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Cynic project
Well, NovaTech seems to have a hard time...They are going deeply into the red.

The Big A, is still fighting a war that they do not seem to be winning,and are getting a longer list of countries they aren't welcomed in.

SK, what can I say about them..They seem to being picked on by all sides.This is not to say that they are getting beaten,or that anyone group is taking them over,but some of the smaller players (namely nearly of all them) are taking small bites out the king.

Renie is not to happy about what is happened in the Americas. They seem to be be going down for that little Dues problem. But I can see a big check going to the UCAS,so they may get some friends in the right places.

Cross had to do some major purging of it's angels,and that my friends may have dulled their edge over Ares.

So there are five of the big ten that are having large problems. How are the other ones doing?
BitBasher
I wouldn't consider any of those issues ones that would cause a financial hardship big enough to threaten their solvency.
FlakJacket
I don't know, Art seems to be stripping away Novatech piece by piece pretty effectively. I can see a lot of similarities between Novatech and the old USSR right at the very end if it carries on as its going.
BitBasher
USSR had financial issues because if its military machine that make it a somewhat invalid comparison compared to a megacorp IMHO.
FlakJacket
Not really. They had more costs than their economy (income) could support. If Novatech keeps losing money then eventually they're not going to be able to cover their expenses and start defaulting on their debts and payments. Triple A Mega's literally are globe spanning countries.

Edit: The whole USSR analogy idea came from a friend of mine. Here's how he put it,

QUOTE (Jeff)
Messy would not even begin to describe it. We're talking about multi-national/global companies that have been described as the smallest (of the AAA) having yearly revenues that easily dwarf the GNPs of several of the world's superpowers combined. They build secret research facilities, armed to the teeth with military defenses and vehicles, field private armies and special operations units. They own and control naval vessels, space based comm platforms (and I wouldn't doubt a few tactical space based weapon platforms), likely have plenty of WMD assets at their disposal if ever needed...the list goes on.

Picture this for a second...not only the death of a megacorp, but a bloodless death. No great corp war, no nuclear holocaust as I've thought of with Death of the Doves...no bang, just a whimper. Artie is talking about financial draining away the resources of Novatech. With the amount of liquid assets he could bring to bear, it may just work. Imagine a Fuchi spec ops team leader, or Fuchi naval sub commander, or a highly specialized chemtech researcher who is losing money from stock prices dropping. Paychecks are showing up short, minus bonuses or combat/hazard pay. Subsidized housing and utilities are not being payed. Services available in corporate arcology housing are being cut off or lessened. You would have what the former USSR is facing now. Military personnel and research personnel would be looking for ways to supplement their income or even have any income by resorting to selling their supplies and skills to the highest bidder. But this would not only be affecting one nation but the entire world market.
BitBasher
Right but Novatech can do things as a corp that a country could not to solve these problems. They can divest themselves of departments hemmoraging cash and so on. They are just assets that form a collective whole.
Kagetenshi
I wouldn't say Novatech is in the red at all. Not a chance. At worst a larger-than-usual number of it subsidiaries are doing so.

~J
FlakJacket
*Shrug* I guess we just have different ways of seeing it. Even if they do try tactics of divesting themselves of subsidiaries and departments, Art would just move on to crushing the ones they've kept. He's got the cash and lack of sanity to take it right to the very end. And that's not counting the other corps circling like vultures.
BitBasher
Actually I have a problem with the whole Art line because it's just not feasable that he could do that for an extended period of time without taking a dirtnap. Hell, other megas would be out to kill him too, just to keep the status quo and discourage such behavior. I just think its not feasable.
Kagetenshi
Indeed. They screwed up when they had Art having actually achieved anything significant yet. I just put it up there with the NAN books and hope that eventually there will be a blurb in a sourcebook about how the effects were overblown.

~J
toturi
I am actually happy that writers actually let Art push Novatech so far. It simply reinforces the fact that no-one, not even a AAA, is truly all-powerful or so powerful that no single person can take them down. Shit happens to everyone, even the megas. The bigger you are, the bigger the shit.

