Mar 25, 2007

Just When You Think You Heard It All!

Just when you think you have heard it all, you come across something like this!
The stock market
Back to the futures
If only Nick Leeson had though of it. A 44-year-old man called Andrew Carlssin, currently in the hands of an FBI team investigating allegations of insider trading, is offering a unique excuse as part of his plea bargain. Carlssin claims he is a time traveller from the year 2256 who, after making profits of $350m in just two weeks from an initial investment of $800, let greed get the better of him and attracted the attention of Wall Street's security and exchange commission. A case of Back to the Futures Market, if you will.
But the SEC isn't laughing: "We don't believe this guy's story. He's either a lunatic or a pathological liar," said a spokesman. "Every trade he made capitalised on unexpected business developments, which simply can't be pure luck. The only way he could pull it off is with illegal inside information. He's going to sit in a jail cell on Rikers Island until he agrees to give up his sources."
Carlssin's downfall, it seems, is that he didn't follow the basic rule of time travel: namely, never draw attention to yourself by exploiting your omniscience. What Doctor Who or Marty McFly would make of this amateur isn't clear, but even a non-time traveller could have told him that profiting from 126 consecutive high-risk trades over two weeks was sure to get him noticed.
He also forgot another cardinal rule: never get parted from your time machine when on a day trip to the past. Part of his plea bargain, it has been revealed, is that he is offering to tell the authorities the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and a cure for Aids if they just let him return to, as he calls it, his "time craft".
But at least he is now showing signs of repentance. "It was just too tempting to resist," Carlssin (on whom the FBI can't find any records dated before December 2002) allegedly said in his confession. "I had planned to make it look natural - you know, lose a little here and there so it didn't look too perfect. But I just got caught in the moment." He is refusing to budge on one fact, though - the location of his time machine. He fears the technology could "fall into the wrong hands".
However, one question must linger in the minds of the FBI: if he can predict the future, why didn't he foresee his arrest? (NB: For those of you knowingly pointing at the date on the top right-hand corner of this page, you are mistaken. This is a bona-fide story found on the internet, where, as we all know, truth is revered as a sanctity.)
Leo Hickman
2003

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