Wild Bill

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    State Machine

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  1. I'm sorry to say that over-draft fees and such might not stop the Others. A minimum balance fee might be a problem for the Others, though we don't know enough about their finances to be sure..,
  2. I agree completely. And any notions of banking are not needed, or expected, to appreciate ASOIAF. My precision is mostly related to OP, who brings up banking. I contend that bankers hedge their bets and are willing to lose money as a result. You seem to say that IB would never, ever, lose money in any circumstance. We agree to disagree. As an aside, the best-seller lists of non-fiction books (In the US) have been dominated for decades with the theme of "how to run a successful company". Like that might be difficult? Hmm, I wonder what is the likelihood of IB to be perfect compared to our super-sophisticated modern enterprises? To rephrase, this is a totally tangential topic and has small importance on the books as a whole. But is interesting to explore...
  3. Really? I must have missed that... Though - you mention that using Wildlings to re-inhabit the Gift will invigorate the ecomonics of the area. Nice Assuming they live through the Long Night and such...
  4. I don't disagree. I'm really not sure what GRRM has in mind, other than the little sub-plot does have a solution for the NW to make sure they have some food for the long winter - since it has been emphasized that they do not (because of Stannis's presence, and the feeding of his horde, and of feeding the Wildlings). Considering economics in isolation vs GRRM's writing. It is not something he dwells on. But since he seems to have mined European history, amongst other histories so much - for him to have neglected to have included the various bankruptcies, and the influence of the Fuggers or Medici, would be odd. We don't know if the Lannisters will go bankrupt and take a Fugger (or IB) down with them - a real risk for them. But we can guess that IB hedging is important, and btw, a minuscule risk with the NW is another hedge. I do take exception to the notion that the IB would never write something off - of course they would, that is the way of banking from its infancy to now - some losses are inevitable, and better to "cut your losses". (quoted and underscored to emphasize that the IB would not be the IB without doing that... ;)) Anyway, I don't think the loan is material to the overall story - Jon gets to feed the NW. The reader moves on, not particularly caring, other than our wall-heroes won't have to eat their boots.
  5. Hmm, thread seems to have died. Pity... To rephrase an earlier response of mine, the IB did not make a loan to the NW as a profit maker, but as an hedge. They are worried that Westeros will go to hell (profit-wise) if the entire continent is depopulated. So, they see the NW as an important bit that might protect their investment(s), even if they lose money on their specific loan to the NW. Meanwhile, speculatively, Jon (no great high-stakes, uber negotiator) cuts a deal with IB very easily where he gets the wherewithal to sustain the NW for some time. Jon's worry about it being "fishy" is simply of being a newbie and worrying that he's made a bad deal in the long run, or that he has misinterpreted the context of the deal (basically the same thing). Which he might of done, or not, from the perspective of NW finances. Machts nix.
  6. Yes. Also, consider, the Stark children are introduced immediately in the books, with plenty of symbolism and such. They are the only important characters in the books. They might not all survive (considering that Ned and Robb and Catylen haven't... and Jon is dead at the moment)... The Lannisters are antagonists, so no need for them to survive (RIP Tyrion and Jamie if needed - I presume Cercei will die in some dramatic way). Dany... She must die, imo, because her dragons tend to predate on her subjects and on their herds - not a good ruling model for her messianic role of supporting the little folk and all - as she and the dragons are "one". Blah, blah, blah...
  7. @Tygett Lannister and @Faera are on the right track as far as I am concerned - a recalc is required. Though Faera seems more invested in some bloodline thingy. I've long been on record in my days on this board (four months or so :D) that Aegon of fAegon is immaterial. There is no significance to the character. Introducing a major character in the fifth book = non-important character in the larger scheme of things. But, Quentin suitably dies, while fAegon does not (bother...). I've read posts (here and there) pondering why Dany seems to be the one while Viserys not, and then 20 years later (grrm time) Young Griff, aka Aegon, aka fAegon pops out. Meta - it's not happening. fAegon (as I like but doesn't matter) is probably filler material by grrm to cover the "five year gap" - doing the Princes in the Tower / Perkin Warbeck conspiracy theories and such - good historical mining, but still... blah, blah, blah, whatever, Cheers
