Margin Call


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(First read the whole thing as it is. Then read from the second paragraph onward and end with the first paragraph)

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The .35 caliber stared at him from the polished wooden desk in front of him exactly where he had left it. His tired eyes shifted focus from the nameplate on his desk which said ‘Jason R. Kramer, Managing Director’ to the glass window beyond, through which the lights from the New York City skyline went off slowly. Suddenly, the magnificent view which he used to pride himself in seemed meaningless. The numbers on his static computer screen reflected the impending misery of the hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting families whose lives had been ruined today. He could hear the deafening cries of the children whose homes were about to be shattered amidst the constant beeping of his monitor. His eyes shifted back to the .35 caliber. His shoulders drooped as if they carried the burden of his guilt. Nothing that he could do would ever suffice to stifle the cries ringing in his ears. He made his choice. A bead of sweat trickled down his wrinkled forehead and lodged itself on his glasses blurring his vision as his trembling hand reached towards the gun. It must be done.

The dull clunk of a single bullet being loaded into the .35 caliber resounded in Kramer’s ears, as fear gripped him. He had never been this close to death before. His gaze switched back and forth from the gun in his hand to the ornate picture frame sitting on his desk. It was picture of his wife Gloria with their daughter taken a couple of years before on a vacation to Hawai. He was thinking about his family. The smile on Gloria’s face resembled the one she had on her face when he had shown her a copy of the Business Week which had rated Kramer Corporation as the leading investment bank in the country. She was so proud of him that day. Would he be able to look her in the eye after what he had done today? Could he even look at himself in the mirror while thousands will be made to leave their homes as a consequence of his actions? He closed his eyes. His entire life flashed through his mind.

Starting out as a bunch of small time traders, the Kramer Sales Agency had grown into the mighty Kramer Corporation, country’s leading traders in securities and the largest investment bank network in the world. They had offices in most major cities of the world and made millions of dollars of transaction in a single working day catering to the financial needs of thousands of families. While the economy boomed, Kramer Corporation created hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide and traded in the highest rated securities well within the volatility limits, also making it the country’s most trustworthy traders in high end securities. The man behind the success of the firm was Jason Kramer, a talented ambitious graduate of the prestigious Harvard Business School, who dreamt of making it big on Wall Street. Initially working out of a small office, Kramer now oversaw hundreds of employees buying and selling securities everyday from the multi-storey headquarters of Kramer Corporation But today was different. An urgent call from the Risk Analysis Department (RAD) the previous night had caused him to get off his comfortable armchair and call an emergency Board Meeting. Intelligent number crunching at the RAD had revealed that trading at Kramer Corporation had been consistently crossing historical volatility limits over the past two weeks. The firm was at a risk of making losses equivalent to its current market capitalization which would result in possible bankruptcy or considerable downsizing of its operations. The jobs of thousands of Kramer Corporation employees were at stake. The only way out was to liquefy all its current holdings on the very same day in a bid to distribute the risk in the market. Kramer himself had gone down to the trading floor and instructed the awe-struck employees to sell like there was no tomorrow, targeting every customer and personal contact that they ever had. The effect was catastrophic. Millions of dollars worth of soon-to-be worthless securities were pushed into the market risking the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of families and flagging off a disastrous chain of events which would result in one-fifth of the country losing its home. An impending financial crisis on Wall Street, as he sat back in his plush office admiring the New York City skyline.

But today was different. An urgent call from the Risk Analysis Department (RAD) the previous night had caused him to get off his comfortable armchair and call an emergency Board Meeting. Intelligent number crunching at the RAD had revealed that trading at Kramer Corporation had been consistently crossing historical volatility limits over the past two weeks. The firm was at a risk of making losses equivalent to its current market capitalization which would result in possible bankruptcy or considerable downsizing of its operations. The jobs of thousands of Kramer Corporation employees were at stake. The only way out was to liquefy all its current holdings on the very same day in a bid to distribute the risk in the market. Kramer himself had gone down to the trading floor and instructed the awe-struck employees to sell like there was no tomorrow, targeting every customer and personal contact that they ever had. The effect was catastrophic. Millions of dollars worth of soon-to-be worthless securities were pushed into the market risking the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of families and flagging off a disastrous chain of events which would result in one-fifth of the country losing its home. An impending financial crisis

CONTEST ENTRY # 9

SHANTANU KOTHARI

FYBFM (Jai Hind College)

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Hello, Vanita Godwani, a fybms student of Jaihind College,Mumbai..my hobbies are drawing and helping needy people.I loved being a social media correspondent at www.BMS.co.in .I am interested in pursuing by post graduation and later work in a multinational company being a honest and good high post official

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Vanita Godwani
Hello, Vanita Godwani, a fybms student of Jaihind College,Mumbai..my hobbies are drawing and helping needy people.I loved being a social media correspondent at www.BMS.co.in .I am interested in pursuing by post graduation and later work in a multinational company being a honest and good high post official

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