A funny story about gangsters
|Any business is worth anything if it can cipher itself, old chap! The citation on
V.I. Lenin, Full collected works, Volume 57, p. 17
Business «super cryptography»
All characters of the story are ficticious. The author does not bear responsibility for casual coincidence to real-life people, organisations and countries.
Chairman of Board of a large holding «Investor’s Dream» Mikhail Stalin held a meeting in the new many-storeyed building in a magnificent hall for negotiations. Its architecture resembled the style of Louis XVI epoch. There were originals of French painters on the hall walls. Each picture had effective illumination, the walls were upholstered by silk. There was an impression you are in a palace. In the center of the hall there was a huge table made by the carvers from Bernini wokshop. There were various roumers about its origin in the holding. Many said the table belonged to Pope Piju VII and was taken out by Napoleon during one of campaigns. A fantastically beautiful Persian handmade carpet lay on the floor. The light from a huge Murano glass chandelier hanging on the ceiling in the center of the hall poured light on the silk carpet threads and created an illusion as if gold royal lilies slided on its surface. The luxury of the hall should make everyone present admire the great power of the holding.
Michail Stalin, the stout man of forty two with magnificent head of hear and a small beard «a la rus» proudly towered at the head of the table. The meeting was held in the conditions of high security. Before the meeting employees responsible for the security of the holding had carefully checked if there were bugs in the negotiation hall premise. Active systems of suppression of radio radiating devices had been switched on. It was strictly forbidden to bring along any electronic devices, including mobile phones. The security employee standing at the entrance checked if people entering the hall had electronic devices. He used a special device that resembled a metal detector used at the customs. If he found any, he politely reminded of the order given by the chief of security service that it was forbidden to carry any electronic devices into the hall and they should be handed over to him until the negootiations were over.
There were founders of the holding present at the meeting, general, executive and financial directors as well as the chief accountant of the holding and the permanent main adviser for legal issues. Michael Stalin terribly looked at all those present. Everyone understood perfectly well the importance of the meeting. The financial crisis seriously influenced many companies of the holding and everyone waited with undisguised hope for the Chairman’s cardinal decisions to restore the lost positions.
Feeling the mood of the audience, Michael started his speech.
- Let's not stop on the obvious facts. The financial crisis has broken out in the world. Its consequences can surpass even the Great Depression. For the last few months our holding had borne considerable financial losses, redeeming actions of its companies not to cause panic among our investors. In any crisis someone is ruined, and someone is enriched.
I prefer to be enriched, but we can be ruined because we do not have the objective information on the causes of the crisis. Let's recollect Natan Rothschild well-known words «The one who possesses information, rules the world». He earned about a hundred million pounds within a day. It’s about a hundred billion dollars according to the present prices. Rothschild was the first to receive information about Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. So he specially forged it in such a manner that it caused panic at the stock exchange. When shares of English banks had gone down, he bought them up for nothing. When the truthful information on Napoleon's defeat reached the shareholders the cost of the shares Rothschild had bought promptly increased. This ingenious plan of Rothschild is the key to all financial criseses. The catalyst of any financial crisis is the information slavery of people. Someone owns enormous volume of information. He can forge favourable information so that other people lacking any information at all consider it to be absolutely authentic.
Small overview into the history of finance allows us to understand the following. The main chance to win in the crisis is not only to receive the most significant information for the growth or fall of stock quotes but also to deliver it quickly, to correctly form it for our investors and to keep it safe from competitors.
The audience approved the Chairman’s words with exclamations. They understood the Chairman intended to find out, what companies should be purchased and what should be done to make their stock rates fall down so that it would be possible to buy up them for nothing. Happy that his words produced the due impression, Michael continued:
- Now let us pass over to the practical steps we should undertake to implement our plan. The most important thing is, – with these words he rose from his armchair and turned to a huge portrait in a massive gold frame that hung behind his back. - that our great patron has no doubt that we are absolutely loyal to him.
There were legends about the wonderful portrait and its fantastic singularity in the holding. When people entered the negotiation hall and looked at the portrait they saw Napoleon's image with a crown on the head. When they came up to the portrait they saw Stalin in an officer peak-cap and when they approached the portrait characteristic features of the world famous person emerged.