I can see some AAAs or even AAs just waiting to pounce on the empty seat should Novatech drop from mega status. Heck, if Novatech is really into the red, I can see them all taking a bite like sharks in a feeding frenzy.
BitBasher
QUOTE
I am actually happy that writers actually let Art push Novatech so far. It simply reinforces the fact that no-one, not even a AAA, is truly all-powerful or so powerful that no single person can take them down.
In the real world companies CAN get so big that joe schmo cannot stand a chance of taking them down. If Joe Bob from BFE Ohio decides he doesn't like RJR Nabisco, then tough. There's nothing he can do about it.
toturi
QUOTE (BitBasher)
In the real world companies CAN get so big that joe schmo cannot stand a chance of taking them down. If Joe Bob from BFE Ohio decides he doesn't like RJR Nabisco, then tough. There's nothing he can do about it.

And in the real world, Mr Gates went from nobody to world's richest man. If Joe Bob had a billion dollars, was well trained in Money-Fu and decided that he doesn't like Nabisco, he could do something about it, like Art.
BitBasher
QUOTE (toturi)
QUOTE (BitBasher @ Dec 7 2004, 09:02 AM)
In the real world companies CAN get so big that joe schmo cannot stand a chance of taking them down. If Joe Bob from BFE Ohio decides he doesn't like RJR Nabisco, then tough. There's nothing he can do about it.

And in the real world, Mr Gates went from nobody to world's richest man. If Joe Bob had a billion dollars, was well trained in Money-Fu and decided that he doesn't like Nabisco, he could do something about it, like Art.

Examples please of multinationals taken down by practicioners of monkey-fu? smile.gif
toturi
QUOTE (BitBasher)
Examples please of multinationals taken down by practicioners of monkey-fu? smile.gif

Dunno, never been to the Planet of the Apes before. nyahnyah.gif
BitBasher
grinbig.gif

All sarcasm aside It's one of those things that looks okay on paper, sort of, and writers use it to have a cool NPC that does something special, but it just doesn't happen. At all. smile.gif
Voran
QUOTE (toturi)
QUOTE (BitBasher @ Dec 7 2004, 09:02 AM)
In the real world companies CAN get so big that joe schmo cannot stand a chance of taking them down. If Joe Bob from BFE Ohio decides he doesn't like RJR Nabisco, then tough. There's nothing he can do about it.

And in the real world, Mr Gates went from nobody to world's richest man. If Joe Bob had a billion dollars, was well trained in Money-Fu and decided that he doesn't like Nabisco, he could do something about it, like Art.

Yeahbut that's because he mastered the idea of stealing someones idea on the cheap, remarketing it as his own, and getting into a new market with (at the time) near limitless potential.

Breaking into the market when you don't have something really innovative, can be difficulty i imagine.
Black Isis
Er....what has Art been able to achieve with regard to NovaTech lately? I know he has a grudge against him, and he took down Gunderson, but I haven't seen any mention of it since Threats 2, at least overtly. Is there something I'm missing?

Frankly, while I think that was an interesting idea, I can't see it ultimately being successful, because Villiers' net worth is at least several time Art's, and Art seems to be burning cash just to smash away at things, whereas Villiers' is trying to actually grow his cash. While he may have leveraged a lot, Villiers is described as a financial genius, so while Dankwalther might be an incredible pain in his side (and certainly cause significant problems Novatech will have to deal with), I would hope it would not be enough to bring down Novatech, barring some other sort of problem (like if the UCAS suddenly becomes VERY hostile to Novatech or something similar, but I can't see that happening).
Kagetenshi
It is mentioned that Novatech isn't doing so well against Art in SOTA:2064. Which is stupid.

~J
mfb
why? you accepted Richard Villiers doing the same thing to Fuchi, without Fuchi ever realizing what was going on until it was too late. why is it harder to see Art doing it, especially when Art isn't limited by any desire to make a profit on the deal (as Villiers was)?
Kagetenshi
Because Villiers wasn't doing the same thing to Fuchi. Dunkelzahn did the same thing to Fuchi, and he was giving Villiers/Lanier voting stock and cred to work with (ok, Villiers supplied the money, but he had both) instead of just cred. Not to mention that in terms of connections they started near the top rather than as former low-level accountants.