  8. I'm not sure what your on against. I haven't seen "character motivation" mentioned in-thread thus far...
  9. This is not a post with authoritative banking information, but more along the lines of some general knowledge. Banks and other high finance institutions (not to mention bookies) try to "hedge" their positionsbets by laying off risk where they can. They are willing to waste some money on losing causes since they look at every angle of the risks they face with their loans. Hedge is analogous with insurance. They are paying out money just in case something bad happens one way, so that they, at least, get something back another way. I can imagine IB investing in Stannis, hedging that if the Lannisters default, Stannis might come through with some income for them - not necessarily what they are owed by the Lannisters, but, more than their investment in Stannis, and more than the Lannisters would seem likely to pay (at the moment zero). If the Lannisters pay up in the end run, then they lost a bit on their hedge. The loan to the NW is a bit shadier - only because we don't get details. It's easy to imagine that the IB Factor is given details by Jon about the existential risk that exists in Westeros. Which, of course, is preposterous on its face, but a minor investment to hedge against it is not a big deal. I'm guessing that the monies loaned to NW are trivial from IB standards. What if NW default? The IB is, meanwhile looking for other hedges. The Martels? The Iron Born? The White Walkers... Or even Dany. There is no mention of finances in regards to Dany's needs for fleets, troops, etc. Odd...
  10. Ooh, that's a bit disturbing, as it means that Dany dies at the hands (or whatever) of her dragons... I like to think of Dany dying, as she and the dragons must imo, as she intrepidly sorties repeated dragon strikes against the undead from besieged Winterfell, while Lady Sansa declaims to her subjects "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." as published in A Dream of Spring - after which, GRRM reveals that the series is not done. He feels two more books are necessary. His eighth book, "The Trials of Casterly Rock", held in the eponymous location, where Judge Varys oversees a "truth and reconciliation" process, but not before some stern justice. Cercei commits suicide (by taking Essence of Nightshade). Jamie gets a life sentence, later commuted to 10 years, and then pardoned so he could look after his, delightful, daughter, Mary - the product of his unnatural union with Cercei. Tyrion gets 20 years, but is reduced to a severe reprimand, and he is required to avoid his kin (that he willfully disobeys bringing clever gifts to Mary, crafted by his great friend Ser Davos). Little Finger pleads that he was an unknowing pawn in the larger game and gets 20 years, commuted to three years, and is now a well respected importer of spices and such to Westeros. Meanwhile, Qyburn, escapes justice to Essos for some time before being run to ground, many years later, by Arya and her "friends". After the, suitable, show trial he is condemned to death and hanged. His ninth book is a bit provisional, but at talks at the most recent WorldCon, GRRM revealed that bot technology is very liberating and that his working title is "Edinburgh in the Spring". He indicated that "we'll always have Edinburgh', and he expected a very quick turnaround for this book, that includes amongst other things, details about Little Finger's financial success, and Lord Vary's upcoming memoir. Not to mention some really interesting business ventures between Little Finger and Gendry. Well, we can only hope... Oopsie, a little off the tracks here. @Walda, very good post. Cheers and all that...
  11. Somewhere between the bar stool and the floor we have the "bigger jigger";). I'm thinking Sandkings. I've cleverly excluded a lot of your post. But, I appreciate George's mining of history.
  12. Ignore this post - f'ecked up posting tech on this board...
  13. I chose to quote you because you might best "reflect" a varied political climate, and forced, and unforced, actions - that result in intended and unintended results. Or at least cover a number of angles. Consider Julius Caesar. Imagine the BW in a state of total decline (civil war in the Roman Republic is the comparison) Jon is Ceasar crossing the Rubicon by letting in the Wildlings. He has his moments as Dictator, and then his "friends" lure him to his assassination - with Owen Marsh, ostensibly, an ally involved. The motivations of the conspirators against him are revanchest, and not at all practical.
  14. Male, power-dominance, sexual abuse, might be reaching a tipping point in our society. GRRM, however, is writing about a society that among the elites, women are property and have no control at all. And that dynastic considerations are paramount. And then, soldiers are free to rape all the women-folk of a sacked city, as part of their compensation package, as it were. Not to mention prostitution... I think we can all agree that it is all f'ecked up. To what degree is Tyrion better or worse than his peers? Does it matter (in book universe)?
  15. I'm not likely to search, since the results will likely be noise, given the years and years of posts in the forum. But, point taken, no worries.