- I’ll tell you how to communicate to exchange information. Communication is the most important element in our project. We should instantly react to all events to receive the maximum benefit. On the other hand, we should always remember a vigilant eye of our most malicious competitor who will also intend to take hold of our invaluable information. We had to dismiss our chief of security service. He had suggested we should use cryptotelephone for safe communication. He spent more than three hundred thousand euros on its research and come to me with a technical report stating that nobody could intercept this phone! That’s what our chief of security – now the former chief of security whom we had trusted so much - said! Unless he doesn’t know simple truth that if a crypto means developer has created an information protection device he knows a key to decipher it. Well-being of our holding should not depend on any developer of crypto devices! I have dismissed the chief of security service for his illiteracy in the field of information protection. We should create cipher means for our holding ourselves! Then we shall not depend on anybody. Now you will see my newest and absolutely safe code table for mobile phone conversations. It cannot be intercepted. I have developed it myself.
He pressed a button hidden under the table. Security service employees entered the hall and distributed code tables and user manuals. Each code table consisted of three hundred pages. The security service employees left the hall and Michael Stalin continued:
- This code table is unique in a way. A material it it is made of was developed by our chemists from «Nation Health», the wine-vodka manufacturer. In case the opponent tries get hold of these invaluable tables, it is enough just to splash any spirit containing liquid on them, and they will be instantly dissolved. I know, each trustee always has alcohol on his desktop in his office! So there will be no problem with the destruction of tables in case of emergency. The code table is subdivided into seventy three paragraphs. It allows us to freely communicate practically on any financial and industrial issue without any fear that a stranger can understand the real meaning of our conversation. I’ll give an example and you’ll see how easy it is to use it. For example, I want to speak over a mobile phone with Solomon, Chairman of Board of the bank «Hare profit», about the currency we should buy.
I’ll open paragraph 13 on page 94. Dollars are coded there by a word «to have a rest in the USA», and euros, accordingly, - «to have a rest in Europe». It seems we are talking about the vacation, but actually we are defining what currency should be bought or sold. The themes that should be used during coded conversations are specified in the instruction applied to each code table. For example, when we speak to our accounts department and lots of figures are used in the conversation, the theme of knitting woollen products is used. Bookkeepers are women in our holding. So if a stranger hears such a telephone conversation he will consider it to be a conversation of housewives knitting woollen things for the family. Actually, the figures mentioned in such a conversation and designating quantity of loops, raws etc. are the basic figures of our black accountancy. They play a decisive role in the fight for enrichment during the crisis. To put it briefly, there are more details about the use of our unique code table in the instruction. You should learn this code table by heart. The chief of security service should personally control the execution of my order!
Everybody was involuntarily compressed by the Chairman’s rigid penetrating glance and felt inexplicable internal fear. Feeling that his speech had produced an indelible impression on everyone, Michael started to speak in a softer tone.
- Twenty six mobile phones will be given to each trustee of the holding and to the main financiers and bookkeepers of the holding enterprises to strengthen the safety of communication. Labels with of the trustees’ surnames who can be communicated with the particular phone will be placed on each unit. Every three days all mobile phones will be replaced with the new ones. It’s good that in due time we have purchased the cell telephone dealer "ChinaNet". There’ll be no problem to change the phones. It’s necessary to change a SIM-card in each cell telephone every day. We’ll buy these cards under false passports printed in our printing house "Gospel-Truth". New phone numbers will be dispatched every day to each network subscriber using the code table. The holding security service will be increased by a hundred fifty persons to maintain the most advanced level of protection of the holding super confidential communication.
A whisper was heard in the hall after that statement. People exchanged astonished glances. Some were obviously frightened. Everybody understood the Owner wishes to strengthen the control over everyone in such Time of Troubles. Anyone can be dismissed, all shares due for the service can be confiacated because of a slight deviation from the orders and instructions. People were shoked by Michael's speech. They belived the Chairman could find a correct way out from world financial crisis.
- Are there any questions? - Michael Stalin asked.
Everybody kept silent. The chief legal adviser of the holding, seventy six-year old Artyom Mirzojan, was the only one to rize from his seat.
- I’ve a small remark, – he began, his voice trembling a little. - Michael always finds in time the most necessary and important decisions for the holding. The unique security system for the holding confidential communication he had created will save us during the terrible financial crisis. How did Lenin put it? He said: «Any business only is worth something, if it is able to cipher itself, old chap».