~J
FlakJacket
Could be wrong, but I think he meant Villiers ripping Fuchi off and setting Novatech up out of stolen parts.
Black Isis
QUOTE (mfb)
why? you accepted Richard Villiers doing the same thing to Fuchi, without Fuchi ever realizing what was going on until it was too late. why is it harder to see Art doing it, especially when Art isn't limited by any desire to make a profit on the deal (as Villiers was)?

Because Villiers is worth at least twice as much, and already owned a third of Fuchi when he started his little scheme -- not to mention he's been a corporate shark for nigh on 40 years, and has one of the best corporate espionage guys in the world on his payroll. Art may have a lot of money, but that doesn't buy you experience, or loyalty, or the Great Big Foot of the Corporate Court.

The other thing is that it seems like Art is depending very heavily on other people to get his schemes to work -- he's not a crack businessman, he's a disgruntled accountant. Eventually, the people who are working for him are just going to decide they don't need him anymore -- or that they can take him for everything he's worth because he's so blind to everything except destroying Richard Villiers. It's not like he's doing this as some sort of anti-corporate liberation movement, where he might have some true believers to help him -- the same type of people he's trying to take down are the very same kind of people he's hiring to do the job.

I dunno. It just seems extremely implausible -- it seems like Art would be better off trying to make his own corporate empire and just taking revenge by living the good life, while he watches Villiers flail about trying to keep his new mega afloat in the sea of sharks that is the Big Ten, or putting all his money into some sort of crazy communist anti-corporate revolutionary movement. nyahnyah.gif
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (FlakJacket)
Could be wrong, but I think he meant Villiers ripping Fuchi off and setting Novatech up out of stolen parts.

Yes. Which he did in no small part because Lanier got on the board of directors and accentuated all of the preexisting divisions. As Black Isis mentioned, the fact that he already owned a sizable chunk of Fuchi didn't hurt.

~J
BitBasher
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
QUOTE (FlakJacket @ Dec 6 2004, 11:57 PM)
Could be wrong, but I think he meant Villiers ripping Fuchi off and setting Novatech up out of stolen parts.

Yes. Which he did in no small part because Lanier got on the board of directors and accentuated all of the preexisting divisions. As Black Isis mentioned, the fact that he already owned a sizable chunk of Fuchi didn't hurt.

~J

And they weren'nt even really stolen parts! He owned a big fat piece of that before he started, as mentioned before.

To switch genres a sec this is like the absolute retarded travesty of the inner sphere and their desparate mission to screw over the clan homeworlds, which would have only worked because the authors ignored TONS of previous information about the clans and their resources.

IMPLAUSABLE! smile.gif

God forbit they have Art win. That's be about the first time I've really had a good reason to hate the metaplot for bad writing. I want to see it taken back to the gritty nad have art make a good effort but ultimately be stamped out by human greed and shadowrunners who want a payday. That's SR, not the happy fluffy blunnies and kittens one man can make a difference crap.
Kagetenshi
IIRC, Villiers was actually responsible for obtaining Fuchi's Corporate Court seat (and thus AAA status) in the first place.

~J
toturi
QUOTE (BitBasher)
God forbit they have Art win. That's be about the first time I've really had a good reason to hate the metaplot for bad writing. I want to see it taken back to the gritty nad have art make a good effort but ultimately be stamped out by human greed and shadowrunners who want a payday. That's SR, not the happy fluffy blunnies and kittens one man can make a difference crap.

I thought it was something like that. Chronic disability to accept the gritty fact that SHIT happens to EVERYONE. Even to AAAs. This is SR, not that angsty cyberpunk crap some people think that it should be.

