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Magnus 0 project
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Ibis
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rai-fan wrote:
Four years since I first posted in this thread (and since Valiant's first BS press release about a Harbinger movie).

And I just received another two raw NM copies of Magnus # 0 in the mail.

The price? Less than $13 each, shipped.

Patience, gents. Patience and consistency wins out.


That's not a bad price, but I know I paid $4 for one.
Whenever I see a Magnus #0 now, I think of your hoard.

I knew someone who had acquired cases of gold books, and he was really frustrated on how to get the market value out of them. If he kept relisting the book on eBay every time he sold one, it would flood the market and eventually the price would take a nose dive. He tinkered with the idea of making project books and getting creators to sign them, but none of his ideas allowed him to maximize his return on investment. Sometimes having a hoard means you have to really be patient to sell them also.
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Rai-fan
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True.

I lucked out two years ago when one eBay seller sold off around ~40 copies of X-O # 1/2 gold. It was the only VH1 X-O book I didn't have. I think I bought four copies at ~$22 per. While that hoard's long-since dried up, it's still a solid $60 book raw.

And we know that Greg (ValiantMan) at one point had 60+ copies of Unity 0 red, while BBMM still has about a short box each of Image's Brigade # 1 gold and Darker Image # 1 gold or platinum.

Much harder to acquire piece-meal, but really fun too.

I really doubt the long-term potential of even early Valiant at this point (even with the Bloodshot movie forthcoming).

But I'll always love Magnus 0.
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Ibis
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rai-fan wrote:
True.

I lucked out two years ago when one eBay seller sold off around ~40 copies of X-O # 1/2 gold. It was the only VH1 X-O book I didn't have. I think I bought four copies at ~$22 per. While that hoard's long-since dried up, it's still a solid $60 book raw.

And we know that Greg (ValiantMan) at one point had 60+ copies of Unity 0 red, while BBMM still has about a short box each of Image's Brigade # 1 gold and Darker Image # 1 gold or platinum.

Much harder to acquire piece-meal, but really fun too.

I really doubt the long-term potential of even early Valiant at this point (even with the Bloodshot movie forthcoming).

But I'll always love Magnus 0.


Now I know why Unity Red was one of the last premium books I acquired. Laughing
I thought I was doing good to buy four Unity Vol. 2 TPB's for $10 a piece.
A hoard for me was 30 copies of Unity 2000 #3. I made good profit on those. I may have 2 left at most. I had 10 copies of Armorines Vol. 2 $4. I was aggressive at supporting Jim's return to Valiant, but the Unity 2K stockpile was a result of me switching stores and getting a double order. A store pissed me off right after I'd ordered ten copies. The owner was selling low print run indy comics that I'd pre-ordered to other customers and telling me he'd put the comic on back order because "it didn't ship." I switched to a new store, doubled my order and ended up buying them all from both stores.

Something about the Bloodshot movie sounds like flop to me. I could be wrong, but filming in South Africa doesn't instill confidence in me. I've seen three decent South African films, but all had limited distribution and weren't huge box office successes. They did okay, but it wasn't a lasting effect.
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Rai-fan
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's funny - I've never owned the Diamond Unity Trades or Armorines Vol. 2 # 4.

And I remember when Unity 2000 came out because I saw issues 2 & 3 at a store in downtown Philly, although I didn't buy them later until a convention.

I'm still missing ~15 VH1 books, but don't have the motivation to spend to finish them. The list includes:

Unity Trade 1 &2
Bloodshot 0 gold
Bloodshot 0 platinum
Shadowman 0 gold
Eternal Warrior 27 VVSS
Geomancer 1 VVSS
(probably) Deathman Epilogue gold
Rai trade (blue)

Would love to be able to rep that I have a complete set but prices are most of these are still -- 20+ years later -- more than I'm willing to pay.

And I *still* don't understand why Harbinger 1 goes for such a premium in 9.8.

In early 2015 the going rate for the book was $325.