- Volume 57, p. 17, - he added after a pause. Lenin was a good judge of conspiracy, That’s why he seized power practically in a hopeless situation. That’s all I wanted to say, - he finished a bit confused.
«These old devils are so keen at proving everything ideologically! They know the citation, the volume, they even remember the number of the page! Those were the people Lenin built the conspiracy system with,» - Michael thought.
Nobody wanted to say anything, and Michael Stalin decided to close the meeting. He invited all the present for supper in his ancient castle in the suburbs of London. «Boeing 767» that belonged to the holding was ready to take off.
Solomon Ivanovich came to the office at 11 o'clock in the morning. This mad financial crisis transformed his work into a continuous nightmare. Many clients of his bank found themselves in a stalemate, especially construction companies. They had to freeze the construction due to the lack of credits. Solomon’s clients would offer anything to get the credit they needed! Invitations to the best night clubs in Moscow and plentiful entertainments. Girls from the well-known ensembles were ready to sing his favourite songs all night long. Yesterday it was difficult to resist from the invitation of the head of the construction company «Happiness Construction site» Irakliy Dzhaparidze. The credit worth two hundred million dollars was extremely necessary for his company, otherwise the giant public bath construction in the capital centre could stop, and the company should be liquidated.
The construction was very perspective due to the growth of the stream of foreign tourists to Moscow, insufficient quantity of hotels and mass propagation of Russian customs.
By five o'clock in the morning having tasted all whisky and cognac available Solomon Ivanovich and Irakly came to a mutual agreement that the bank «Hare profit» would allocate the credit of two hundred million dollars for one year under 18 % annual. Three million dollars were to be transferred to Solomon’ account in a Swiss bank. It was not the first transaction with Dzhaparidze, and Solomon dreamt of a new house near Geneva he would build using the money. This time negotiations were very difficult. Solomon Ivanovich was dead on fis feet maybe because of the hard work those days, or because of the difficult negotiations with Dzhaparidze. Solomon was a very stout man. That’s why the security guards dragged him home with great difficulty and handed him over to his considerate wife. She came to despair when she saw him in such a condition. She was afraid for his life. The last thing Solomon remembered that night was that he should be in the bank not later than eleven o'clock the next morning. So he asked his wife to wake him up in any condition not later than 09.30 a.m. Tireless Michael wouldn’t go to bed before three o'clock in the morning New York time if he hadn’t contacted on the phone all the subordinates and received a detailed report on the affairs in holding.
Solomon arrived to the bank and took out the book of codes from the safe. The security officer brought him five leather boxes with twenty six new mobile phones.
A considerate secretary Oksana saw her chief’s disastrous condition and brought him a silver tray with a crystal jar of vodka with an intriguing name "Recover", a family crystal glass with monograms of his great-grandfather, a silver jug with a cucumber brine, a head of sour cabbage on the Japanese porcelain plate and a cup of strong Brazilian ground coffee.
In forty minutes – what would he do without Oksana? - Solomon came to senses a little, but the compromising shiver in his hands still remained. He decided to drink some more to appease it. Pouring vodka in a glass he unintentionally spilt it on code tables. Suddenly they started to dissolve. Solomon was frightened and poured out a cucumber brine on them to neutralise the action of the dangerous liquid that inevitably destroyed the precious code tables. Obviously the destroying action of vodka on code tables slowed down.
Pleased with it our hero seized a head of cabbage and began to furiously wipe the code tables with it. One of the mobile phones rang. Rescueing the code tables with one hand, the Chairman of board took a mobile phone with another. He was terrified to see the label “Mikhael Stalin” on the front panel. The Boss was calling. Solomon concentrated in the last effort and vigorously answered:
- Michael, I am listening to you attentively.
Michael noted a slight trembling in the interlocutor’s voice, but thought it was Solomon’s habitual respect for the Boss.
- Listen to me attentively, Solomon. It’s the turning point now. It is necessary to act quickly and solve all matters within an hour. Water-melons are to be loaded into the flanks, two latches should be hung on a linen cord, flat-nose pliers should be broken into three pieces, – Michael started coding the messages.
Solomon still had a headache after rough night negotiations, and he could hardly perceive the code words. However he would not show it.
