Let’s Read Hostile Intent ch. 48-49

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We haven’t met Hope Gardner or her son in a while, have we? What’s she up to?

Meeting up with Danny as it turns out, to try and hire him to find Emma. During a conversation in which the point of view randomly jumps back and forth between them, they bond over their shared grief and the point is hammered home that Hope is now stronger and more powerful than ever before. Danny insists that Emma is dead, but Hope counters that she knows her daughter it still alive through the power of Being A Mother, and on a related note there’s lots of guff about how much STRONGER Hope is now that she’s out protecting her children. You know, the usual.

After insisting that he won’t help them for a whole Danny abruptly decides actually he is going to help them, and in order to do that he needs Devlin. Problem: he hasn’t answered three phonecalls from Devlin, which means (according to the absurdly complicated rules that govern these character’s professional lives) that he’s officially been cut off from any more Branch 4 operations. Solution: go to the secret underground spy-office that Danny apparently has and HACK until he finds Devlin’s real identity. You know, the identity that is so top secret only one person in the entire world besides Devlin knows what it is, and which doesn’t appear to actually exist on any computer or network but Danny’s going to try anyway. He might as well, since in the world of this book hacking generates information from thin air.

After some waffling Danny manages to reverse-engineer the whatever and gets in contact with Devlin, who tells him about something going down on board the Clara Vallis. Danny, Hope and Rory all tear off for the Grand Finale that’s still a disappointing number of chapters away.

MEAWHILE Skorzeny is busy making billions and billions of dollars by capitalising on the recent terror attacks in ways that aren’t described very well. Some very helpful commentors a few posts back went a bit into the economic side effects of terrorist attacks, so let me ask those same people if this sounds plausible: the worldwide economy (not just in the US, but everywhere) is being so badly effected that Skorzeny is able to buy whole companies for ten cents on the dollar”; he secures a majority interest in General Electric, one of the biggest companies in the world by some metrics, after their stock falls to “depression-era levels”. A bit later on Skorzeny’s henchman off-handedly mentions the possibility of taking complete ownership of Citicorp and Bank of America within less than a day.

I just find it hard to believe that the economy would be that badly effected by a school hostage crisis and two bombings. And if it was, why are none of Skorzeny’s companies being hit as well?

But never mind all that, Skorzeny is being creepy and weird because Amanda Harrington hasn’t called him after he raped her. She’s probably busy drugging the twelve year old girl she kidnapped, Skorzeny.

(These characters are very subtle and well realised, in case you couldn’t tell)

Skorzeny acts decadently sophisticated and European for a while, then Charles gets in touch from London. The Plan is ready to proceed, but first Charles has to kill Devlin. You see, Charles wants to kill Devlin super bad due to that whole incident in Paris we heard about earlier, but Skorzeny also wants to kill Devlin super bad, for reasons that aren’t quite revealed just yet.

Skorzeny also tells Charles to tell Amanda to bring “the insurance policy” (Emma) to his country house in France, which prompts Charles to have a sudden fit of paranoia and wonder whether he knows about Charles and Amanda sexing it up behind his back. The chapter ends with all of the villains actively contemplating double-crossing each other in one of those he-knows-that-I-know situations where they’re putting on a front of still working together, which is mildly entertaining.

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5 thoughts on “Let’s Read Hostile Intent ch. 48-49

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read Hostile Intent ch. 50-52 | Doing In The Wizard

  2. Ian

    I was giving Walsh the benefit of the doubt earlier, assuming that the bad guy was “making money” simply by having advance market knowledge and using shorts, which is plausible. But if “making money” refers to taking controlling interests in S&P 500 constituent firms, then no, this is all just more nonsense for dramatic effect.

    To put it in perspective… the 2008 crash, considered by many to be the worst financial crisis in history that then led to the worst recession in history (from a US perspective at least), saw Bank of America (ticker BAC) go from around 50 to 5 dollars per share at its lowest point, because it was a financial firm in the midst of a financial crisis. It was an extremely rare “perfect storm” situation that saw the shares drop to 10 cents on the dollar; there’s no way that any major company is going to be hit this hard when you’re faced with a boat blowing up, a school hostage crisis, and a missile attack (relatively small economic threats compared to a recession).

    Additionally, while these events will all put downward pressure on the market, nobody in the financial world is going to start divesting their GE shares en masse because of them. For the villain to obtain controlling stakes in major companies other stockholders must first sell their shares – it’s a zero sum game. And since big companies often carefully issue their shares so that no one party can ever have more than 50 percent (outside the company, that is), it’s likely that any number of terrorist attacks could ever lead to an outsider gaining control. A terrorist attack isn’t going to cause the Bank of America board of executives to all ditch their shares and quit their jobs overnight…if anything they’d wait for the shares to dip and then buy more, gaining the company a larger controlling interest at a discounted price.

    New York city have to be nuked or something before you saw this kind of widespread share damage across all the different market sectors. And in this case, as you mention, the villain’s own companies would be hurting just as badly, because they presumably rely on the market that the guy IS TRYING TO IMPLODE.

    Reply
    1. braak

      Not to mention, a lot of these stocks are controlled by equally-savvy investors. Warren Buffet, for example, isn’t going to start ditching stock in Coca Cola just because a terrorist attack has caused a temporary market panic. If anything, he’d probably start buying MORE shares, which would end up driving the prices back up.

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Let’s Read Hostile Intent ch. 46-47 | Doing In The Wizard

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