Then the movie press release came out (you can tell from GPA it was around March 9), and the price jumped to $800-900 almost instantly.

Today, with *zero* news of even a script, the book still sells for $800 dollars.

I understand it's legit rare in 9.8 (and my only slabbed copy is a 9.4), but it's a perfect example where speculative demand outstrips any real reason for its valuation.
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Ibis
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rai-fan wrote:
It's funny - I've never owned the Diamond Unity Trades or Armorines Vol. 2 # 4.

And I remember when Unity 2000 came out because I saw issues 2 & 3 at a store in downtown Philly, although I didn't buy them later until a convention.

I'm still missing ~15 VH1 books, but don't have the motivation to spend to finish them. The list includes:

Unity Trade 1 &2
Bloodshot 0 gold
Bloodshot 0 platinum
Shadowman 0 gold
Eternal Warrior 27 VVSS
Geomancer 1 VVSS
(probably) Deathman Epilogue gold
Rai trade (blue)

Would love to be able to rep that I have a complete set but prices are most of these are still -- 20+ years later -- more than I'm willing to pay.

And I *still* don't understand why Harbinger 1 goes for such a premium in 9.8.

In early 2015 the going rate for the book was $325.

Then the movie press release came out (you can tell from GPA it was around March 9), and the price jumped to $800-900 almost instantly.

Today, with *zero* news of even a script, the book still sells for $800 dollars.

I understand it's legit rare in 9.8 (and my only slabbed copy is a 9.4), but it's a perfect example where speculative demand outstrips any real reason for its valuation.



Here's the thing about Valiant in general. In Atlanta, the pre-unity stuff held value up through the late 90's. Stores quit actively seeking out inventory to stock, but if they got in the books they would sell. The stores wouldn't get top dollar early 90's prices, but they weren't flushing them out to get rid of them either. The pre-unity stuff had a solid demand. Along comes the internet and Greg Holland's first price guide. He scientifically (sarcasm) went online and recorded the prices from major retailers. He located eBay auctions. Then he determined his price guide value. The value he determined was almost always the lowest eBay auction price he could find. I was sitting on comics I've invested in. The local comic shop might be pricing a book $10 and selling out whenever it is restocked. His price guide listed it as $5. I found it a tad bit annoying, but I was glad someone was promoting Valiant online. Greg eventually revealed his story that Valiant had gotten hot when he was too young to afford what people were charging. He'd dreamed of owning all of those valuable issues. His price guide made a lot more sense after that. Whether with intentional effort or through ignorant optimism, he was using a rudimentary form of statistical process control to devalue the comics so he could afford them. Eventually, he acquired all those comics he wanted with multiples of everything he wanted. There was no logical reason to devalue them anymore. He collaborated with the CGC to promote high grade Valiant for slabbing and modern day collectibility.

The source of my big falling out with him and leaving the Valiant message board was me saying "I don't care what the CGC says." Not that I care, but at the time I didn't know those were his buddies. At the time, I didn't know Greg was getting a distribution of the CGC data in the form of an Excel file and running statistical reports for them. All I cared about was that he and his friends were trying to negate my right to have a differing opinion. He was also threatening me from his role as the leader of Valiant fans. I had enough, I left the fold. Sometime AFTER I left the board, he breaks with an announcement that he'd been calculating the values of the Valiant back issues incorrectly. He had not been factoring that people online were also having to pay shipping charges when they won an online auction. After he'd acquired all of the backed issue he wanted..... after he'd partnered with CGC to promote Valiant as a modern day collectible company... after he'd brought fans together online in a community to promote and share info on Valiant.... he increased the prices in his price guide across the board. This is all a form of statistical process control.

He first used it to buy cheap. He later used it to increase the value of what he owned. He's a MENSA... he's so much smarter than the rest of us. Why does a CGC Harbinger #1 go for so much? Because Greg has been manipulating the market and public perception of the comics and their significance for over 20 years. It's not a mistake. It's not an accident. Where he might have messed up is paying for internet hosting for over a decade. I only use free options.

