Mélanie Mercier née Markowitz (13)
Jean Michel Jakobowicz, ONU
The kids and the father of Mélanie Mercier
née Markowitz, deputy chief economist in
the Projection Department of the Organization,
have disappeared. They vanished shortly after
her colleague David Garrido, who was trying to
help her, was found dead.
(The first ten chapters of Mélanie are on UN
Special’s home page: http://www.unspecial.org)
After the press conference Mélanie headed straight home. The
last question the journalist had put to her, about the disappearance
of her kids, had particularly affected her. Of course she couldnt
say anything but the anxiety was there alright. Where were they? What
were they doing right now? And Jérôme, her ex-husband,
calling all the time? Poor guy! He must be worried sick. But she had
to hold on and she would do it just to know what was happening and discover
who hated her so much as to kill poor David. She had a restless night.
7.30 the next morning she was out the door.
Apparently, the press conference had had a tremendous impact. La Tribune de Genève, Le Matin and Le Courrier carried almost the same headline: «Growth without a future». She bought all three newspapers. All of them quoted her gloomy economic forecast. When she saw the figures in the paper, she was struck by a sudden doubt. Had she been too pessimistic? No, all the data led to the same conclusion.
In the office there were more newspapers waiting to be read. All of them in one way or another quoted her figures and each gave a different analysis. One article in The Herald Tribune was quite surprising. It analysed her study and supported it point by point. Mélanie had never had such a glowing article in all the years that she had issued her analyses. Just at that moment the phone rang.
Well done, Mélanie ! She immediately recognized the voice of Christan Melnick, the Secretary-General of the Organization. Your study is a hit this year. It seems that you even convinced the financial markets. The Tokyo stock exchange opened 3% lower this morning. I would prefer to be wrong, she said. Any news from your kids? asked Christian Melnick before hanging up. Nothing, she answered suddenly feeling totally drained.
As soon as she had hung up, the phone rang again. It was Jérôme, her ex-husband.
Anything new? he asked in a pitiful voice. He sounded as if
he hadnt slept in days. No, nothing! The police still havent
found anything. He seemed so down in the dumps that Mélanie almost
told him everything. The police, always the police. You have
only this one word on your lips. A bunch of useless cops. You should
let me handle the matter. I have friends who
he let his sentence
unfinished. Mélanie was quite intrigued and asked:
Friends? What friends? People I know. Well, but well see.
Mélanie didnt want to insist.
Ill call you when I have news. Jérôme mumbled something that she didnt catch and then hung up.
Mélanie couldnt help feeling sorry for her ex-husband. Yet something stopped her from telling him everything. She felt uncomfortable in a way that she had never felt when they were still together. Jérôme had changed a lot since their marriage had broken down. He often burst into fits of anger, even in front of the kids. Although he kept insisting that he was fine with their separation, Mélanie was convinced that he hadnt really got over it yet.
France Info 10 a.m.
After the disastrous closure of the Tokyo stock exchange, which was
obliged to suspend all trading after 8% was wiped off the value of its
shares. The European stock exchanges did not fare any better. Paris
lost 3% and London
4.5%. According to our experts, this situation is due to the unexpectedly poor growth prospects forecast by the Organization.
Monsieur Dupuis, what do you think of what is happening right now?
What is happening today is normal. It is a technical readjustment after the strong gains of the past few days. Tomorrow everything will be back to normal.
In the meantime Tokyo had to suspend all trading.
That was a very wise move. Very tempo- rary, of course. Im sure that, unlike the Euro- pean and the Japanese stock markets, New York will take it all in its stride.
France Info 3 p.m.
Some news just in. The Paris bourse had to stop all trading after a fall of 8%. Wall Street opened with a loss of 5.2% on yesterday.