Invitation #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

portal

 

Letter found at the gate, pinned on a mysterious (dead) body…

Dear Miss Marples, I wish to let you know of circumstances that, hopefully, may attract your attention. You should know first of all that I am the sole successor of a once extremely wealthy Yorkshire family. My ancestors were land owners, industrialists, sea captains, officers, and our roots go back, at least, to the War of the Roses. My parents died of a tragic accident at sea when I was still in infancy. I was educated by my aunt, the last owner of the family manor called “The Invitation”. Indeed the property was the last asset left in the family after a succession of poor investments. After my aunt’s departure from this world, a few decades back, The Invitation  was left closed and unoccupied for some time, and I was recently astonished to receive a letter from a very old notary in Skipton, asking me to contact him for a matter of extreme importance related to the said property.

It turned out that some unknown and apparently extremely rich foreigner had enquired about the property owners, and wished to make an offer for it. To tell you the truth I never considered the property of being of particular interest to me personally, as my business is mainly conducted overseas, and I have only rare opportunities to visit the beautiful county. Still the notary insisted in letting me know the particulars of the query, since I was, am, the only inheritor of the family’s once great fortune. To be precise, and according to the notary, The Invitation’s value is probably close to ten million Sterling, due to the extent of the land adjacent to the manor, and, I was told, the surprisingly  good conditions of the manor itself. And here is a mystery. The notary told me that the opening offer from the rich foreigner, was about ten times as much, which for him did  not make sense. He had very little other information, but had a postal box address in Hong Kong for contacting the said foreigner. I hesitated but finally made up my mind, and wrote to the man (assuming it is a man) suggesting a meeting to discuss the business. To be honest this was as much  motivated by curiosity, than by appetite for profit. I am myself reasonably wealthy now, having gained from various speculative activities over the years.

I heard nothing for nearly two months, then I received a proposal from the would-be buyer, to meet me at the gate of The Invitation. Hence this letter to you. I have attached a computer file containing all the information communicated by the notary, and what I have drawn from my own research. I am somewhat concerned about the identity of the would be buyer and the reasons for the interest shown. The proposed meeting is in three weeks time, in the evening. I must say that the would be buyer has warned me, as you can see for the recent communication, not to contact anyone about a deal, including the Skipton notary, who denies any personal knowledge. Can you please advise me on what to do. The secrecy surrounding this worries me, but I cannot find any reason why it should.

Yours faithfully…

The Yorkshire police is still trying to identify the victim, and has engaged Miss Marples’ services to assist them.

#AtoZChallenge: April 28 – Y is for ¥

The Yen is Japan’s national currency. Its importance  in the world foreign exchange (Forex) markets reflect the size and dynamism of the Japanese economy. Japanese Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the measure of an industrial nation’s economic strength, is third worldwide, after the US and China.

Since the demise of the Bretton Woods agreement in 1973, the world’s currencies are floating, with the US Dollar (USD) succeeding so far in maintaining its position as primary reserve currency. Since the global financial crisis of 2008 that position is under increasing pressure, as the US stand accused by many of abusing their seignorage position, thus holding their creditors hostage to their ability to reduce the national debt through devaluation, and hence the downgrading of US Treasury bonds (the IOU’s held by the creditor countries, of which Japan, China, India and Saudi Arabia are leaders).

Among the world currencies the Yen, and, increasingly the Chinese Renminbi, dominate the Asian Forex markets.

The exchange rate between the US Dollar and the leading Asian currencies, Yen and Renminbi, are of crucial importance for the trade balance of those countries with America. There is a long history, since the onset of the “long downturn” in the 70’s, of a tug-of-war between the US  and leading exporting nations, Germany, Japan and now China, for which the US is the premium market.

World-class centres for Forex are located in Tokyo, Hong-Kong, Frankfurt, Chicago, New-York, Sydney and in the City of London (more exactly its extension of Canary Wharf). There the main Forex dealing institutions trade in Yen and hope soon to create Renminbi desks (so far restricted to Hong-Kong).