“Hm, it looks like people who leave their gold here are still using their gold certificates to trade?”
Carter responded straight away,
“That’s right. We don’t care what they do outside. All we have to do is hand out gold coins when a certificate proving that they have a deposit here is shown,”
“By the way, what happens if someone comes in with a fake gold certificate? Wouldn’t that be a problem?”
Unlike modern society, there was the power of magic here to achieve everything one set their minds to, which is why he asked.
Carter smirked when Rockefeller expressed his doubt,
“That’s why we need this,” Carter pulled out something that looked like a magnifying glass.
It was an artefact. A magic tool..
“This is a special identification artefact made by the Lyon Guild. It’s made to find forged gold certificates.”
The smile on his face showed his strong confidence,
“Have you ever heard of Sinclair? Though it might be a family, a country bumpkin wouldn’t have business knowledge,”
“Of course I know, I don’t think there would be anyone who doesn’t know the Sinclair family,” Rockefeller replied,
The Great Family of Mages, Sinclair.
There was no way Rockefeller didn’t know the family whose power could rival even that of a country.
‘If I had woken up as a member of the Sinclair family, I probably could have been living without any worries right about now,’
“Yes, since it’s so famous, it seems even a country bumpkin like you knows their name. Anyways, it’s an artefact made from a great mage from there – specially made for our Lyon Guild. So no matter how mischievous a mage might be, they wouldn’t be able to outsmart this artefact,”
Rockefeller once again expressed his doubt,
“So what if a mage from Sinclair tried to play tricks on you?”
“Well…that-” Carter shook his head,
“That’s not going to happen. In the first place, the Sinclair family is already so rich, so would that ever be possible?”
“There’s always the 1 out of 10,000 possibilities, though,”
“You’re right, the possibility is there – but why would people who lack for something come to the periphery of the Empire and play such pranks? And then there’s the family reputation – who would do such a thing that would disgrace their family name if it was found out?”
Leaving behind the ‘what ifs’, Rockefeller shook his head to himself.
It was about being stabbed in the back by a trusted axe.
Even the Sinclair family, one of the wealthiest families in the world, was not rich enough to buy the whole world.
‘Was it around the time they had that war with Tevez – the Great Swordsman Family – that their gold coins dried up?’ No matter how rich a family may be, money would naturally be lacking if they fought with a family of similar wealth.
‘There’s no one you can trust in the world.’
Carter, who had finished explaining about the gold deposit, was about to start explaining the process of loaning gold coins out.
“And the last part of the job is about getting interest on the gold coins I loan out. A month’s interest is 6% of the gold coins borrowed. 1 Talent is 32 Shillings, so there are 2 shillings of interest added each month.”
“It’s not exactly 2 shillings, is it?” (It’s 1.92)
“That’s right, but make a rough estimate of 2 shillings. There are so many idiots around who don’t even know how to count – I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone raise issue with this,”
A monthly interest rate of 6% was still considered pretty high.
‘As expected, interest sure is powerful – to think it was 6% a month,’
Such high-interest rates were a burden to the borrowers, on the contrary, they were a means of making a lot of money from the perspective of those who were lending.
But it wasn’t like it was guaranteed that those who borrowed would pay the interest fully and on time every month.
‘Lending is a risky business.’ What would happen if the guy who borrowed money from you didn’t pay you back? These issues also needed to be considered, so goldsmiths like Carter could not put the interest rate too low.
You have to prepare for a bad debtor. The 6% probably wasn’t a random number. It was most likely calculated, taking losses from bad debtors and profits into account. Still, it seemed a little high.
Not that he would refuse it.
(T/N – For reference, a high interest on a credit card for people with bad credit is about 29-35% APR – about 2-3% a month – so yeah, it’s pretty high)
Carter continued his explanation,
“Even if they return the gold coins they borrowed in one day. They must still pay one month’s worth of interest. It’s one month of interest added when they borrow the money. And if it takes them one month and two days to return the money, then they would be paying for two months of interest no matter what – do you understand?”
“Yes, I’ll keep that in mind,”
Carter smoothed out his beard,
“If you do business here, you’ll find yourself facing a lot of unsavoury truths – but I don’t lend gold coins to any cow or dog who walks in the door like those bastards in Lyon, so it hasn’t been any big problems so far. In Lyon, if people don’t pay back the money, they go as far as using thugs and gangsters to get the money from them,”
“Then what do you do, Ajusshi? If the other person says they have no money, do you use gangsters too?”
“I’ve never leant money to those kinds of people, so I don’t know,”
“Have you never lost out on money?”
“Of course, there have been times where I have. But each time that happened, I became more cautious. Now, I never lend out gold coins unless it’s to a credible person like the lord. That’s why I rarely have losses,”
“But because of that, I’ve always had less money to work with so I’ve been struggling with interest. You can never become rich with that way of business. But as you said, if we secretly lay a hand on the gold coins that the customers left behind, the interest should become much more fun to see,”
The loan business was still booming as people who needed money always existed.
“If you have gold coins, what should you be worried about? Not only are there bad debtors in the world, but there are also many high-credit customers who need an immediate supply of money,”
After completing all the explanations, Carter looked at Rockefeller with a greedy smile.
“Then let’s work together to make money from today onwards. I have great hopes that things will go well.”
That’s how Rockefeller felt too.
“I, too, look forward to your kind cooperation,”
However, the dreams the two held were utterly different.
Actual money making starts with deception.
Carter didn’t know anything about the big picture Rockefeller was drawing.
‘In that sense, shall we begin our deception?’