The powerful can lose everything, the weak can stomp on the powerful, the powerful can regain their power and exterminate everyone that stomped them, and someone they tried to exterminate can shove a big one up their behind even with all that power they wield. Of course, this can only happen if there is a Secret Box that got passed on to Fanpro from FASA that contains all the secret stats of those previously Ultimate NPCs.
BitBasher
Im not a proponent og angsty anything. I'm a proponent of things that could theoretically happen in any kind of plausible real world without it just being Artistic Licence with the plotlines. This doesn't qualify.
toturi
It doesn't to you. It does to me. If it doesn't, empires would never be overthrown. The Americans will still be singing God saved the Queen. The Russkies would still have their Czar. The Chinese will still have the Qin Emporer. It is perfectly plausible that someone with sufficient money and motivation can bring down a AAA.
John Campbell
None of those things were accomplished by one person acting alone.
Kagetenshi
Most empires collapsed from within rather than being successfully overthrown while healthy. The Americans are only not singing God Save the Queen because of the French, a power more on par with the Brits than the Colonies.

Not only is Art working with a fairly paltry amount of resources, he doesn't even have the home court advantage that the fledgling US had. It'd be more like the colonials deciding to take the fight to the British Isles than the revolution as it happened.

~J
BitBasher
QUOTE (toturi)
It doesn't to you. It does to me. If it doesn't, empires would never be overthrown. The Americans will still be singing God saved the Queen. The Russkies would still have their Czar. The Chinese will still have the Qin Emporer. It is perfectly plausible that someone with sufficient money and motivation can bring down a AAA.

Examples please of real life people who singlehandedly brought down multibillion dollar corps that they were not currently the head of?
Kagetenshi
Or who singlehandedly collapsed moderately stable empires.

~J
BitBasher
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Or who singlehandedly collapsed moderately stable empires.

~J

That's probably a more accurate analogy. We're not talking about a simple corporate structure we're talking about a multitrillion dollare corporation with countless subsidiaries and independantly operating ancilliary operations.
toturi
I do not have any data on Gunderson. So I took the stats for Transys Neuronet as a gauge. And I compared them with the stats for Novatech. OK, Art went from unrated to AA(rated about 50). This, he somehow accomplished, with his billions (possibly more since he probably used it more as seed money and grew more). After he took down one AA (and catching his breathe), he went on to take down Novatech. Novatech is only rated 20 more than Gunderson.

Alexander went from the king of a Greek city/state/area/region to conquer the whole known world. Destroying an Empire(Persian) in the process. Can you imagine being only the leader of one country and ending up ruling the world? Or from being a fugitive to ruling an empire from that span quite a few time zones and trust me his enemies didn't exactly roll over and die (Genghis Khan)? But since you people keep saying,"Oh, it is just too unbelievable. It can't be done," maybe Alexander was Al teh Gay in your world.
Johnny Reb
Art's picking on Novatech, which is still shiney, new, and on shakey Baby Bambi legs. The former partners from Fuchi are still thumping Villers every which way they can and Nova, in truth, doesn't deserve Triple-A status, as is mentioned in several places ... it only has it due to Villers having that Golden Ticket to the corporate court. There's a very good chance that he can do just enough damage to destabalize Nova enough to push it over the edge in that situation. I don't think any other corp is in quite that bad of a spot.

Renraku got hurt, bad, by teh arcology issue, but, they also had had a HUGE boost the previous year or three, thanks to Leonardo (Worst. Plot. Ever.) and still have their major assets. I'm guessing that they'll sell off some former Fuchiparts to make some quick cash and consolidate (Instead of defending against a Nova takeover on a subsidiary, just let 'em buy it and pocket the profit), but come back in a year or two with a major push into the drone market, thanks to Deus designs.

