Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Christopher Feliciano Arnold's "Light, Sweet Crude" (short story): Two ways of creating wealth are contrasted

How is wealth created? By creating physical assets, or by manipulating numbers in a database? This story, obviously inspired by last year's credit freeze, contrasts the two.

Story summary.

Hunter (narrator), 32 year old millionaire financial trader speculating in future crude prices for Centaur Global Energy Resources Fund, vs his dad, a man of modest means who has spent a lifetime maintaining physical infrastructure of oil industry in Texas, US.

A specific trade of Hunter is at the heart of the story, & brings up the issues with database-based wealth creation: he will make a lot of money for his employer in this transaction (that might get him in trouble with law) because he has advance information about what the US cops will call a terrorist strike in Nigeria - a hit that will affect world's crude supply over at least the short term.

Fact sheet.

First published: Playboy (US), October 2009.
Rating: A.
Added to my "best of the year 2009" list.
Related: Stories from 2009 issues of Playboy magazine; all Playboy stories.


K. said...

So, this was a science fiction story?

Tinkoo said...

No - but I do sometimes post on non-genre stories. Usually I explicitly mark them as "non-genre" in post title; looks like I missed here.