Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Aquarians, May 2, 2020.

  1. Aquarians


    From "Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89", the current book I'm reading:

    "One particularly imaginative racket was dreamed up by a group of warrant officers. The air force was abandoning boxes of plastic nose cones - nursiki - for their rockets. You could drink from them but apart from that they were not much good for anything. The racketeers started by going round the shops asking the traders if they had any nursiki for sale. The traders had never heard of nursiki and asked what they were for. "You would not understand" said the racketeers but they are very useful, very scarce and very expensive. After they had launched a few boxes of nose cones on the market, the racketeers bought them back at inflated prices. After a few rounds of placing and buybacks, the cupidity of the traders pushed the price sky-high and when demand seemed to be at it's height, the racketeers sold off two truck-loads of nursiki and disappeared. When the traders realized what has happened, they complained to the Soviet Embassy and were told "if you can't stand the heat, don't go into the kitchen". Years later the traders were still wondering how they could have let themselves be so comprehensively fooled."

    God, I love the scheme! Told it to my father who's turning 80 soon and he was not amused. And myself don't condone the sort of stuff these guys did but as a wannabe trader, I can't but admire human ingenuity. Also the answer of the Soviet Embassy, which sort of applies to stock market too ;)

    Book on Amazon:
  2. Aquarians


    Another interesting fact: for Soviet soldiers who returned home (most of them actually), Afghanistan was their contact with the capitalist world. In it's bazaars ("stock markets") they would find things they could only dream about at home and sometimes not even that: blue jeans, stereo cassette players, video players.

    Problem: even officers had shitty wages, let alone soldiers. Therefore everyone was doing anything for a buck and contraband was flourishing. The soldiers would sell anything: blankets, military ratios and bullets. Yes, ammunition, which obviously had high chances of ending used against them. But they "coocked" it before that. They would throw a hand of bullets in a bucket of water and boil it for a hour. The resulting stuff would still fire in case the customer would try to do a test, but the bullet wouldn't kill anyone even without a kevlar vest. Ingenuity :)