This is all one reason you never see me compile a price guide online. At most, I'll list observed prices and a date I observed them. It's an ethical thing for me.

If you'd been following this from the late 90's, you could have benefited from Greg devaluing Valiant prices. I took advantage of it and bought some very high grade pink Harbinger #0's (signed) for $5 a piece. Harbinger #1's for the same.




There was no buzz about Valiant by that time. His price guide was considered legitimate price info for people wanting to sell the comics.
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Rai-fan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good story.

But I've ignored Greg's price guide entirely, so my experience (and observation of the market) is entirely independent of that.

If anything, my best Valiant score came around 2003 and had nothing to do with devaluation in Greg's online guide, but from Overstreet's itself.

It was at Capitol City Comics in Madison, Wisconsin (yes, I believe the flagship store for Cap City from when they were a competing distributor with Diamond).

I asked about early and incentive Valiants, and the guy pulled them from the back room, then priced them at Overstreets.

Unity 0 red? $4
Armorines 0 regular? $3
Hard CORPS 1 gold? $3
Harbinger 1? $8

My Harbinger observation is similarly 100% independent of the Valiant Boards.

It's that, in the week before the Harbinger movie announcement, the true market value of Harbinger # 1, CGC 9.8 was about $280.

The day the announcement broke, there were *at least* 8 copies of Harbinger 1 9.8 easily available for sale online for $325 -- four of them from LoneStar alone.

And they sat unsold.

Then the movie announcement came and bam! They sold for $800-$850 within two weeks. Still a far cry from the $1,050 heyday when the book was *extraordinarily rare* in 9.8, but perhaps reasonable with the movie hype.

But fully four years later, with no further script, director or casting notices?

There's nothing to support that $800 price.

If anything, the latest news is Bloodshot 2 will come out before the first Harbinger film -- and that obviously won't happen if the first Bloodshot film tanks.

It's my same gripe with Werewolf by Night 32. That book's been propped up artificially for *years* on nothing more than the assumption that someday they'll be a movie.

That may be true, but until there's actual, concrete news, it's just vapor.

Also, anyone who relied on Greg's price guide was/is an idiot. FMV's been available from eBay for *years* and has been my source for Valiant values. And any of us could have done what Greg did over the years -- which is amass books when they're (still) cheaper than their 90's heyday.

The bigger sham I believe is how the Valiant Boards have promoted the limited incentives of the new Valiant company as collectors' items among the boardies.

I seriously doubt *any* of the 2012-present Valiant books will hold long-term value. Yet the constant promotion and discussion of them over the last 7-8 years has hoodwinked hundreds in believing they're sitting on a goldmine that the rest of the collecting community will discover once the Bloodshot film sees the light of day.

Umm...Good luck with that.

I give the new company credit for lasting longer than VH1 did, and in a far smaller comic collecting involvement.

And the half dozen books I've checked out weren't nearly as insulting as say...Shooter's attempts to reboot Magnus and Turok for Dark Horse.

But damn do I personally not care.
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Ibis
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bigger influence is not Greg's guide. The bigger influence is the early connections he established with the CGC and his presence on the CGC message board. The guide (post-2001) has only re-enforced his effect over the Valiant collecting fan base. Once he established that Valiant was (at the time) a modern day collectible worthy of encapsulation, the board itself perpetuated that concept.

Greg's board is essentially overflow of memberships from the CGC message board. This board and my board were overflow from Greg's board.

Overstreet has always undervalued Valiant. Harbinger #1 was listed as a $5 book when it was selling out at shows for $90. Greg's influence as an advisor at Overstreet and $1.25 will get him a bottled soft drink. His attempts to sway prices there has resulted in nothing. In many cases, they should take his advice, but they don't.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's fair, perhaps.

I was actually a member of Greg's board first, which introduced me to this board, which (eventually) introduced me to the CGC boards.

