of supply and demand. That’s not what I want, thus I came to you Giles. I think I stand a better chance entrusting it to a manipulator like yourself… and I mean that in a respectable and noble way. But let’s get one thing clear – you’ve got to do as you promised. I can’t keep losing all that money to these ludicrous tax-the-rich schemes, you got it?

Loud and clear, you don’t have to spell it out. No need for semaphore or alphabetic code – I’ll figure something out. But ain’t it funny that your art needs my science to beat the mechanism that made it possible in the first place… free market as your lot like to call it…

The only thing standing in the way of my art flourishing is the State… and get it right, depending on the persons, a single market could be viewed as varying in degrees of freedom, so the definition of a free market has never been objective, especially seeing as there are always some regulations in place supporting the operational system, not to mention the trading restrictions… so whether or not we choose to acknowledge it, economics is always political!
 

© Heath Muchena, 2016

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