MCT also bought up a LOT of Fuchiparts but didn't seem to take as much of a financial stumble. I can see them trading a few things with Renraku, now that the feeding frenzy has settled down. You could probably get an interesting plotline out of this if Renraku managed to come out with a stronger mechanical side of things ... more drones, especially two-legged walker styles (Robots with a samurai theme, perhaps, for security?). Heck, there's always the powered hardsuits that Fuchi, Renraku, and MCT were supposedly working on. With the three blended, you could even roll those out too. smile.gif

The Big A. Here we see the downside fo being linked nationally... as the country staggers, so does the corp. In the past few years, Amazonia's kicked them in the shins, the Yucatan Offensive has been a *major* disaster, both in terms of raw assets (Men, material, cash expendatures with no income to offset) and more over, public opinion (Aztech went from 'Yay we love you!' to 'Hey ... that ain't cool.') ... that latter part hurts them the most, really, as it lowers sales across teh board. Oscuro (Mr Darke) is gone, they lost a major Locus, and with teh Horrors shut out, they lost a pretty significant source of major magic mojo. If the metaplot rolls into teh next stage, where a combined force of CAS and Pueblo (With backing by Ghostwalker) rolls into northern Aztlan in a short, successful invasion (Say, retaking the lost areas of Texas and driving another ten, twenty miles tops), then teh Azzies are going to be rocked on their heels. I expect a sell-off of some major components to regain financial stability, which could lead to some fun.

Me?

I'd have them divest a few smaller ones, but one major one: Losing Stuffer Shack to Wal-Mart (Or S-Mart, if we could use the name) ... More and more big name corps are getting air time in Shadowrun (Erikson and Nokia, for the wireless matrix initiative, for example) and, really, the Wally's been unmentioned for too long. I figure that the world's largest corporation was a big player in the early days of the corporate council but, as the world's second-largest computer (Behind only teh Pentagon!) it probably got CRUSHED by the Crash of '29. Sold off tons of subsidiaries, had to rebuild the entire way it did business, and wound up doing a lot of business-business with sublines that spun from the retail enterprise. Wal-Mart trucking, for example, probably started the Drone Truck market and they would have made a killing by selling propritary trucks to other companies. It'd give teh CAS a nice AA corp that's trying to expand and taking the Stuffer Shack line would give them a road back in.

But that's just me.
Johnny Reb
Oops. Forgot to add that one company's yearly income was listed at 95 Billion dollars. (Renraku, I think it was? Ren or MCT) ... Wal-Mart, in January of '04, listed annual sales at 256 Billion, with *profit* of 64 billion.

Yikes.

And that's without the *huge* outlay of cash for super-security, magical defenses (How much does that Rating 6 Fire Elemental cost? And you need five of them? Plus wards?) and Shadow Ops.

Yeah, there's some plot potential here. smile.gif

-- Johnny Reb
Dissonance
Well, if you don't like Art (I personally do: I've got this mental picture of the guy from Office Space in my head. The one with the stapler, but I digress), you've got a few options. You can be more smart-ness, and have him buy a position in some megacorp. You can have him succeed kill and/or ruin Richie, and have him lord over the company as Lord Ninja Supreme with his assloads of liquid assets. You can have him eventually fail, having run out of money or being bought out by a bunch of people. Hell, you could even have your players kill the guy on behalf of one of the AAAs, or some guy that Art crushed in his conquests.

Or you can just use the 'Not in My Game' excuse and retcon Art altogether.

-D, who is STILL pissed about the Sears-Kmart Merger.
lorthazar
Well they clamed 95 billion that doesn't meant that is what they earned eek.gif
Kagetenshi
Do we have it confirmed that Wal-Mart still exists? Id like to see it have been bought out by Aztechnology, though even that is too good for those bastards.

~J
Johnny Reb
As far as I know, Wal-Mart's never been mentioned in any Shadowrun product, ever. Which is really, really weird. Microsoft's had quite a few mentions (Heck, Harlequin was using Bill Gates' old office in his first module, if memory serves) but it's a fraction of Wal-Mart power.

I'd imagine that Aztechnology has a resemblance to it (Great PR, powerful retail applications) but it might have fallen to Ares as well. Or, it could still be out there, lurking in the shadows like some undead corporate parasite, waiting to get fangs sunk into some helpless prey, pounding on teh windows of the corporate court and demanding the return of teh seat that was stolen from it so long ago...

Ahem.

At any rate, I figure that teh Crash of '29 hurt it something horrible and that it'd only just now be back in fighting shape. The biggest edge that it had, however (Sheer size that makes suppliers knuckle under to give them the best contracts) wouldn't be valid anymore. They'd have to diversify.

