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John Suburbs

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  1. Over the weekend, when I logged onto the wiki from my iPhone, I got hit with those "You've been selected to win a free whatever. Just click here" ads. It seems OK now, but I just thought I'd report it.
  2. Thanks, but no. That's a little too far off the deep end, even for me.
  3. Maybe, but then there would be no way to infiltrate Mance's inner circle and find out what he's really up to. They'd just make their way back to the fist no better or worse off than when they started.
  4. Sorry, I don't check these threads as ofter as I should. My questions about the prologue: What happened to the wildlings that Will saw initially? Most people jump quickly to, the Others killed them. But if so, how? There were no signs of a battle, no blood, nothing disturbed, weapons casually set aside, even the far-eyes was just dead in her tree. If the Others can kill without violence, why did they use violence against Waymar? And why would they kill the wildlings, march them off as wights, then return to the camp? Who raised Waymar, and why? Again, the quick answer is the Others. But did they? After killing Waymar, the Others just melt away into the forest and Waymar lays there dead for hours, "while the moon crept slowly across the black sky." The Others are long gone by the time Will climbs down and only then does Waymar rise. So why would they wait there all this time, just out of sight, only to make their new wight kill Will? And why wouldn't they use their wildling wights to kill all three of them? And that leads to the question: if the Others are raising and controlling the wights, why bother doing their own killing at all? Why make weapons are armor? Just raise some dead, send them into a village to kill everyone, raise more dead, rinse and repeat until they can sit back and enjoy their cold, lifeless world?
  5. All theories depend on hypotheticals. All theories are speculative. Illyrio has every reason to bring down the IB. It frees Pentos and himself from Braavosi control. He stands to make millions in new trade. Aegon doesn't need to be told to renounce the debt. He will do it because it was created by those who murdered his family and stole his crown. This alone will not cause the bank to fail but the sum total of failures will induce panic among depositors, and that will cause the bank to fail -- just like Martin has already demonstrated with the Rogare bank. It's not convoluted, and it does involve the major characters: Petyr, Illyrio, Dany, Ned, Robert, literally everyone in the story will be affected by this, for good or ill. And it affects the main story by bringing an end to the iron throne and a unified kingdom in Westeros, perhaps at the very time that they need unity more than anything. The iron bank collapsing will be known throughout the world, so if we don't get a first-hand glimpse of this through Arya or someone else, it will be on every tongue in a short while, just like every other major event that has happened. So buy it, don't buy it. Whatever. Enjoy.
  6. Sorry, but you're just arguing in circles now. That's Olenna's foolproof plan to outwit Varys, loud singing? And Petyr does this as well? Every time? Varys has a secret training academy somewhere in Westeros? It wouldn't make more sense to train them in Pentos? The only gold in Braavos is what people have in their pockets at the moment. This is a pittance compared to what they will have deposited in the bank. But that's all for me. Buy it, don't buy it. Whatever.
  7. The bank loans money to people, to spend it as they wish. That means the money, even if just on paper, is out of the bank's control. Like any bank right up until the recent past, the IB will have maybe 3 percent cash on hand, just to cover day-to-day transactions. The rest is on loan. That's how they make a profit. Gold sitting in a vault earns no interest. An FM assuming the ID of a defaulter still won't get the money back. He'd have to sell off lands and other assets, and there is no mention of that ever happening. So, no. Nobody knows that Illyrio is involved in any of this. If he's smart, Illyrio would lose a tidy sum in the bank's collapse as well, making him just one of many victims.
