Chapter Eighteen: The Presentation

Steve and Yesenia were chatting with Yesenia’s father, Carlos Martínez. “You cannot live here, Steve. I know it’s what you and Yesenia seem to want now, but I’m going to keep you two together by keeping you apart. If you two have a disagreement, it is much easier to walk away if you live somewhere else. The effect of a disagreement can be much worse if you have to stay in the same apartment together. But Ileana and I do want you to visit often. Work out your disagreements in a way that won’t break you two apart. I am glad you want to go with her to buy maternity clothing today. I understand Jennifer is arriving soon to pick you two up and give you a ride to the mall.”

The doorbell rang. Carlos said, “I have a prospective investor visiting, and I need to make a presentation.”

Carlos welcomed his guest, and ushered him into the living room, giving him some papers. The doorbell rang again. Carlos buzzed Jennifer in, and told her, “I have a guest right now, Jennifer, a prospective investor, and I need to make a presentation.”

Jennifer was curious. “May I sit in? You said you might hire Steve, and I’d like to learn about this kind of business, since I’m taking business courses.”

“Make yourself at home, Jennifer.” Carlos said. “Mi casa es tu casa.”

Jennifer took a seat.

Carlos said, “The way this business will run is, we will receive money orders in the mail, sent by people who want to support their family members in the Dominican Republic. If it’s a U.S. Postal money order, we can put the document up to a special light and verify the watermark, and that it is not raised or altered. We are working it out with the private money order companies, where we can electronically present the money orders to the banks they are drawn on, and they will credit our accounts at their banks. This allows up to learn if one of these money orders is fraudulent, in a matter of seconds, because the bank will let us know if there’s a chargeback. And if the money order is good, as practically all of them will be, then we transfer some Dominican pesos from our account at a Dominican bank, to the bank account of the payee, as specified by the sender.”

The prospective investor posed a question. “What are the advantages of this service over the other ways to send money?”

Carlos replied, “Well, the advantages over mailing a money order to the Dominican Republic is that this system is more secure. Inposdom is plagued by thefts. Furthermore, this system is faster, because it takes less time for the mail to arrive here. Versus the wire transfer services, this system is much less expensive. To send one hundred dollars to the Dominican Republic through those services, you’d have to pay five dollars in commission and a five dollar fee. We will charge only one dollar. We will offer the same exchange rate that they’d get buying pesos retail. We’ll make about one percent by buying pesos at the market rate and then selling them at the retail rate. The customer will also have to pay for a money order, which at the post office costs ninety cents, or at the store, whatever they charge. Check cashing services tend to offer good prices for money orders, typically fifty cents, because they want people to take them instead of cash. It allows them to cash more checks with the same amount of cash, so they make more money.”

Then the prospective investor asked, “What are the disadvantages of this service, versus the other ways to send money?”

Carlos explained, “Well, let’s say your mother needs money fast, so she doesn’t get evicted. If you can bring cash to the store and wire it, she gets the money the same day. With our system, there would be a delay in the mail. There’s also the disadvantage of revocable funds, which you wouldn’t have if you mailed a money order to the Dominican Republic or wired the money. If you use our service, we transfer pesos to your mother’s bank account. Let’s say she’s behind on her car loan. Well, the bank would seize the deposit, to apply to the overdue loan, and so your mother would not have to money to avoid eviction. We are definitely not trying to put the wire transfer services out of business, just offering a more economical alternative for the majority of situations. Finally, I must point out that old habits die hard. People are in the habit of mailing a money order to the Dominican Republic or, more often, wiring the money from a local store, for delivery right to the door of the payee. It will take time for them to understand that it’s usually better that Mama gets one hundred eight dollars next week than one hundred dollars today. This is a new opportunity, because prior to Operation U.S.A. Freedom, the federal government imposed too many restrictions in order to invade the privacy of the people.”

The prospective investor said, “Well, thank you for the explanation. I’ll review the papers you provided me, including the business plan, and I’ll have an answer for you tomorrow.” Then he shook hands with Carlos, and left.

Jennifer mentioned to Carlos, “Operation U.S.A. Freedom has opened up the financial services industry. I was just thinking, you and I could open a banking company as a partnership. We would no longer need a State charter. We would not need to incorporate. The partnership could hold investments in escrow as collateral for the deposits, so if either one of us went personally bankrupt, the depositors would not lose, and the creditors could not touch the investments of the banking company. We’d have a big advantage over the corporate banks, because corporations are subject to taxes, while individuals are no longer being taxed. The Freedom Fighters enforced the demands of the committees for liberty, that the government stop violating the God-given rights of the people, and corporations have no God-given rights, only State-given rights.”

Carlos replied, “There are plenty of banks out there. What advantage would we have over the others? What niche would we carve out?”

Jennifer answered, “Transaction efficiency. I know how to program a secure server. By offering on-line payment services that are more affordable than the banks offer, we can cut in on their business. There’s plenty more we could discuss if you have time.”

Carlos said, “Let’s first see how my prospective investor feels about the present offer. By tomorrow, I’ll know if we should discuss your plan, or if I’ll go forward with mine. I am glad they repealed the Patriot Act, though. I believe that was passed in response to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. on 11 September 2001.”

Jennifer said, “Actually, there was no terrorist attack on Washington, D.C., just an unconfirmed report of a car bombing at the State Department, which proved false.”

Carlos replied, “American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon at 9:45 in the morning.”

Jennifer replied, “The Pentagon is not in Washington, D.C. It’s across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia. You can’t trust the news media. They lied again.”

Copyright © 2004 Tom Alciere