“The players’ money, of course, never reached actual trading desks – they just placed bad bets, and Lucco pocketed their losses…” – SEMMANT
The industry of ensnaring naïve souls, so trusting in their Lilliputian avarice, blossomed into a magnificent flower. So many of them landed in the net – from everywhere, from all over the world. Our computer files were checkered with the flags of different nations, which Lucco, just for fun, used to mark the names of new victims. Almost all of them ended up the same – regardless of their cleverness or determination – and roughly in the same amount of time. I knew some were losing the last money they had, but I didn’t pity them one bit; this was their personal choice.
Mancini’s companies, with their feelers spread all over the World Wide Web, grew by leaps and bounds. He even took on a staff of employees – for the first time in his life, he admitted – rented an office, hooked up phones and fax machines. Cute girls chattered away in five languages, retired salesmen with a financial past signed on for work again, fooling more heads day after day. The players’ money, of course, never reached actual trading desks – they just placed bad bets, and Lucco pocketed their losses. If any happened to win, he would honestly give them the earnings, and then find a reason to push them out of the game. Everything ran like clockwork. And maybe it’s still running now – I wouldn’t be surprised if Mancini has already gotten as rich as Croesus.
He needed me to set up a new lure. The trading machine, as it was called, was an automatic market player, a smart program for making money around the clock without any hassles or sleep breaks. Its role was to give the desperate ones some last elusive hope, and to inspire shy beginners to be bold and daring, make them believe in themselves. Lucco saw good prospects in this and offered me generous pay. He just wanted everything to be done fast, even if it was rushed and slapdash. We squabbled a little but came to a compromise – between the real and the ephemeral, between a firm base and a foundation of air… —SEMMANT
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