  8. Not quite. Slavery does not return to Westeros. Pentos gets a free hand to deal in slaves again, with some of them coming from Westeros, under the table of course. 1) Aegon is not going to care about capital markets, which don't really exist anyway. There are not credit agencies or ratings, no regulatory structure, just individual organizations looking to make a profit. Aegon will disavow the loans because they were incurred by murderers and usurpers. That's all he cares about. But even on the odd chance that he does accept them, then Illyrio can just kill him. It's all the same to him. The iron throne has existed for centuries with very little evidence that it is dependent on loans. Only Aerys, IIRC, had a loan, and even that led to a crisis with the IB, which an enterprising young cheesemonger may have interpreted as a way to bring the bank down some day. 2) The loan to the crown is likely to be far larger than any loan to a free city except maybe Volantis. The Iron Throne oversees the economy of an entire continent, with numerous ports, cities, castles, towns etc. Their trading volume is far higher than any city-state, save perhaps Volantis. But it's not the amount of the loan that brings the bank down. It's the loss of trust that this creates. The Iorn Bank has a rock-solid reputation of always getting its due. When that reputation is shown to be false, fear sets in. Then, all that is needed is a few proxy depositors to march in and withdraw their accounts. Like most banks, the IB probably has less than five percent cash on hand, so when it closes its windows, the panic sets in and the bank collapses in a day -- just like what happened to the Rogares. 3) Economic depressions don't last forever, and for those who are smart and prepared (especially if they know it is coming), they are an opportunity. Meanwhile, Braavos is in utter collapse. The vast majority of its wealth was in the Iron Bank and it is now gone. So for one thing, the treaty can no longer be enforced. Pentos regains its autonomy, can form its own army again, can start dealing in slaves again. And since the dominant trading power is now gone, Pentos, and Illyrio in particular, is in the best position, both financially and geographically, to capitalize on the loss of competition in Westerosi ports. 4) Braavos is the only place we know of that uses a proxy currency. Sure, there is gold and silver, but the poor use the iron coin, backed by the faith and credit of the Iron Bank. With the bank gone, the iron coin is worthless, and the buying power of the vast majority of the city is gone. And even those with gold and silver in their pockets, that's all they have. The bulk of their wealth was in the IB, and it's gone. 5) Jorah Mormont was exiled because he tried to sell slaves. The Ironborn have thralls, which is essentially slavery. When faced with slavery or starvation, you'd be surprised at how quickly people will choose slavery. How Did George Soros Break the Bank of England? (investopedia.com)
  9. Your sentences are becoming garbled, so it's hard to figure out what you're saying. But Lady Olenna was working with Petyr, and Varys is blind to what Petyr is doing, ergo, he doesn't know that he is working with Olenna. And this is a separate, but related, plot anyway, but it does show that even a year after Varys admits to not having eyes and ears on Petyr, nothing has been done to correct this situation despite the trouble he is causing to their plans. So again, Petyr knows exactly what Varys' is doing and how he is getting his information and takes reasonable, rational steps to outwit him, while Varys does nothing abot Petyr. And the point isn't that Varys is stumped by Petyr, but that Ilyrio doesn't care. Illyrio rose from the streets to become one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world by spying on people. So to say that he doesn't know how it's done is ridiculous. He knows full well how to avoid Varys' birds, since they aren't everywhere all the time. They most certainly aren't on any of his ships. And that's assuming Illyrio hasn't trained the birds to never report on his movements to Varys. He is the one supplying them after all. Braavos would absolutely descend into chaos if the bank collapsed. You're the one who says it would ruin the entire world, but not Braavos? Every Braavosian would lose the vast majority of their wealth if the bank collapsed. The iron coin would be worthless. Prices for food, fuel and other necessities would spike as people started hoarding. How would the FM connect any of this to Illyrio? If anything, they would go after the keyholders who looted the faults as the mob was breaking down the doors. But even that would be pointless because the gold they'd recover is a pittance to what has been lost. Why would any other bank come to the rescue? This is a huge opportunity for them. Did other banks rescue the Rogares? The Hightowers, in fact, took the opportunity to start their own bank. Braavos' advantage at sea is wiped out if it has no money to buy goods, pay sailors, outfit ships . . . All of this takes money, and it's gone. Yes, Pentos has zero military -- because Braavos forbids it. Yes, Pentos is economically weaker -- because Braavos forbids it. Yes, they still have slaves, but on the sly, under the table, and woe be to whoever gets caught. With the bank gone, Braavos cannot enforce any