Wall Street Raider -- the ultimate in sophisticated financial simulations, a corporate takeover and stock market game and simulation, in which you strive to build your corporate empire by fair means or foul, all the while trying to stay one step ahead of the SEC, IRS, Justice Department, EPA, Congress, powerful unions and no end of ruthless competitors and dealing with difficult ethical choices -- not to mention various manmade and natural economic and other disasters.
In this highly realistic simulation, 1 to 5 players (including the computer) compete to amass fortunes, investing in, or taking over and managing, any of up to 1590 companies in 70 industry groups.
Once in control of a company, you'll use all the tricks of the trade of real Wall Street corporate raiders to expand your empire and net worth, including hostile takeovers, greenmail, LBOs, IPOs, junk bond financing, mergers, restructurings, dominating your industry, antitrust and other lawsuits to harass competitors, and many other fair or unfair tactics.
All in the quest for the Almighty Dollar (or Yen, Pound, Euro, or other currency you configure it for). All your investment research and financial wheeling and dealing occur against the backdrop of a nonstop 'live' stock ticker tape, scrolling financial news tape, and a constantly shifting economic and political environment in which all the companies and industries in Wall Street Raider must operate and try to cope.
Speedy decision-making is of the essence, and sweaty palms are a certainty, as you try to cope and keep your company's earnings on an upward track -- or at least keep yourself out of Bankruptcy Court! .... Reviews: In a front page article (6/22/2000) Investor's Business Daily called it an '...imaginative, stimulating...' simulation.
A leading computer columnist wrote of it, 'You can really learn something about stocks, mergers, takeovers and the general world of finance, and have a whacking good time in the bargain.' Do you think you have what it takes
What's New in This Release: [ read full changelog ]
· In addition to stock charts, the simulation now provides charts of the Global Stock Index, the Prime Rate, the Long Government Bond and Short Government Bond interest rates, each of the five commodities (spot prices), the GDP growth rate, and of the net worth of each player. To view any of the new charts, simply click on the displayed amount in the "Commodity Prices/Indexes/Indicators" box in the in the lower left corner of the main W$R screen or, for a chart of your net worth, click on the "Net Worth" item on "My Balance Sheet." As with stock charts, clicking on any of these items will cause a 5-year history chart to pop up. These new charts are in response to numerous user requests, and will be useful as another research tool, if you like to play trends.
· New currency added: Since we have a considerable number of Wall Street Raider fans in Norway, we have added the Norwegian Krone as an additional currency in which you can configure the simulation. Conversion rates for all 23 currencies in which the game can be played have also been updated again to reflect recent exchange rates.
· With all the taxes that can be imposed in Wall Street Raider, we have decided to add some tax incentives for non-financial companies that are either growing their business assets or spending heavily on research and development (R&D). These new incentives are in the form of tax credits: an Investment Tax Credit for growth in new business assets of industrial companies and an R&D credit for companies that spend more than 10% of their sales on R&D (but not on other types of productivity spending, such as marketing or advertising).
· The Investment Tax Credit is 7% of newly acquired assets (but not for "used" assets bought from another company). A company will earn this credit if its growth rate is positive or when it makes an asset purchase of new assets (using the "Buy Corporate Assets" button on the Buy/Sell Transactions Menu). For example, if XYZ Corp. has 1,000 million in business assets and is growing at 20% a year, this will represent new business asset investment of 200 million for the year, on which it will earn a 7% tax credit, of 14 million, which will directly reduce its income taxes by that amount, if usable. Better yet, a start-up company that buys 1,000 million of new business assets to get started will earn a 70 million investment tax credit, which may shelter it from taxes for a year or two after it becomes profitable.
· The R&D Credit is equal to 20% of any R&D spending that exceeds 10% of sales, if a company is spending more than 10% of sales on R&D. For example, if ABC Company has 1,000 million in annual sales (and business assets of that amount), and spends 22% of sales on R&D, the excess over 10% is 12% of sales, or 120 million, so the R&D tax credit would be 20% of that, or 24 million.
· The two tax credits are lumped together and reduce a company's taxes each quarter, dollar-for-dollar, to the extent it owes any income tax. If it has tax losses, or its income tax before credits is less than the tax credits, it only uses enough of the credits to eliminate the tax, if any. Any unused credits are carried forward for future use, when the company becomes more profitable. A company that is incurring tax losses or is earning current profits but which still has tax loss carryovers may build up a considerable amount of these unused tax credits in some cases.