And yeah - his work on CGC census *may* have reinforced the idea that Valiants were among the most-slab-worthy comics of the early 90s, but I don't think that had *nearly* as much influence on that perception as his fan board and/or his position as an Overstreet advisor.

The irony of the result, though, is that pre-Unity Valiants are today among the most-slabbed books of that era, thus the easiest to find in super-high grade.

Also, I call BS on the "Overstreet's listed Harbinger 1 for $5 when it sold at shows for $90" - at least not in the book's first heyday.

Might have been *technically true" for the annual book, but the summer that Unity came out, the book went from $15 to $45 in the space of a single Overstreet's Update -- just 60 days apart.

Still a lagging indicator, as my LCS was selling Harbinger 1 for $35 when it was listed at just $15, and was selling it for $60 when Overstreet's had it at $45.

I'd never seen Overstreets triple a book that fast, except for a brief period in 1991 when they moved X-Factor 52 (a Sabretooth appearance) from $1.25 to $8 in a single update -- until acknowledging it was a typo and moving it back a few months later.

But at least in Philadelphia it took a full 6-8 months for Harbinger 1 to move from $15 (basically, the week that Unity 0 came out) to $90+ (around when X-O # 14 came out).
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Ibis
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rai-fan wrote:
That's fair, perhaps.

I was actually a member of Greg's board first, which introduced me to this board, which (eventually) introduced me to the CGC boards.

And yeah - his work on CGC census *may* have reinforced the idea that Valiants were among the most-slab-worthy comics of the early 90s, but I don't think that had *nearly* as much influence on that perception as his fan board and/or his position as an Overstreet advisor.

The irony of the result, though, is that pre-Unity Valiants are today among the most-slabbed books of that era, thus the easiest to find in super-high grade.

Also, I call BS on the "Overstreet's listed Harbinger 1 for $5 when it sold at shows for $90" - at least not in the book's first heyday.

Might have been *technically true" for the annual book, but the summer that Unity came out, the book went from $15 to $45 in the space of a single Overstreet's Update -- just 60 days apart.

Still a lagging indicator, as my LCS was selling Harbinger 1 for $35 when it was listed at just $15, and was selling it for $60 when Overstreet's had it at $45.

I'd never seen Overstreets triple a book that fast, except for a brief period in 1991 when they moved X-Factor 52 (a Sabretooth appearance) from $1.25 to $8 in a single update -- until acknowledging it was a typo and moving it back a few months later.

But at least in Philadelphia it took a full 6-8 months for Harbinger 1 to move from $15 (basically, the week that Unity 0 came out) to $90+ (around when X-O # 14 came out).


I may have some price guides around that show how out-of-whack their pricing was. It used to annoy me greatly because some dealers were referencing it when I was trying to trade for Silver Age keys. They'd show me Overstreet and I'd show them the CBG. Even a friend of mine (an Overstreet Advisor) felt that I was overvaluing my early Harbinger issues. Our disagreement on the value was about to stop a trade for an Amazing Spiderman #1. I looked at him and said... "I'm going to leave. I'll be back in an hour. We'll make the trade." He was perplexed and skeptical. I took my Harbinger issues to another store and traded them at the value I knew they were worth and got a Strange Tales #110. I took the Strange Tales #110 and included it instead of the Harbinger issues. He looked at my books and said "Okay."
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your story about trading Valiants for Silver Age isn't uncommon.

There was that brief 9-month period in late 1992-1993 where Valiants were the hottest books on the planet, and at conventions a short box of Valiants would outsell an entire wall of Gold and Silver blue chips.

It goes to liquidity. Not how "key" or "collected" a book is (after all, every book will sell eventually at a given price), but its liquidity -- the *speed* at which it will sell.

And there was a time when copies of Shadowhawk 1 at $12 (yes - I know it's Image but as the first Image 0 coupon book, it was as good as cash) or Magnus 12 at $40 or Harbinger 1 at $90 were easier sales than ASM 129 at $250 or Hulk 181 at $300.