of this any longer, so you're simply proving my point here. No, he is not smart with money. No one can rub two coins together to make a third, and he cannot hire the muscle until he has accumulated the wealth first. This is not his money to invest, and he cannot keep it for himself. He has to turn it right over to his chief every day, or else the chief goes to Lord Arryn and tells him his new collector is stealing from him. Along with the fact that all the traders and merchants are screaming about being overcharged, and prices are rising because of this, Petyr would he been toast within a month. And if he just disappeared, which is easily done at a seaport, the problem is solved and all of Jon Arryn's authority cannot change that. Yes, purple-sailed ships in all the ports, lots of them. And once the bank is gone, there will be no more purple-sailed ships. This sudden loss of competition provides a huge opportunity for all other traders, and Pentos in the best position to capitalize. So again, how you envision that the loss of the bank will destroy trade around the world but have no affect on Braavos is beyon me. No, just because the bank is calling in the loans doesn't mean they will get the money. It's a long way to Braavos, and most of the money will have been spent anyway. And even if they assassinate every single lord, they still won't get their money back because it's gone. And in the process, they draw down their reserves even more. Yes, Kevan considers all kinds of options, and maybe one of them will work out. Thus, the need to replace his regime for Illyrio's man. And as I said, even if Aegon does decide to honor the loan, Illyrio can just have him killed. It's all the same to him because Illyrio does not care about stability in the realm. If he did, he wouldn't be trying to destabilize it. If Tycho can haggle, why does he reject Jon's offer outright? And as I said again, the terms were acceptable only when Jon could provide an immediate cash infusion to the bank, which would have been of no consequence if the bank didn't desperately need the money. Nobody on the throne pays if there is no more throne. Eventually someone pays in Essos, because the bank can put their own man in place relatively cheaply and easily. The Iron Throne does not work that way. If Stannis dies and they, or anyone, kills Aegon, that's it, the bank has no more champions and the realm will likely devolve into seven independent kingdoms again, none of which owes a dime to the Iron Bank. So these lords are not destroying their own kingdom, Illyrio is destroying their kingdom because he stands to profit tremendously by it. Trade will not collapse. Only Braavos' participation in it. Like you said yourself, there are plenty of other banks to fund trade in all of the free cities. But Pentos is in the best position to profit because, a) Illyrio orchestrated all of this and will have taken steps to take advantage of it, b) Pentos is geographically positioned to reach Westerosi ports the quickest, and c) their chief competition, and political oppressor, is gone. Braavos has no fleet. It has no money to pay for it. This is self-evident. They're Illyrio's birds, and he knows where they are placed and where they are not. What do you mean, why bother? To make a crap-load of money and become the dominant commercial force on the Narrow Sea. How does this become expensive and counterproductive? It's crucial to set up the collapse of the iron throne, which sets up the collapse of the iron bank. Petyr disappears for nearly a decade after he is tossed out of Riverrun. Plenty of time to set all of this up. And he could have met Illyrio the same way Varys did, the same way Viserys did. Illyrio has his eye out for talent. Yes, it's a gamble at the start, but the plan is sound: leverage Petyr's connections with Lady Arryn, fund him to make an impression on the new Hand of the King, who is desperate to bring order to the realm, then wrack up loans that ultimately destabilizes that realm and puts the fear in depositors who had always thought their money was rock-solid in an infallible institution that has now been shown to be highly fallible. Again, it's not the amount of the loan that's important here, it's the fact that it is now unrecoverable. Petyr ends up controlling all of the major ports on the Westerosi coast. Look at what he's done. Not only is he lord paramount of the riverlands (Maidenpool and Saltpans), he is lord protector of the Vale (Gulltown), and through Sansa stands to rule the north in her name (White Harbor). And as we've seen, he is already hoarding food knowing what's to come. He will be richer and more powerful over a divided kingdom than he could ever hope to be in a united one. The bank has built a reputation as always getting it's due. When that reputation proves to be false, doubt sets in. Now, all that's needed is a whispering campaign that the bank is unsound, and then maybe a handful of proxies march in to withdraw their accounts, and when the bank closes its windows, panic sets in. This is exactly what happened to the Rogare Bank -- which was even larger and more powerful than the Iron Bank -- and countless banks in our own history. It doesn't matter how big you are, once trust is gone the end comes quick. And in the case of the IB, it will probably come quicker than most because its failure has always been unthinkable.
