Like most Americans, when the stranger had a few beers his voice tended to get louder. Those assigned to watch him appreciated this fact and the regular schedule he kept -- it made it easier to compile their reports. However they were puzzled that the American seldom spoke of politics when drinking but instead tended to ramble on about economics. "Why is he always talking about the dollar?" they asked each other. "We spend Euros and KM here."
And although the old communist way of staying within the lines still prevailed to a certain degree in those late stages of the old order, new pressures had recently emerged that meant it was wise to show some initiative in sensitive matters. The New World Order had insisted the police forces of the Federation and The Republic be united and the federal capital kept increasing the pressures on their Slavic brethren for intelligence. One thing led to another and it was decided a new file would be opened.
The new police graduates from the Academy were supposedly beyond approach and temptation. One of the up and comers was seconded to an old hand and thus a new "economic intelligence unit" was formed.
"What do we do?" the youngster asked the old hand. "Thank our respective saints for this assignment and draw some expense money," was the gleeful reply. The old hand knew the game and immediately arranged to have coffee with his former intelligence boss, who since the war had found himself in the Tax Directorate overseeing many important matters.
The tax man nodded sagely upon hearing about the capital's intelligence demands and the subsequent plan. "I have met the American and believe he may have some knowledge on these matters. This could be a tremendous coup for the Republic."
The tax man thought the American an amusing sort and on occasion would take a glass of white wine with him at one of the better restaurants. It was not hard for him to make arrangements for lunch at the Castle with the American a couple days later -- and eventually turn the conversation away from football and women to the fate of the dollar.
"Don't get me talking about economics," the American said, "or I'll ramble on about it all day." Which is exactly what the tax man knew would happen. The file said the American had been in Asia a couple years earlier with one of the multinational banks so surely he would glean a nugget or two. "Why not," the tax man replied, "the bottle is still half full."
"We are going to have a crash," the American said. "It will be worldwide and have much more impact than 1929 -- and it is coming soon. The bad news is there is nothing we can do to stop it -- the good news is that the Republic should sustain this depression better than most of Europe. The very isolation the New World Order wraps around the Republic should act as a barrier when the paper markets crash and the dollar plummets. People here have food, water and wood -- and are tougher than in the rest of Europe."
The tax man asked, "You are serious my friend? Surely this is not possible in the twenty-first century." The American just nodded his head. "I am absolutely certain -- just think back to early last decade and what happened to the Yugoslav Dinar. Now realize the American dollar is leveraged fifty times higher."
That evening the tax man had a very smooth raki with the old hand and the operation was born. After the customary polite argument about whose grandfather had made the best plum brandy, they began to ferment a blend of a different ilk...
Hooray!!! Mr. Fusion has been reactivated in the Balkans Operational Theater!
Thank you Jomini for being such an acute observer of Mr. Fusion. Though your prose makes Mr. Fusion appear as something of a lush!
It's going to take a while to research the content of your post Jomini, like where Tavita is, but who's complaining!
However, we do have a prediction here; a dramatic crash of the US dollar! However, the underlying reasons for such a crash are left unsaid. Though I am satisfied that the US will weather the storm; it's implied that Europe will not! With a global economic crash in the making, I would think "millions to die in third world war!"
Here's hoping "The Candidate" can be successful in the next election cycle and stave off such a dire calamity!