|[2011-02-27, Devil Doll]
Beware - spoilers for episode 10 ahead!
This series is focusing on trade. But this episode manifests a substantial problem.
All of this makes this show appear a lot less solid about its core subject that it appeared at first.
- The deal between Lawrence and Latopearon is effectively a blackmail, done by the hero of this show. But would he be able to prove his accusation to anyone? Why did the Latopearon guy back down so easily?
- Contrary to Lawrence's later claim of having been swindled, it was him who asked for payment in the form of armor, so it's not like Latopearon actively talked him into purchasing worthless goods.
- Lawrence was overconfident that armor could be sold anytime, anywhere. But actually he's on a journey from the South to the North, and he has less information about market prices than the large trading companies with their larger information network do. Shouldn't he have been more cautious about his judgment? Well, he was in the know about secret political ploys during the first part of the series but suddenly appears completely uninformed - what a letdown. (This particular information aspect will be dealt with in episode 2 of the sequel.) And it's funny how Horo warned him about becoming boastful in this very scene...
- Why did Lawrence insist on just one type of goods? If his goal was to make additional profit by forcing Latopearon into giving him an interest-free loan, then making a small but guaranteed profit would in fact be his goal from here on. Why did he put all his eggs into one basket, thus breaking the number one rule of a trader? Armor wasn't the only merchandise he could have asked for (being both expensive and easy to transport)? What about various spices, or expensive clothes (both of which he's quite familiar with it)? He would have lost only a part of his investment then, and at least not go bankrupt, just losing all of his profit from recent deals. He ignored this rule in previous trades but this time he has more than just his own assets in his hands, so implementing an additional strategy to reduce his risk exposure would have been a good idea. It's more than funny how this very series could be airing shortly before the burst of the world-wide housing bubble in 2008... does that inply Lawrence's skills being par with those of ↗Lehman Brothers?