Swamped, a novel

Every time the regulators changed something, the brokers only had to modify their model to accommodate the change, nothing more. When Eteo became a broker, the minimum seed stock price was ten cents and the minimum price of prospectus shares was fifteen, but later these were raised to twenty five cents for seed stock and forty cents for prospectus shares. The shell companies were put together in the same way. Only the numbers were different and the commission rates changed. The creation of shell companies of course depended a lot on the business cycle. In good times a lot of new companies were listed while in rough times only a few went through. Everything depended on the investing mood of the public, nothing else.
Preoccupied with these thoughts, Eteo drove to Horseshoe Bay, parked his Jaguar, and walked into the lounge of Sewell’s to find Robert already waiting. Robert O’Leary, an Irish-Canadian, also lived in North Vancouver, in fact at the top of Lonsdale Avenue in a thirty-year-old house with the most beautiful views of downtown Vancouver. He was married to Donna and they had two daughters. Robert, originally from Saskatchewan, had grown up in Vancouver and had spent most of his career working for Kodak, but with the invention of digital cameras he had found himself in an industry that was quickly going down the drain. Rather than wait to be laid off, he had taken early retirement, with a golden handshake, and started getting involved in VSE deals, slowly in the beginning and more daringly as they days went by and as he learned the tricks an investor should know.
         “Hello Eteo. How have you been?” Robert called out as soon as Eteo stepped through the door.
“I’m good, but where is the Italian stallion?” Eteo asked as he shook Robert’s hand.
As if he had heard them talking about him, Mario Messini walked in at that moment, and after shaking hands all round, they moved to a table in the lounge with the deep chairs they all preferred. A young server came quickly and took their order for brandies.

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