Extraordinary Genius - Chapter 790 - Empire State Building
Chapter 790 – Empire State Building
Over the next week, Feng Yu had tested the software several times, and the developers made some minor modifications to match Feng Yu’s results.
The final results showed that this software was excellent. But without an experienced stockbroker operating the software, there will be a significant difference. Those mathematicians and software engineers do not know how to tell the difference between good news and bad news that could affect the companies’ shares.
Feng Yu also want to hire some stockbrokers. But he needs to interview them personally first. His investment focus next year will be in NYSE, and he does not have time to watch the market himself. If he could not find anyone suitable, he had to transfer people from Wind and Rain Consulting over.
Kirilenko listened to Feng Yu’s suggestions and decided to hire a few more stockbrokers. But the people he hired were based on their reputations.
Kirilenko had come to the US to invest because he wants to tell the Americans: “Look, a Russian has come to your country to earn your money.” He will not keep a low profile and wanted to make sure everyone knows about him.
Kirilenko’s office must be located in the most prominent location, and he must rent the whole floor. Although he does not need such a big place, he still insists on doing this.
Kirilenko had been to Feng Yu’s companies in China. He likes Feng Yu’s relaxing and open renovation style. But the World Trade Center does not allow such renovations. That’s why he was looking forward to buying the Empire State Building.
The Empire State Building is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. It was once the pride of the US. It was an iconic landmark in US history and was the tallest building in the world for over 40 years.
The Empire State Building’s name was derived from the nickname of New York, Empire State.
The initial design of the building was not that tall. But the owner, John J. Raskob, at that time, was not satisfied. He wanted to construct the world’s tallest building and do not want his building to be overtaken. The designs changed multiple times, and the building became 381 meters tall in the end.
What was interesting was in 1951, the architect erected a 68m radio antenna on the top of the building to secure its place as the tallest building in the world.
The construction of this build had started in early 1930 and completed in May 1931. This was also the Great Depression. The initial 10 years after the building was completed, most of the offices were empty. Some media even gave the building a nickname, Empty State Building!
This building showed that the Americans were more irrational than the Chinese when it comes to ‘face.’
When the Chinese government officials knew about this building, they also want to compete to have taller buildings. ‘Giant building’ in China was a good example. The government had interfered in the constructions and demanded the building be built as the tallest building in China. The architect had to change the designs of the building several times to please the government officials. But in the end, the building was not completed.
More funds were needed to build a taller skyscraper. The local government had promised to help Shi Dazhu get loans. However, Shi Dazhu encountered cash flow issues, and the local government stopped giving him loans. The local authorities had made empty promises……
The Empire State Building had almost bankrupted the owner during the first decade because of the taxes. The owner kept lowering the building’s value. The cost of construction was reduced from 40 million to 28 million USD. Also, the maintenance of the building was a significant sum.
In the 1980s, US and Japan’s property markets were doing well. But at the end of 1980s, the US property market crashed, and Japan was made to help the US share the losses.
This was also the time when the owners of the Empire State Building decided to sell it. In 1991, Japan’s property magnate, Hideki Yokoi, bought the building.
Hideki Yokoi owned the most luxurious hotel in Japan and have many properties in Europe. He made lots of investments in the US and had built Asia’s biggest bowling center with 240 lanes.
In the early 80s, Hideki Yokoi’s luxurious hotel caught fire, and 33 people died in that accident. There were rumors that Hideki Yokoi had asked people to help him cover up the number of victims. The real figure was much more than 33 people.
This was also Hideki Yokoi’s first appearance in courts. But he managed to escape punishment because of his lawyers. It was until 1993 when he was charged in courts and was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment. But he served his sentence in the hospital. He was already 79 years old at that time.
During the late 80s, Japan’s economy was at its peak. Many Japanese felt that in another 10 years, Japan’s economy would be equivalent to the total of the US, Soviet Union, UK, etc.
But Japan’s economy collapsed suddenly. Many people felt Hideki Yokoi was sentenced to jail in 1993, was because he could not afford his lawyer fees. At that time, Japan’s property market had collapsed, and the insurance companies and banks, who had loan Hideki Yokoi money, start to chase him for payments. His total debt was over 2 billion USD, and the value of his shares and properties was less than 1 billion USD!
Hideki Yokoi had become wealthy through investing in properties. He likes to get loans from banks and financial institutions for his businesses. This was fine when Japan’s economy was doing well, and the property prices were rising every day. The banks were not worried that he was unable to repay them. But when Hideki Yokoi really cannot service his loans, it was too late for the banks and insurance companies.
Hideki Yokoi had bought the Empire State Building at 42 million USD. At that time, the Japanese media praised him to the skies and claimed that this was the start of Japan to buy out the whole America.
But Hideki Yokoi was only in the limelight for a short while, and the property bubble burst and the stock market collapsed. After that, he was also imprisoned.
At this time, Hideki Yokoi was still serving his sentence in the hospital. All his properties were handled over to his daughter, Kiiko Nakahara, to manage for him. But Kiiko Nakahara and her husband used overseas companies to conduct a series of complicated transactions for Hideki Yokoi’s assets. In the end, the Empire State Building was owned by a trust company, and if Hideki Yokoi dies, Kiiko Nakahara was the sole beneficiary of the building!
The Empire State Building was not the only property. More than a dozen properties in the US, UK, France, etc. became the joint-assets of Kiiko Nakahara and Hideki Yokoi. Kiiko Nakahara became sole beneficiary for all the assets, instead of Hideki Yokoi’s sons!
Hideki Yokoi’s two other sons were furious. They started to search for evidence to prove what Kiiko Nakahara did were illegal.
But at this time, Kirilenko’s men found Hideki Yokoi’s son, Kunihiko Yokoi, and the first words that were said to him were: “Our boss wants to buy the Empire State Building!”
Seven Wonders of the Modern