Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On the Importance of Honor

All trade is based on contracts. In order to be able to predict outcomes and thus make wise decisions, a trader must be able to rely on contracts being honored. This holds true even when it's not goods that are being traded, but services. One of our acquaintances learned this lesson the hard way.

The transaction in question was a mercenary contract, where the service in question was military support. My associates had encountered these mercenaries already, and the monthly war declarations were late, so it was not hard to put two and two together and conclude that whoever that had been hiring the Privateers had switched to using Noir. With our current logistics arrangements, the client did not get their money's worth and switched to a more high-quality service provider. That is a very reasonable course of action, but higher-quality service also warrants a higher price tag. And one never, ever should agree to a contract that you cannot fulfill. Especially when your business partners not only wield financial and political power, but also considerable military power. An unfulfilled contract just might persuade them to to extract their fee using other means.