-- Johnny Reb
Johnny Reb
QUOTE (lorthazar)
Well they clamed 95 billion that doesn't meant that is what they earned eek.gif

This is true, but, that was their official "Hey, stock people, see how much cash we're bringing in a year? Buy more of our stock and be rich!" report. They'll push that as high as they can. smile.gif

-- Johnny Reb
Black Isis
Art does not control an AA, either -- he destroyed Gunderson, he didn't buy it. That's the difference between him and Villiers. Which, frankly, is pretty silly -- it would make far more sense for him to simply make NovaTech unstable and try to get Villiers to make a stock offering, and then buy up as much of NovaTech as he possibly could, to become a pain in Villiers' side, something more like the Knight-Aurelius infighting at Ares. That I could buy. But utterly annihialating NovaTech? How does that make any sense? Companies, even unstable ones, don't just up and explode -- they declare bankruptcy and reorganize, or divest themselves of unprofitable assets. And Villiers can get rid of as much as he wants and keep his seat on the Court as long as he owns what used to be JRJ.

Look at what Villiers has working for him -- aside from his own financial genius, which is reputed to be considerable, from everything we've seen. He has Miles Lanier, one of the best corporate security/corporate espionage guys in the business. He has his ex-wife, who's supposedly a crack businesswoman herself, and a Corporate Court seat. He has 20 years of experience running a third of one of the world's largest corporations, keeping two pissy Japanese families who hate his guts from killing him. He has significant influence in the largest financial center in the UCAS (Boston) and one of the top companies in the computer software/hardware field, not to mention connections to at least one of the SysOps of the Denver Data Haven that he seems to be on somewhat decent terms with. And oh yeah, probably ~100-200 billion dollars in assets.

What does Art Dankwalther have? He has 35 billion dollars (less now, presumably, after his spending binge) and a seething hatred of Richard Villiers. Oh, and 20+ years of accounting experience. And he evidently doesn't even have surprise or obscurity to protect him anymore. If I was Art Dankwalther, I think I'd be trying to find a very deep, dark hole right now.
lorthazar
Actually i just looked it up it was MCT and 95 billion nuyen was it annual cashflow. Now if I remeber correctly 1 nuyen was the equaivalent of 5 dollars and we come to 425 billion dollars. And that is published data and still below what they actually did for cashflow. As for assets I think we can figure in the trillions of nuyen.
Deadeye
Err...anyone considered that there might be someone behind old Art pulling the strings? The list of companies, individuals, dragons, and hell, maybe even free spirits that would have something to gain by Novatech comming down would seem to be pretty large. After all, one could say that one of the big reasons Villers got the power he did was through the manipulations of one a whole lot more powerful. Why couldn't someone else be manipulating events with Art as a counterbalance to what Dunk had a hand in setting up?
BitBasher
QUOTE (lorthazar)
Actually i just looked it up it was MCT and 95 billion nuyen was it annual cashflow. Now if I remeber correctly 1 nuyen was the equaivalent of 5 dollars and we come to 425 billion dollars. And that is published data and still below what they actually did for cashflow. As for assets I think we can figure in the trillions of nuyen.

What book was that in? Because that pretty directly contradicts some other sources, or the writer didn't do his research. Or any research.
lorthazar
Corporate Shadowfiles p.16 Said by one Chromed Accountant

As for the Nuyen equal out to five of todays dollars it's not hard to see that one. Calculating inflation, salary raises, and price gouging, I am actually surprised it doesn't come out to 1 nuyen=10 current dollars.
Kagetenshi
The dollar has gotten stronger; while in NAGNA (IIRC) it was 1:5, it's now 1:4.

~J
BitBasher
Well, problem is it was also stated in that book that the big eitght megas accounted for half the cashflow of the earth. Those two phrases do NOT pan out. Furthermore that's beyond anemically low for what they do business wise based on it's corporate ratings. That's a fraction of a fraction.
Kagetenshi
Is it possible that Chromed's estimate was not including any subsidiaries whatsoever?

Even then it seems low, but possible.

~J
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