F. W. vom Scheidt is a director of an international investment firm. He works and travels in the world’s capital markets, and makes his home in Toronto, Canada. He is also the author of a new book, Coming for Money (Blue Butterfly Book Publishing), a remarkable and provocative novel about the world of international finance and the human quests for success, understanding and love. You can find out more about his book at http://www.bluebutterflybooks.ca/titles/money.html.
How much money is too much? And how fast is too fast in life?
International investment firm director and author F. W. vom Scheidt, writes from his first hand-hand experience of the world of global money spinning with candor and authenticity in his remarkable literary novel Coming for Money.
As investment star Paris Smith steps onto the top rungs of the corporate ladder, he is caught between his need for fulfillment and his need for understanding; trapped between his drive for power and his inability to cope with his growing emptiness where there was once love. When his wife disappears from the core of his life, his loneliness and sense of disconnection threaten to overwhelm him. When he tries to compensate by losing himself in his work, he stumbles off the treadmill of his own success, and is entangled in the web of a fraudulent bond deal that threatens to derail his career and his life.
Forced to put his personal life on hold while he travels nonstop between Toronto, Singapore and Bangkok to salvage his career, he is deprived of the time and space necessary to regain his equilibrium.
In the heat and turmoil and fast money of Southeast Asia, half a world from home, and half a life from his last remembered smile, he finds duplicity, friendship and power — and a special woman who might heal his heart.
A talented author, vom Scheidt has confidently crafted a fast-paced, highly readable and intelligent novel. His details are fascinating. His characters are real, and not easily forgotten. A deeply felt story about the isolation of today’s society, the prices great and small paid for success and the damages resulting from the ruthless exercise of financial power, Coming For Money is a taut literary page-turner about a man who refuses to capitulate to the darkness in his journey into the light.
The executive offices of the Bank of South Asia filled the penthouse of a chrome and glass tower rising from the foot of Battery Road on the edge of Singapore’s harbour.
It was always as if the money possessed some kind of negative density or inverted gravity—the more you concentrated it, the higher it lifted its players to the upper reaches of office towers and condominium towers and hotel towers. As the quantity of money swelled, it lost its weight of coinage and bills. A room full of it could be evaporated into a string of zeros on a single bank draft, more flimsy than an airline ticket; a truck-load could be zapped around the world at the snap of a computer key.
Stepping out from the dizzying upward rush and spine-compressing halt of the high-speed elevator, I hesitated in the bank’s airy foyer.
Broad two-storey-high windows sectioned up a panoramic view of the rows of cargo vessels baking on the brilliant water far below as they waited to enter the churned brown channels of the busy harbour. The darker ocean spread out, glassy, beyond them, and, in the steamy distance, the verdant islands of the Indonesian archipelago floated dreamlike along the lip of the South China Sea.
The bronze tinting of the glass turned patches of sunlight into a mottled pink carpet at my feet; the instability of the shimmering light on the marble floor taxing my limited reserves of balance.
I was reminded that, in non-stop travel, I had made poor trades of day for night without any rest, tropical heat for Canadian cold without sufficient fluids; I was now paying the price in exhaustion and dehydration.
My vision was jagged at its edges from fatigue.
I was jittery from harsh Asian coffee on an unsettled stomach.
I had arrived at midnight; plunged through a few hours sleep; risen, restless and un-rested, out of ripples of jet lag at dawn; spent the early morning polishing off a pot of room service coffee, surfing CNN, repeatedly rehearsing this negotiation in my mind from a handful of different perspectives and likely outcomes; and had come directly to the bank’s offices for their nine o’clock opening.
Still, now that I was here, I was more confident; my optimism returning from memory, fed by the headlong momentum of my travel and arrival, if by nothing else. In dashing halfway across the world without pausing for breath, I had given substance to my initiative and commitment; I had proved my willingness to go the distance. I was sustained also by my unflagging conviction that I was the only one who truly understood all of the complexities of the deal; like breath blown onto an ember to bring forth a glow, my seizing control of the bond issue would bring it back to vibrant success.
A final exhale to focus. I waded boldly across the swirling marble under the balls of my feet, pushed through the glass doors to the reception desk.
The receptionist grinned happily, recognizing me immediately, chirped a request into her telephone that, within several minutes, which we passed in courteous intermittent chatting, produced Albert Quan.
Balding, trim, tailored, Albert Quan was hurried in his handshake. “How very good to see you Mr. Smith.” Then, without change in tempo, he added, “Were we expecting you? Our corporate finance group perhaps?”
“No,” I stated evenly, “I came to see you. I flew twenty-six hours. Almost directly from our telephone discussion earlier this week.”
“Then I had better not delay you any further.” Albert Quan amply rounded up the tone of his response in feigned urgency to mitigate the inevitable confrontation lurking in our exchange.
Swimming upstream against my instincts and experience, towing my haggard sunrise rehearsal, I held my impatience in check as I followed Albert Quan down the hall to his office, declining refreshment as we seated ourselves in facing armchairs.
Crossing his ankles, leaning back slightly, Albert Quan opened with, “I very much hope that you are not expecting anything further on the Bangkok Commercial Bank bond deal.”
“I am. And of course you know that.”
“I thought I had made it very clear. That we both understood. That we closed that matter in our telephone conversation.”
“We would like it re-opened.”
Albert Quan was broadly avuncular, conciliatory, “Then I’m afraid you have come a very long way for nothing. There’s nothing I can do. It’s out of my hands. It fully belongs to Amsterdam Bank. We don’t have the slightest role. We don’t even have the slightest carried interest. I can do nothing.”