The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, Debtember 01, 2017

Tiny bubbles waiting to be popped by a SWAT team

Early this year, someone I haven't talked to in eight years called me out of the blue with a “business deal.” Curiosity got the better of me, and I spend most of a day talking to X about his proposal. It was odd—he was planning on taking out a loan against his house, but because he was self-employed, and his (then pregnant) wife was bumped down to part time, he was unable to get a loan of the amount he wanted. But if he got a co-signer, then he could get more than he was asking for.

And that's where I came in. He wanted me to co-sign the loan, and any excess money over what he wanted (negotiable) would come to me. Even if he defaulted, I wouldn't be on the hook because the house was worth more than the loan in any case. There was simply no “down side” to this (his words). No risk at all.

We would then use the proceeds of the loan to “invest” in Bitcoin. I told X back then that I felt it was a bubble, that I didn't know much about it, and what I did know didn't make me feel confident about it, especially the insecurity of the various Bitcoin exchanges [and to further pour salt onto the wounds, at the time, Bitcoins were worth $2,000.00 and as of today, they're worth $11,679.00. —Editor] [Yes, but the markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent, and I didn't see you buying any at the time. —Sean] [Touché —Editor].

It also turns out I wasn't the first person he asked about this. X just couldn't understand why anyone would pass up such an opportunity.

I ended up passing on the opportunity. Even though I tend to view “good credit” as a means of going into debt faster, I didn't want to put my financial health (such as it is) on the line for a rather dubious sounding proposal.

I'm only bringing this up today because I heard, through a third party, what happened to X over the past few months. I haven't been able to verify this but I do trust the source.

It seems that over the past few months he grew more paranoid and irratic. He (and here the story gets a bit garbled) built? some sort of bubble machine and was trying to sell it to Disney. He spent over a month at a hotel in the Orlando area (I don't recall if it was on the Disney property or not) and eventually barricaded himself in the room with several video cameras providing coverage of the immedate area. It took a SWAT team to pull him out and in the end, he was committed to a facility under the Baker Act. His wife took their kid and disappeared, no one knowing where she went. Not even X's family knows where she is.

And that's that. A rather bizarre end to a bizarre “business deal.”

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