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Accetto Chudi

Sunday March 27th

by Matteo F.M. Sommaruga



I am quite tired this evening, since I have been initiated to take part in an excursion outside of Zurich. We had to pack as if we had to escape, as if the Russian army had won the war and were approaching Zurich. It already happened in the time of Napoleon and it could happen again. Such a lot of effort to hike on the mountains around, not because of lack of proper facilities, but because of the high prices of food wherever you go. My new friends, activists of the Juso, proudly state that in Switzerland a waiter is so well paid that few people would like to take a different job such as carpenter or taxi driver. I do not see the link, because taxi fares are also quite expensive, not to mention if you need to install an electric camp in your apartment. We took the road of the zoo, marching by the headquarters of the FIFA, an astonishing product of capitalism. We briefly discussed scandals in that kind of sport, that was already quite popular in 1917. The discussion was however easily diverted on the most recent financial scandals. The Juso friends, a couple of nice local graphic designers in love with several idiosyncratic dogmas, wanted at any cost to take part in a huge gathering claiming the end of capitalism. They had been disappointed to find out that I was not so pessimistic or, from their point of view, optimistic. By mainly caring only about power and the most efficient way to get it, I have never desperately sustained any kind of ideology. I created the ideology, to funnel my propaganda. For or against capitalism, it is just a detail that was particularly convenient at that time. It is quite convenient now as well, since it is not easy at all to decently survive in the capitalist world. Most of the inhabitants of Switzerland, possessing citizenship or not, are fighting on a daily basis against bills that are at first sight unsustainable. If not for the purse of a millionaire who, on the contrary, does not really need to live in the country. The only advantage of really rich people to settle here is a good level of police security. That is to be appreciated because neither the czars, nor Stalin ever achieved such a total control of the territory. Perhaps only the clever Fouché managed to conceive such an omnipresent police control, but even he hardly dared to put his plans in action. Indeed any tyrant needs an escape route or an emergency plan. Being too punctilious to leave no chance to your opponents does not help when your fortune is turning. The Juso does not understand all of this. They love, or at least they claim loudly, human rights and any possible mix of good feelings, but they do not love power. That is their weakest point. Perhaps, once they grow up, or as soon as they get elected in a prominent role, they understand how divine it is to exercise the control over the private life of anonymous, unknown men. Perhaps I am sadic, for sure I am cynic. However I have recognised my very same vice in the eyes of many grown up socialists and this makes me much more at my ease. I have not already understood whether I need to manipulate the mind of my companions. I need to trust them at first, before dispensing with my poisonous gift. The walk of today had been a good way to deeper psychanalyse them. I will however recollect the day also for the splendid landscape as the sunshine on my face. I do not forget that I am a mummy and, when still alive, a master of plots and deceptions anxious to ignite the Revolution, to get the Power. I hope I have not changed meanwhile, lying one hundred years in that mausoleum in the Red Square.