  10. Wrong. No action is taken to penetrate Petyr's secrecy. Varys is just as blind to Petyr's involvement in the Purple Wedding, and right up to the present day, as he was during this conversation. It was not hard to get eyes and ears on literally everyone else of note in the kingdom -- only Petyr is, and remains, a complete mystery, What huge secret? Illyrio meets secretly with Petyr, the one man who Varys cannot spy on. This could be aboard a ship, in a brothel, a manse somewhere . . . Varys has no clue. He's admitted that. And Illyrio couldn't care less. Whether Dany lives or dies is irrelevant, so Jorah did not foil the plan, but he did do what needed to be done: inform Drogo that this was Robert's work. If he just let the both of them die, it would have all been for naught. And if an FM killed her, it would have all been for naught. Sorry, but there is no possible way you can spin the collapse of Braavos as anything but positive for Pentos and Illyrio in particular. The treaty is no longer enforceable. Pentos regains its autonomy, can raise its own army, rejoin the slave trade (the most lucrative on the planet). And in Westeros, there are no longer any Braavosi cogs unloading goods, so a major competitor to Pentos is gone, and they are in the best position geographically to take advantage of this. Illyrio starts funding the trade in all goods along the sea, making himself a nice fat pile and probably starting his own bank. He needed an enormously wealthy backer who could pad his receipts and sideline any opposition. He only became chief of customs after performing this miracle with his collections, so of course he would put his own men in place after that, but there is no way he would have gotten to that position simply by bringing in more money. That is a flat lie. He cannot "invest the gold" he is collecting. That's called stealing. He has to turn it over to the chief immediately, that very day. He cannot "find" new taxes. He's just a collector. He cannot "bleed lords/merchants" just enough so they don't complain -- any "bleeding" will cause complaints, especially when its three times what they owe. He has no money, no power, no men at arms, no way to simply impose his will on these very wealthy, powerful and connected people. It just doesn't work that way. Jon Arryn is in King's Landing running Robert's kingdom, and so is Lysa. They are not in Gulltown babysitting Petyr. He would just disappear. He cannot hire any muscle because he doesn't have any money. He is dirt poor, barely a noble. All the muscle is already in the hire of the rich, powerful men who run the ports. This whole story is simply not possible without a backer, who would only do this to satisfy their own aims -- and the only character in the book who fills that role is Illyrio, who also has no problem that Varys is completely unaware of what Petyr is doing. All the facts to reach the right conclusion are right in front of you, just like the sealord's cat. Sorry, no. You're just making this up. Word only reached the small council just before Cersie was taken into custody. There is no way the money is already collected. You ask for proof of everything else, show the proof of this claim. The debt of Westeros is likely far larger than anything the free cities would require, except perhaps Volantis. The Iron Throne sees to the needs of an entire continent, with dozens of ports and tens of thousands of castles, keeps, towns and cities. And as I said, it's not the amount of the loan that triggers the collapse, it's the loss of trust. The Iron Bank has built its reputation on always getting its due, until now. Yes, Kevan will pay the loan if he has to (and if he can), which is why Illyrio is angling to replace him with Aegon. Despite what you might believe Aegon is not going to honor this debt, especially since the bank is now supporting his chief rival -- depleting their coffers even further in the process. But he might be willing to honor the debts of certain key houses in exchange for their support -- even for whatever Lannister who happens to take the Rock once the main branch is extinguished. But even this leads to war all over again, Illyrio makes out because the bank will not get its money back. Cersei erased the faith's debt, not Petyr or Varys or Illyrio. And this more than anything is probably what causes Petyr's sudden concern that no one could expect her to muck things up so fast. If the debt remained, how much influence do you think that would have to get the faith to anoint Faegon as the Rhaegar's true son and rightful king in the eyes of the gods? Lol, walk into any bank and ask for a loan and see how many tell you no flat out without even considering it or checking your credit. Tycho can see for himself the enormous wealth the Watch has, and still it was no -- until there was a way to get cash out of the deal immediately. Somehow eliminate your oppressor and chief rival on the world stage and not plan to profit from it enormously. By this logic, no one would ever topple any king or triarch or archon because the whole world will suffer. I never said he was impossibly richer than everyone else. This is why he has to use the bank's own money against it. Again, the amount of the loan is not what's important, it's the loss of faith. So everything you're saying here is irrelevent.
