The Hollow Crown
Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.
Konrad came to Boston shortly after being demobbed from the Yankee army in 1865. Its not clear where he got the money from, but he was able to invest heavily in bars and brewerys across Boston, including the famous Jacob Wirth restauraunt. The control this gave him over the import of beer brought him to the attention of Silas and the Ventrue. He had one other investment, a patent in a ticker tape machine he funded with an old Army buddy named Callaghan.
By the time of his embrace, Konrad had developed a sizeable fortune. What is interesting was that it appears to have vanished shortly after, to the extent that his business interests only extended to one relatively minor gin palace. Rumour has it that the other children of Winthrop grouped together to ‘teach him a lesson’. Tobias took the cash and Bartleby the brewing businesses. Bartleby left a note to the young Ventrue advising him not to build his investments on moonshine next time.
He regained his fortune, rumoured to be from bootlegging and bad whiskey, and then expanded it massively through investing with the Kennedy’s. By the 1920’s he had a diversified portfoli, covering; real estate, steel companies, radio and burgeioning film companies including RKO and RCA. He also had developed a securities firm, it made a fortune through short-selling, effective insider trading (legal at the time) and by lending to thse investing at shares at high rates and then selling their liability on.
Of course Bartleby and Tobias both got in on the action. Bartleby made a greater fortune through his links to the legal firms and Tobias invested heavily into the steel mills and naval industry. Michael also made cautious investments, working alongside the other chldren. His revenge was well taken.
He used Kennedy in his role at the FEC to outlaw insider trading, at a stroke taking down half of the lawyers and scribes that Bartleby had developed over tw centuries.
He had pulled out of almost all of his investments, outside of the movie and radio business, in Dec 1928 – he then shorted almost every company that Tobias invsted in – at the same time dumping his own existing stocks. He also circulated rumours via the ticker tape and associates that the Bethlehem Yards, previously managed by Kennedy would lose their contracts with the ‘peace dividend’. The market collapsed – Tobias was almost wiped out – left with one naval yard. At that stage Konrad reinvested his funds and took control of the boards in enough time to witness the award of several contracts to the firms. He sold the investments at a massive profit and sat back in the newly named ‘Moonshine’ bar, watching as the 1929 collapse came in.
He did maintain one investment that interested him, the Computer Tabulating Reporting Company, that producd calculating machines. He was absent from Boston during the Sabbat attacks, ironically ensuring his continued control over IBM and other military investments for Winthrop. He had Moonshine mothballed, and spent most of the next three decades on the West Coast assembling resources to retake Boston. He also discovered to interesting companies making laptops software. He sold his stake in the radio and film businesses and moved them into the tech companies.
He was present for some of the combat at the end of the war, but tended to act in a support role.