Something was eating away at him. He wiped away another bead of sweat, and thought to himself damn this air conditioner. Cheap third world peltiers!. As he stared up at the fly covered strip of adhesive dangling from the broken ceiling fan. He hadn’t gotten his answers but a clearer picture of what was happening with the coffee in South America had gotten him onto something. Why the hell was this mysterious party working so hard to manipulate the market so quietly? Usually if you were going to disrupt the commodities market (which was damn rare!) you did so publicly, in a fashion that ensured the market was immediately adjusted, in the manner you so desired. You didn’t hide it away in some shell company that was subtly betting against and for commodities that were a given. That fungus. How did you know?
Briggs had a long thought, as he sipped his fresh ground and fresh brewed coffee, straight from the semi artisan coffee plantation he had visited. The rain still pouring outside. He hadn’t expected to find anything he didn’t already know. But being here… It was what he needed. There was a piece to this investor puzzle. Somebody had stabilized the price of coffee, and it had chilled the panic that could have occurred. Someone was playing the long game. A game he might not be ready to touch. 3D chess. Was there an ML model at work here? Something that seemed fully illogical and would none the less yield fantastic results for its hidden puppeteer? That was possible.
Machine learning based models had been used to make some major predictions in the last couple decades, one of which was the market crash that had lead to Brigg’s rise as a trader and rain maker. Someone’s enigmatic model had seen the electronics shorts and had seen the bizarre impact that would have on milk production. Or rather, their opaque and almost alien model had seen, and advised them accordingly, and they in turn, had shared this information with Briggs, who, instead of only advising them against buying milk commodities and selling what they had, had pushed for pork futures and several other key horticulture related market items, all of which would be positively impacted by a windfall of cheap low quality beef for the slaughter. Why? Because when beef is cheap, pork is cheap. But the cheap beef wasn’t going to last, and having your hands on cheap pork contracts meant a stiff profit when the milky beef ran out. When beef is cheap, pork is king.
However now, being on the outside, looking in, he was at a total loss. Where the ML model he’d been shown years ago had pointed to market collapse in 2-3 months time, this model seemed to be acting years in advance, in ways that seemed almost benevolent. What does stable coffee beans give us? The opposite of a trading edge… It gives us, well cheap coffee, which means no spill over into other related commodities, and doesn’t make plantation owners poor while nourishing commodity brokers, whom only exist thanks to legislation barring machine trading. I exist as an efficiency of the system. This is a good thing. He reminded himself. His inefficiency ensured thoughts and trade ideas had a chance to chill, rather than being directly implemented at the first sign of a June cold snap, or an early harvest killing the demand for turnips. He could weigh in, and others like him would do similarly. A machine wouldn’t have the fore site to do so. At least not most. Whatever this was. It had already acted, and with a diffuse portfolio that he could at best ad hoc connect to the super consciousness that had created it. – he paused and wiped another volley of sweat from his bow – ML model, not thinking, not knowing, not a god – the ML model had been hidden well. But it had a tell.
Whoever had organized the mass sell offs of coffee futures, that essentially undercut the threat the fungus had presented, had done so through a few key brokers, and those brokers dealt almost entirely with a specific clientele, of which only a handful would have had the funds available to lose in coffee futures. He had been able to piece together tax filings and income reports for the publicly traded entities involved and they all pointed back to one place, Biosol. What was Biosol up to? What was a prosthetics and advanced robotics firm that dabbled in data solutions doing with coffee? Briggs sipped his coffee pondering, and felt the urge to go to the tiny hotel bathroom in his econo suite. Only the best for the rockstar trader.
Biosol. Coffee. Who was pulling strings here?