  11. Whatever the reason, it collapsed because depositors no longer trusted it with their money. In Braavos, there is no deposit insurance, no FDCI, no way to get your money back when a bank fails. The only thing a bank has is trust, and when it's the Iron Bank, which always gets its due, that trust is very high -- until something happens to undermine it, like the bank suddenly not getting its due. Yes, the money is metal, and the Iron Bank's money is, guess what, iron. Not gold or silver or even copper, but iron. It is the only place we know of that uses a proxy currency backed by the faith and credit of the Iron Bank. So for many people, mostly the poor, even the coins they have in their hands will be worthless in the face of sudden a dramatic price spikes and shortages of food, wood and all the other things they need to keep themselves and their families alive -- even the soldiers who man the defenses and the sailors who patrol the seas. Of course Illyrio could die at any time. Valar Morghulis. But by that logic no one would ever do anything ever, because they might die. The Iron Bank does not suspect anything. Why would they? Illyrio owes no debt to the bank. Just go around murdering people and taking their money, that's a great way for a bank to operate. I'm sure the wealthy of Braavos would have no problem watching bank managers carting away wagons of gold from their neighbor who just suddenly and mysteriously died. Talk about making stuff up. The BoE example was to refute the ridiculous notion that no one would try to crash a bank because the economic turmoil would harm them as well. That is obviously not the case, as the history of banking shows over and over again. But even if it did have a team of assassins, killing the orchestrator of their demise does nothing. Their gold is gone. It is not coming back.
  12. Yes, Dany is the wildcard in all of this. But remember, she was not even expected to survive the Dothraki, let alone come away with three dragons. I suspect this is why he sent Selmy and Groleo to Qarth the moment Jorah informed him of what happened: to get Dany back under his control before she became too powerful.
  13. All theories are like that. If Rhaegar did really run off with Lyanna, if the promise really was about Jon, and Young Griff really is fAegon . . . And sorry, but the collapse of Braavos would be nothing but good for Pentos. They regain their autonomy, can raise their own army again, start dealing in slaves . . . and all the ports of Westeros will no longer see Braavosi cogs in their harbors, creating an ideal situation for Penoshi traders to expand their business. I'm not talking about slave raids. I'm talking about desperate, starving people selling themselves or their children into slavery to survive. This already happens in Westeros, see Jorah Mormont. The evidence that he is working with Littlefinger is as I've already laid out: Petyr's backstory, his moves in GoT and beyond, the fact that Illyrio doesn't care one wit that Petyr is the one blind spot in the spy network that he has given to Varys. It's just as much evidence, if not more, than there is for RLJ. Tyrion sees quite a lot in Illyrio's manse: "Casks of wine and ale . . . more than enough drink to see a thirsty dwarf safely through the night." "There was enough wine to keep him drunk for a hundred years, sweet reds from the Reach and sour reds from Dorne, pale Pentoshi ambers, the green nectar of Myr, three-score casks of Arbor gold, even wines from the fabled east, from Qarth, Yi-Ti and Asshai by the Shadow." And that's just one room. But I never said there was text to prove any of this, just that is the logical thing to do, and it counters your argument that the collapse would ruin him. It won't, because he knows it's coming, just like 1929 didn't ruin Joseph Kennedy -- it made him one of the wealthiest men in the world and allowed him to put his son in the White House. Dany is the wild card in all of this. She if Stannis and fAegon go, she is the only one who could preserve the kingdom. And her disruption of the slave trade only hastens the bank's demise. Any trader who owes the Iron Bank and depends on even a portion of his income to the slave trade will have trouble paying it back, which weakens the bank's profits at a time when it needs them the most. But if you don't buy it, then you don't buy it. No sense beating your head against a wall trying to prove it's not true. There is plenty to conclude that it is. We'll just have to wait and see.
