Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Toxic Assets



Caroline Gerardo

Copyright © 2010 by Caroline Gerardo

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are fictitious. Brand names are generally available language or historic in content. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which are used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners

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I would like to thank many people, if only I could list them all.

Only God knows what spark starts a mentoring. Bill Broza you have been my closest friend so many years, I thank you for your voice that yelled about Freddie and Fannie in 2002, when we knew them so well. I also want to thank a few who are gone from this earth but are part of I business that was honorable, caring and delivered the American dream.

My Dad always preached, “Kid if you plan and work hard you can do anything.”

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or deceased is purely coincidental. I hold no responsibility for accuracy or omissions. I was employed by Washington Mutual Bank I deny any similarity to persons or actions in this work of fiction. This is a murder mystery, a fictional story. This genre allows for twists, fabrications, and violence in the name of fiction.

In May 2007 I started, this novel not knowing that a million people in my industry would be unemployed when I was completed. America began the Third Great Depression during the course of my idea to write this story.

I say thank you to my beloved children Blair and Carson.

Tony you are my rock.

This story should, and eventually might go on, but it had to pause. I hope I have given you enough to tell you what it was like, as Shawn Skjonsby says “back in the day.”

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Newport Beach Bahia Corinthian Private Yacht Club7/1/2004

“Meet me at nine forty behind the Balboa Yacht Club.”

“It’s too cold tonight for me to go over to the Clubhouse bar. You are always late. I’ll wait on my boat, we can talk there.” James Adam answers while curling his thick eyebrows with his fingers.

That he calls it only a ‘boat’ is comical. It is an elaborate extravaganza. James Adam bought his yacht with cash. The ship is a one hundred fifty one foot toy he acquired when retired from South Africa. He sold his mining, grain and materials shipping company for billions after refinancing his international dry goods shipping company. Adams christened her “Cash Out.” The ship’s name is tacky and painted the green hue of a mint dollar bill with eighteen-Carat gold leaf accents.

“Got cash out with Citigroup,” Adam likes bragging

In 1996, he controlled the Baltic Dry Index in twenty of forty routes. Now Adam takes it easy spending evenings on the ship docked in Newport Harbor. He dodders around making lists of chores for his crew made up mostly of illegals. During the day light hours, Adam is the controlling Head of the Board of Nationwide Bank, a medal on his chest he wears with arrogance.

“Don’t tell your wife where you are going. Just tell Claire you have to leave town for a night.” The killer’s tone is jovial.

“Fine, it will be a break from Claire hovering over me.” Adam chuckles about the old ball and chain joke.

Adam fixes a High Ball in a Waterford tumbler while his cigarette smolders on the counter. His blonde wife Claire never allows him to drink or smoke at home. Savoring the feel of the crystal in his hand and the crunch of the ice on his teeth Adam sips the amber bourbon. A cracking sound from the wheelhouse leads him to investigate below. He rests the bottle down on the table to snoop and clean up whatever might have toppled over in the breeze.

“Damn charts knocked over,” are Adam’s last words as he sees the pa......................
Caroline Gerardo  copyright 2010

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