Run on The Neopoint: Part Two
Mr. Keiths couldn't believe his eyes. He had always considered the Stock Market to be a very safe place, and in actuality there were very few crimes that had ever occurred there. At the very least, there were very few crimes like outright robberies. Whitecollar crime, on the other hand, was almost a daily part and parcel of the Stock Market.
Mr. Keiths gulped. He kept a Ylanas Blaster in his coat everyday just for situations like this. But today, today of all days, he had been in a rush and didn't take it. After all, for the last six years he had never needed it.
Just my luck, he thought. He saw that the Neopet was a Pirate Bruce, and needless to say he didn't seem very pleased.
"Are ye the one? The one who's been shortin' dubloons?" he asked.
"Look, if it's money that you want-" Mr. Keiths said, he wanted to say that most of the neopoints were kept in the company safe, to which he did not have the key so the robber wasn't going to get anything. He of course did not want to tell the Pirate Bruce about the suitcase full of dubloons.
"I don't want yer money," the Pirate Bruce snapped. "Now tell me, you're the Green Bruce who's been shorting dubloons, right? Who was the one who's been selling the most out? Who?"
"Wha-what?" Mr. Keiths stuttered.
The Pirate Bruce Growled. "Was it a Professor James Chadwick?"
Mr. Keiths' face froze, and that was all that the Pirate Bruce needed to confirm his suspicions. The Pirate Bruce then feigned an attack on Mr. Keiths, who fell backwards out of his chair. By the time he had gotten to his senses, he saw that his assailant had run away.
"Guards! Guards!" he shouted.
In the end, when all was said and done, nothing really happened. The guards came, but they were too late. The Stock Market was closed for an hour while the Chia Police were called. The only information that they could get was that they had seen a Pirate Bruce hurry out of the building, but they didn't know his further whereabouts. Mr. Keiths helped them make a sketch of him, and that pretty much ended the investigation unless he was spotted again.
Of course, the incident appeared on Neovision and most of the major newspapers, and so security at the Stock Market had to be tripled to ensure investors that they wouldn't be robbed. Neopets were now being checked for weapons before they were allowed in, and there were twice as many guards patrolling the place.
Mr. Keiths was just glad that the dubloons hadn't been stolen though. They were still worth still over four million neopoints, though they were much less than what they had originally been worth.
Unfortunately, he had forgotten to mention to anyone that the robber had mentioned Professor Chadwick, as it had slipped his mind. He did however, remember it for an instant on his way home and stopped to go tell the police, but then thought better of it. He was already late in going home, and he wanted nothing other than to go lie in bed and leisurely watch Neovision.
He thought better of the idea and went home, and never thought about it again. After all, no one would try and harm Professor Chadwick, would they?
* * *
Professor Chadwick spent the next few days going over various financial investments and other research works. He had heard about the Stock Market robbery on Neovision, which had caused the NEODAQ Index to drop by 100 points, but it was a small blip and it quickly gained back the loss within two days just like he had expected, and that allowed him to pocket some extra cash by buying when the market had been down.
As you've probably guessed by now, Professor Chadwick had an enormous fortune that he had made for himself through investing and other ventures, such as writing books. Most of them were non-fiction, but his most famous and widely-ready book was one titled Run on the Neopoint. It was a novel involving an incident in which the neopoint suddenly lost value and it described the chaos that ensued. He had just written it as a past-time and hadn't given the book much thought, but it turned out to be a tremendous success and sold millions of copies. When it had been adapted for the Neovision, some people had seen it and thought that the neopoint had really collapsed!
Professor Chadwick chuckled to himself as he remembered that.
However, despite the huge amount of income all of this provided, Professor Chadwick didn't really live that extravagantly. Why? The reason was that over nine-tenths of his money went towards funding the Neopian Economic Research Institute.
Chad considered the Institute to be his life's crowning achievement. It was a building that had a purpose that no other entity in Neopia had: it tracked all sorts of economic data, recorded them for public use, and then used it to draw conclusions about the state of affairs and such. The Institute tracked the prices of over one thousand items on a daily basis, as well as over ten thousand more that were currently being researched on. It also made reports on an estimated inflation rate and tracked just how much things were getting more expensive, the gross outputs of all economies, wage increases, and so much more.
It was the first thing of its kind in all of Neopia, and Chad wanted that its data be put to good use. That was why he would never allow a private company to fund it, for they would either manipulate the data for their own profit or charge for it. That was why he had to fund the whole thing himself.
But the thing was, it was expensive. He had to hire a lot of staff, pay taxes on the building's land, pay for other resources like water, and all of that cost a hefty amount. He had been trying to get the city to fund the Institute, like it did the National Neopian Library but not many people appreciated the Institute's full value.
He had just arrived at the building while thinking about the expenses. The building was a rather simple, yet large as well as nice on the eyes to look at. Chad's eyes certainly brightened whenever he saw it.
He walked in to see Monica there, who spent a lot of time at the Institute as it was an excellent place to carry out research and to work on her thesis.
"Anything new?" Chad asked.
"Well, there is something Professor," Monica said. "I just heard that Prince Jazan and Princess Amira announce that both Qasala and Sakhmet will allow importing of water from Meridell to drink."
Chad stopped walking and considered the news. Water was very expensive in the Lost Desert, and from the Institute's figures the average family there spent over two-tenths of their income on water, while the average across Neopia was only one-thirtieth. For a long time though, the Lost Desert had been closed to outside trade, but they had apparently thought that they could at least import water from other lands to make it more affordable.
"So, what else have you found out?" Chad asked.
"Based on our expectations on how the price of water will fall, we expect that Qasala and Sakhmet together will gain over ninety million neopoints extra in savings thanks to spending on water a year," Moncia said.
A wide grin blossomed on Chad's face. This was economic news, big economic news. "Put an entire department on the two cities. Let's analyze all their data, and see how this all plays out."
Chad would probably be able to write at least three research papers based on the new data that would come in. Not that he viewed research papers as some sort of medals, but to retain his professorship he was required to make publications in order to stand out as a researcher.
But he could attend to that later.
"Professor, I'm halfway through with my thesis," Monica said. "I've written up a quick summary on what it is about, would you mind going over it once?"
"Certainly," Chad said and walked towards his office. Monica handed him a draft of her thesis and Chad began flipping through it. Like most academic texts, the language was useless complex, partly because of the level of research and partly just so it would look like a good research paper. In a simple nutshell though, her thesis was about how the sales in the Hidden Tower and the gross output of the Darigan Citadel were somehow inexplicably tied together, and contained various proofs and theories trying to explain the connection.
"It seems to be in order," Chad said after twenty-five minutes and Monica left. The meeting reminded him though that tomorrow he had to give a lecture, and he needed to prepare.
After all, Chad always wanted his lectures to be good and leave a great impression on what could be the future's next big economists. He started preparing, and the next day and the lecture came quickly by.
To be continued...