  14. Well, the Wall was built thousands of years ago, before recorded history. Men control it now, but who knows when that actually started, or whether the Others felt it was necessary to man it at all. The Children of the Forest used to control the entire continent, and now they don't. Men do. All the rest is perfectly plausible. But my point has always been that there is little or no evidence for it, so it's self-defeating to craft a theory based on the idea that this is all a done deal. It's not.
  15. Exactly, on the surface of this little operation, if Varys does not know, then Illyrio does not know. But they do know that Petyr is the only person in the kingdom who's activities and motives remain hidden, and they also know that he is jeopardizing his plans. So if they know this, why aren't they concerned about it? Why are no steps taken to penetrate this secrecy, like they've done with all other people of power? This is Illyrio's scheme, after all, why is he not holding Varys' feet to the fire to figure out why the MoC is always in the way? I submit the answer is that he already knows, and it is in perfect keeping with his true plan, which is to destroy the Iron Bank. I never said Littlefinger did not know about Varys and Illyrio, just that Varys does not know about Littlefinger and Illyrio. And what's so daft about it? This is how political intrigue works. Does Cersei know Varys is working with Illyrio? Did Ned? No, the plan was to goad Drogo into attacking Westeros now, not later. It worked like a charm. What would not have worked is if they hired a faceless man, because there would be no way to tie it back to Robert. Littlefinger did that. What does Illyrio care if anyone is left out of the world economy. The world economy will be a shambles for years, except for him. He now has the highest concentration of wealth on the Narrow Sea and a partner in control of all the ports on the Westerosi side. Why would he care that there is no more iron throne? What are you even talking about? Petyr's backstory is utterly impossible unless he has a financial backer. How could be collecting three times all the other agents without howls of protest from the merchants? That money has to come from somewhere, so Petyr is either overcharging his assignments or he is charging the right amounts and exposing all the other collectors, including the chief, as either crooked, incompetent or both. Either way, the people who are paying one rate just a short time ago are now paying three times that amount, but only when Peter is on the job. Docks are very dangerous places, run by powerful men who use thugs and press gangs to make sure everything goes to their liking. A skinny little lordling, with no money and no men-at-arms, who rocks the boat like this would get a one-way ticket to the bottom of the Narrow Sea. The only way he could pull this off and make everyone happy is if he had a backer, one wealthy enough to pad his receipts and pay off or eliminate anyone who might start asking questions. Again, heed the lesson of the sealord's cat. Words are wind. Just because someone says it's true doesn't mean it is. And of course there is a "gap", if I understand you correctly. Varys has no idea what Petyr is doing, or why. He is the only person of power that he cannot penetrate. I'm not sure what you're on about with Lady Olenna, but yes, she is not part of this theory. She's playing her own game. The bank may have called in the loans but that doesn't mean they have the money, or that they ever will. If the gold is gone, it's gone, and killing the lord who doesn't repay will not make it magically appear. Again, this is not Essos, it's Westeros. It's different on this side of the sea. Yes, the bank is trying to pressure Cersei, but it's only going to end up hurting them. There is no gold. The coffers are empty. We've heard the same thing from three successive Masters of Coin, including Petyr. Cersei cannot pay anything back even if she wanted to. The bank is screwed, and it's only a matter of time before depositors realize this. Yes, like I said, the negotiations were long and difficult. Why? If this is such a minor thing for the bank then there should have been no problem; either give them their piddling loan or tell them to get lost. The fact that it happened this way is evidence that the bank does need the money. Illyrio is one of the wealthiest men in the known world. But even he is not wealthy enough to bring down the Iron Bank on his own, thus the plan. Get the bank to overextend itself in unrecoverable loans and let the loss of confidence among depositors do the rest. Then his wealth is even greater and he funds all the trade that remains, through the depression, the recovery and afterward.
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