Thursday, January 10, 2013

1/10/13

A Change of Address
By Ken Poyner


I have wanted to sell my slot on the station’s planet side for some time. I’m tired of the payments. I’m tired of the taxes. I’m tired of the zoning ordinances.

I can rent a half-day berth on the interior, let some landlord worry about all the minutia of property ownership. I work a full twelve hours each day, so I can split a place with someone who works an opposite shift. We might pass in the hallway.

The problem is that the Nanurian three doors down holds my mortgage. I can’t sell the place without satisfying that mortgage. I took it out with the station credit bank as a standard payments-over-time instrument three years ago. It got set free on the commodities market, was picked up by a consortium of investment miners, then ended up on the table in a card game on the Pluto 9 station. I think the Nanurian took it for services rendered one week in route on a battered ore liner, limping with a lonely crew into the asteroid belt ore processor plants to off-load.

But it does not matter. She has my mortgage and if I want to sell, I have to settle it.

But it gets more complicated. Seems she has taken out insurance on the full term return on the loan and counter balanced it with insurance on the early pay off penalties. Then she securitized those and sold the whole bundle as an investment product to a consortium who broke it, with others, into shares and now part of my promise to pay is owned by a Eudorian on the other side of the galaxy whose primary business is owning a Fiztick brothel tucked into the interdimensional shift between two gravity reclamation projects.

Ownership of my eight by twelve by six home, with a prime forty-two square inch window on the planet below, is stretched across thirty habitable systems; in the portfolios of eighteen governments, four welfare societies and thirty-one investment unions; and who knows how many private profit greed-warrior clans. The problem now is back value: the worth of the property is in part set by the expectation of returns on the investment quality of the insurance on the investment risk in the insurance bundles on the securitized underlying insurance contract on the investment return discounted by the risk of under-performance on the projected returns, minus prepayment guarantees, on the property itself.

So, if I tell the Nanurian that I want to satisfy my mortgage, she is going to contact all those investment brokers, who are going to contact all the major index agents, and, instantly, what I can get for my slot is going to fall: both as an aggressive market reaction to investment profit risk, and as an actual redistributed risk value against the proposed following market offering of the new owner’s mortgage.

So, I came up with the plan.

I take out rental income insurance on the property, basing the face value of the insurance innocuously on the going rates in this quadrant, for a home on this type of station, with a prime slot, planet side. I sell the insurance to the Nanurian, who flashes red and orange with the idea of being doubly indemnified, and hopefully offers me one of the free ports she has open on Thursday now with the shipping out of the Fallorian concessions manager who paid her good money for her thoughtfully divided attentions. Either way, the Nanurian then gets one of her regular customers to buy an option on the insurance, betting the return against risk is going to go down and thus drop the investment value. He then sells the potential difference in value to an investment firm that takes its own insurance against the projected margin, and sells that insurance to a mining company in one of the unnamed asteroid belts around one of the unnamed suns stuck in an unpopulated galactic arm. That mining company uses the financial instrument as paper collateral on a straight cash loan to buy face value stock in an atmosphere manufacturing company that holds a four percent interest in a mining equipment company, hedging that investment with an interest in transmutation technologies, insuring the risk with a grounding in insurance stocks against mortgage payment profits that themselves are backed by a percentage lien on the underlying insured mortgage properties.

When the actual recall value of the mortgage itself gets below one percent of the profit stream in the products securing the mortgage, I set myself up in the market to sell short by missing one mortgage payment, and watch the interdependencies fall back on one another like the million offspring march of the Proximus Thule elongated fractal frace.

So, I rent, on paper, to a Thelurian miner, who would not fit into the place even during his thin cycle, for a pile of cash, a six-eyed wink, and a purely innocent belief on his part that somewhere in the stream he is going to share in the profits.

And then I knock on the Nanurian’s door next Thursday, with a bottle of Tellurian champagne, a lace crusted safety tether, and a change of address.


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Ken Poyner has been around the small presses and web for far too many years. He googles himself to see if he is having any impact and then wonders why finding himself there would indicate progress. He goes to the mall to worry about the future of literature.


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