In five minutes Michael asked Solomon whether he understood everything. Solomon’s good manners didn’t allow him to admit he understood absolutely nothing because of a disastrous condition of his head. Therefore he vigorously reported:
- Everything is absolutely clear!
Due to some imperceptible doubt in Solomon’s tone and the extreme importance of the message Michael decided to repeat it once again. This time Solomon remembered much more code phrases. He was happy he could decode them and follow the chief’s important instruction in time. Michael heard that Solomon’s answers sounded more confident. He calmed down and said he would call again tomorrow to find out the results.
Solomon pressed the mobile phone release button and started decoding the message. He was horrified because part of the code table was irrevocably destroyed by the ruthless action of a spirit-containing liquid.
He suffered fifteen minutes more working with the coded text. Then he lay down exhausted in a huge leather armchair. He couldn’t fulfill the Chairman’s important order! There was no excuse for that! He needed not less than an hour to get to the Moscow office through the traffic jam, but the order had to be executed within an hour! After all it was impossible to call by a usual phone and find out the meaning of the code words he couldn’t decode. It was strictly forbidden to do it. The chief could surely tear his head off for that.
As it always happened in difficult situations he asked Oksana for help. This girl of rare beauty graduated from the faculty of information security of the Moscow Engineering Phisical Institute. She understood everything very quikly. Despite the age difference, she really loved Solomon and treated him with awe. He answered her with full reciprocity and always went abroad together with her to participate in important bank conferences.
Oksana quickly found the way out. Though part of code phrases was completely dissolved, she decided to apply all power of her analytical mind to restore them. She understood at once that the word "space" in the code table meant "shares" and the word "vibration" coded the word "purchase".
Then it became more difficult to decode the message. It was mentioned in the code table that "tangerines" meant "thousands". The other meanings of numbers were dissolved. By Oksana guessed that oranges followed tangerines by sizes and meant “millions”, and water-melons followed oranges. Thus it was necessary to purchase shares for two billion. The question was what currancy it was. Neither the rest in Europe nore the rest in the USA had been mentioned in the conversation with the Chairman of the holding.
- It means the transaction should be made in roubles! - Oksana declared solemnly.
Then the girl persistently asked Solomon about the words Michael had pronounced. She even poured him a small galss of vodka after she had carefully moved code tables to the other edge of the table. The vivifying liquid positevely effected Solomon’s tired brain and he gradually recollected the words from the conversation. Oksana carefully wrote them down.
But time inevitably ran forward. It was necessary to take a decision very soon. Suddenly it dawned on Oksana that the word "beaver" had been mentioned in the conversation. It meant «the city head of the construction department» in the code table.
- Eureka! – Oksana exclaimed. - We have to buy shares of the construction company!
Solomon was amazed the Chairman of Board of holding had given such an instruction. The stock value of all construction companies slid downwards at a stock exchange, and that was a purchase instruction! It seemed that old devil Michael didn’t sit in vain in America and had found out where money should be invested.
The last effort was to be made to decide shares of what construction company should be bought. There were only fifteen minutes left. Oksana made a miracle: using the most complicated conclusions about ferment of bolts, nut preservation and parrot reproduction she calculated the construction company to be purchased. It was «Happiness Construction».
It was really impossible! The day before the head of this construction company had asked for the credit worth one hundred million, or else the company would completely collapse. And today the order to purchase their shares has come. There were ony five minutes left for decision-making. Solomon didn’t dare to disobey the terrible chief and signed instructions on the purchase of shares of the construction company «Happiness Construction» for two billion roubles …
Loud headings «Black Wednesday in Russia» appeared next day on news sites. Shares of many Russian companies suddenly fell more than thirty percent. Construction companies that suffered more than 70% share devaluation within one day, were affected most of all. Incorrect purchase of shares led to huge financial losses of the holding «Investor’s Dream». The reason was that Solomon made a mistake decoding Michael’s phone message. «Happiness Construction» shares were bought instead of the shares of another company. Besides they were bought for the sum ten times bigger than the sum specified in the code message.
This purchase affected the holding financial position. Investors started massive sales of the holding shares. The competitor «Active Investor» took advantage of the situation. It purchased the controlling interest of the holding «Investor’s Dream». First of all they dismissed key managers - and then started its reorganisation.