· However, if a company is an 80%-owned subsidiary of another company (or more than 80%), they do consolidated tax reporting in W$R. In that case, the sub "sells" all its credits to the parent for cash, which reduces the sub's tax expense and increases its reported earnings by that amount (which is offset by an equal negative adjustment to the parent's earnings, so the parent doesn't get a double benefit when it later uses the "upstreamed" tax credit to reduce ITS taxes and increase its net after-tax income). Thus, a parent company, even if it is a bank, insurer, or holding/trading company, may utilize tax credits that it "buys" from its consolidated (80%-owned) subsidiaries, even though it can't earn any such credits itself.
· Tax credits are not taken into account in computing a company's "tax provision" except to the extent the credits are currently used. Thus, they do not increase a company's reported earnings until used to offset actual tax liabilities of the company. The only exception is when an 80% subsidiary can't use the credits itself and "sells" them to its parent, increasing its income, but not the parent company's, since the "sale" is treated as an expense for the parent. The consolidated earnings reported by the parent are not increased by the credits it bought from the subsidiary, unless the parent itself can use the tax credits to offset its consolidated taxable income. (This is a bit different from real-world tax accounting for tax credits, but is a fairly simple approach and works well here.)
· As with net operating loss carryovers in W$R, unused tax credits are carried forward indefinitely, but the unused balance is reduced by 10% at the end of each company's fiscal year. When a 100%-owned subsidiary company that has accrued or unused tax credits is liquidated in a tax-free liquidation, any such credits may be "inherited" by the parent company, though that will usually be minimal, since a 100% sub would have been "selling" its credits to the parent each quarter. If the sub's tax loss carryovers would have been lost (when it is a holding company), its unused tax credits will also be lost when it liquidates.
· In prior versions of W$R, when a tax-free liquidation occurred, both companies could lose their tax loss carryovers if the parent (surviving) company was a holding company and the liquidated subsidiary was not, and the only way the tax loss carryovers of the subsidiary could be transferred to the parent was if both were in the same industry and were not holding/trading companies. If the subsidiary was a holding/trading company, its tax loss carryovers would not transfer, and if the parent was a holding/trading company and the subsidiary was not (i.e., it was an operating company, such as a retailer, airline, etc.), BOTH companies would lose any tax loss carryovers in a liquidation.
· In this new version, we have simplified and loosened these rules a bit. Now, if the liquidated subsidiary is a holding/trading company, its tax losses (and any unused tax credits) are lost in a liquidation, as before. However, if the parent company is a holding/trading company and it liquidates an operating company subsidiary, the parent company (only) will lose its tax loss carryovers and tax credits, but will succeed to any tax loss carryovers or unused tax credits of the liquidated subsidiary. If both companies are holding/trading companies, and both have tax loss carryovers, only the tax losses of the liquidated subsidiary will be lost.
· Another major loophole has been closed in this release, in the interests of (somewhat) greater realism. Previously, there were no limits on the number of put or call options you could buy or short on any one company, provided you didn't control the company (if buying puts or shorting calls on it), and if you had enough buying power -- or a good enough credit rating if shorting options. Thus, if you were sure the price of company XYZ was going to go through the roof, you could repetively buy call options on it (or sell puts), 10% at a time, until you had positions totaling far over 100% of the number of total shares of stock the company had outstanding.
· The saved game file one W$R player sent us, in which he had accumulated over $100 trillion in net worth, showed he had sold short calls on several thousand percent of the stock of one high-priced company, whose stock had sunk almost to zero, so that the profit that was going to be earned on all those calls when they expired was going to be in the trillions!
· That is no longer allowed. You (and all the companies you control) can now only buy calls on a given stock up to a maximum of 100% of the company's stock -- or sell puts short on up to 100% of the company's stock (or you can do both). A similar 100% limit applies to selling calls or buying puts on a single stock.
· The commodity price trends algorithms have been significantly improved and made more realistic, in terms of news events, interest rate levels and trends, oil prices, and economic growth rates. We have also tinkered a bit with interest rate differentials, making short-term bond yields somewhat more volatile than other interest rates, when rates are at extremes.
· A new scenario has been added that involves oil pipelines in the Persian Gulf region and another economic scenario, regarding a European debt crisis and civil chaos due to austerity measures, has been added.
· A new "ethical choice" scenario has been added for banks, with regard to the possibility of engaging in a sleazy marketing campaign targeting senile elderly banking customers.
· This release is file-compatible with saved game files from prior versions 6.0 to 6.40, but not with versions prior to v. 6.0. (Note that files saved with a newer version cannot be used in an older version, so if you are playing with another person and by e-mailing the saved data file back and forth after you each take your turns, you must both be using the same registered version of Wall Street Raider.) Note also, however, that if a game saved by an older version like 6.21 or earlier is loaded, the ETF's will not be activated, as they will have been saved in the past as regular (usually "dormant") holding companies. Thus, you will need to start a new game, if you want ETF's to be available to invest in.