The art dealer


From Cambridgeshire to Marrakech, the impact of high temperature is quite evident and I am suffering from the absence of air conditioning due to the stress of the town. I am imagining a future where energy production will not be an issue anymore and it will be possible to cover whole cities under a huge structure of glass, wood or any other kind of material. The inhabitants will enjoy a stress free weather, perhaps even better than air conditioning, independently from the place where they live. Luckily local architects have managed to make the interior of the buildings relatively comfortable, even those devoid of modern technology and built with traditional techniques. I had fun during these days. My best friends, mostly traders and art dealers, joined me for a week-long escapade. My dad back in Ireland recommended that I not mess up with local rulers or with the police, but he knows there is no need for such caveats. Moreover there is at least one of us with good relationships with local authorities and on good terms even with the army. In the worst case, bribes will always work and Britons are quite skillful in that. Beside having fun, I had a strong need to improve my Network, especially after the most recent failures in my hands. I was going to close a couple of good transactions, two paintings signed by David Hockney, the very same who made my fortune. These kinds of works are worth cash nowadays, since they can be easily put on the market. Not in my case, despite all my best effort. It is just because my colleagues had not been clear enough about the transport costs. That is quite unusual for an organization like mine. The name of the seller is not a British one, but this does not count anymore. However everybody knows that Zurich is outside England and does not belong to a British dominion or protectorate. Unless the financial crisis has not recently changed the borders of the old Continent. I do not like to call it Europe, because it reminds me of Germany and all the efforts that my grandad did to fight that country. Perhaps my grandad as well, as well as my father, since the IRA has always relied on German support. They branded my father, and the heroes of the Red Hand, as fascists, but they were fighting the political heirs of Eamon De Valera. Someone who was at first not totally Irish and the only one in the world to telegraph his condolences for the death of Adolph Hitley. Muslims were also, sometimes, sympathizing for the Nazis, but I cannot afford to quarrel with them. Since the opening of the Louvre re-edition in the Middle East, I have noticed a massive interest of Arab investors in the modern art market. Even the figurative one. What is really important to them, it is the quality of the investment and the return that it generates after the expenses. I have never clearly understood whether they actually understand or enjoy their acquisitions, but for sure I can enjoy their generous allowances and all the boni I have received by trading with Abduls, Ahmeds and Mohammeds.



The consultant


In a week everything that could have happened in twenty years materialized itself. The bankruptcy of a big bank, in Europe deemed big enough not to fail. The crack was followed by a fast acquisition, now the merge is triggered and meetings are already scheduled to decide who is the good and who is the bad. I perceived it by looking at my colleagues, the internal ones I mean. Most of them did remote work till yesterday and never set a step in the building where I am currently spending nights and days by frantically set up optimistic decks. They must at least appear so, that is the recommendation I received from above. The change can be also perceived by looking around in the canteen or in the park place. Both of them, just two weeks ago completely desert, are full again as if we had come back to 2008. The crisis is not so deep, since there is no increase of operations at the ATMs. I managed to get that KPI from friends of friends. Most probably I am the only one with such a question in mind. The other one is whether to speculate against the Swiss Franc. It is never advisable to get influenced by the headlines in the newspapers, especially when you have to invest your money, but the current circumstances constitute an exception. My boss called me yesterday, setting up a special meeting with the whole of the team. He has assured all of us that the consultancy programme shall not be suspended. I felt relieved only after the official call, when he confidentially provided me with a couple of contacts among the internals. On the contrary to what I feared, there should be a temporary increase in the demand of merge and acquisition consultants, as well as of IT experts. It is now my duty, beside the governance of the project, to look for new business opportunities. You never know how to interpret such propositions. It can also be a trick to get rid of me, if it is quite improbable to sell anything and for sure I will need to explain the reasons for the missed goals in front of the HR. I know I never have to feel so pessimistic everytime something unexpected disrupts my plans. Let’s interpret the task as a good chance to climb up the ladder of the internal hierarchy. Colleagues all around me are also moving frantically. More than one is continuously taking phone calls from headhunters who, in the end, are perhaps offering similar positions by the same clients. Sometimes even with some company. Head hunters do not really care about professionality, the only relevant fact to them is the signature of a contract or the resignation before having received their own fee. Everything else is acceptable, according to their own mindset. The sum is going to sleep and my eyes ache after so many hours in front of the screen, but I was aware I could not stay on the bench forever. This could have been an option, provided I win the national lottery or get married to a rich man. To discover that I inherited millions due to a distant relative whose existence never occurred to me, it would be sad and against my principles. I enjoy Disney movies because nobody dies. I love them even more, since they have become so nice and politically correct. Perhaps it is the reason for which I love to work in the financial services. By us everything is also so distinguished and polite. Most of all, Banks never die, they merge or get saved by state intervention.

social social social print

In Frankfurt like Heidi, in Zuerich like Lenin

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