Old Phone Surge

Once upon a time there was a smart-phone popular with business professionals. It was the first to offer a fully alphanumeric keypad and became all the rage of its day. Then one day a competitor offered a phone with no keypad at all, but a fully programmable touch screen.

The news shocked the older company but they pressed on by increasing the size of their screen to compensate. They could see the writing on the wall, but they had one huge ace up their sleeve. A trick they learned from watching ENRON tinkering with their own stock price through shell companies. They also saw how another company was moving aluminum between warehouses to manipulate prices.

The old phone company quietly waited for the right moment and was about to launch their final thrust when the recession of 2008 caused them to delay. The company scrambled to shore itself up by making the screen even bigger and touch sensitive in addition to the keypad. They had little choice because the executives were heavily optioned at a stock price that would require a full economic recovery.

A long six years rolled by, and the company was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. The "ace up the sleeve" was almost forgotten. The new phone was launched into the public with mixed reviews, but that was not the "ace up the sleeve."

The "ace up the sleeve" was a magical way of making the stock price go up suddenly by creating the appearance of high demand. The executives could sell their shares of stock and retire, but how? A subsidiary company would flush cash through other companies in the form of vouchers for the new phone.

The company posted a "surprising profit" but revenues continued to decline. The "ace up the sleeve" created only a tiny bump in the share price, enough to start a quiet offloading of shares but not much more.

Cotton Polyester Jam

Hank offloaded his last bail of cloth from the truck owned by the company that buys unsold clothing. As he approached the warehouse he pushed a button that automatically opened a huge sliding door. He dreaded this part because he knew there was only a tiny bit of room inside the building.

He feared an avalanche of moldy old bundles of clothes. Hank knew a coworker who picked up an old shirt off the ground and tried to take it home. He was immediately fired. 'What could possibly be such a big deal about an old shirt?' thought Hank. The door lurched as it slid open against the lateral pressure of massive piles of old unsold retail clothing merchandise.

Hank was able to load the very last bail of old clothing into the final empty space in the very last warehouse. He called his supervisor who called his manager who called the home office. The secretary took the message that the warehouse was full and said management will hear about it immediately.

An emergency meeting of the board of directors was held. The concern was not about the fact that inventory was maxed out but that the secret warehouse where they stored the unsold merchandise was full.

"The shareholders will finally catch on that we manipulated the stock price by creating false indicators of growth in wholesale orders to our stores! Everyone sell their shares immediately and I'll hand-write a letter and send it by postal service to our shareholders. They should figure it out in a week or so. That should give us time to make a killing on this killing."

They sold their shares and then jumped ship with their golden parachutes.

The End.