And by that I mean, 8 out of 10 dealers would value 6-7 copies of Magnus 12 at more than one copy of ASM 129, because they'd sell out of every copy faster than they would the one copy of the Punisher book.

So it made sense to trade for pre-Unity's in bulk.

That time, alas, will never come again.

I don't believe we'll actually see the promised five films from Valiant.

And I don't believe 2012-present Valiants will ever reach the heights of popularity that the first iteration of the company did in 1993.

Fun fact: the *top-selling* Valiant book last month sold less than 8,000 copies and barely ranked in the top 250 selling books of the month.

That's a company on its last legs, forthcoming Bloodshot movie or not.
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Ibis
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rai-fan wrote:
Your story about trading Valiants for Silver Age isn't uncommon.

There was that brief 9-month period in late 1992-1993 where Valiants were the hottest books on the planet, and at conventions a short box of Valiants would outsell an entire wall of Gold and Silver blue chips.

It goes to liquidity. Not how "key" or "collected" a book is (after all, every book will sell eventually at a given price), but its liquidity -- the *speed* at which it will sell.

And there was a time when copies of Shadowhawk 1 at $12 (yes - I know it's Image but as the first Image 0 coupon book, it was as good as cash) or Magnus 12 at $40 or Harbinger 1 at $90 were easier sales than ASM 129 at $250 or Hulk 181 at $300.

And by that I mean, 8 out of 10 dealers would value 6-7 copies of Magnus 12 at more than one copy of ASM 129, because they'd sell out of every copy faster than they would the one copy of the Punisher book.

So it made sense to trade for pre-Unity's in bulk.

That time, alas, will never come again.

I don't believe we'll actually see the promised five films from Valiant.

And I don't believe 2012-present Valiants will ever reach the heights of popularity that the first iteration of the company did in 1993.

Fun fact: the *top-selling* Valiant book last month sold less than 8,000 copies and barely ranked in the top 250 selling books of the month.

That's a company on its last legs, forthcoming Bloodshot movie or not.


I don't believe Valiant will survive, but necessity is the mother of invention. They could pull a rabbit out of their hat and linger on some more.

I rant that Harris comics are some of the most uncollectible back issues because they created as many as 13 variants for a single issue in the 90's. Collectors will cherry pick covers they like, but I know of no one making it their quest to collect a full set of the company.

Valiant has done the same exact thing. Nobody is going to look back at their catalog of material and ever seek to collect it all. If a movie is a success, which key back issue do you buy as an investment? Collectors will get frustrated when they buy the common version and there's some variant limited to 250 copies that pops up the next day. When collectors are confused as to what they need to buy, they opt to not buy anything in many cases.

I stopped by Valiantfans and was getting a feel for what the members had on their mind. It was like walking into a funeral home.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True about the funeral home part.

Folks seem to be treating Dino's ouster as badly as folks treated Shooter's ouster a generation before.

But the truth is the *only* reason the private equity firm funded a Valiant comics reboot in the first place back in 2011 was to strengthen the license to sell movies. Once they got that Sony agreement? Game over.

On the other hand, I don't think the re-boot *ever* took off with comic collectors in general.

Among all the board threads on the most limited VEI books (or variants) I'd honestly like to see a thread on the top 20 highest-print books.

I doubt VEI's had 20 books surpass a 50K print run in its entire 8-year run.

Given how small today's modern comic collecting base is, the inability to consitently rank *any* book among the top 100 comics of the month is embarassing.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rai-fan wrote:
True about the funeral home part.

Folks seem to be treating Dino's ouster as badly as folks treated Shooter's ouster a generation before.

But the truth is the *only* reason the private equity firm funded a Valiant comics reboot in the first place back in 2011 was to strengthen the license to sell movies. Once they got that Sony agreement? Game over.

On the other hand, I don't think the re-boot *ever* took off with comic collectors in general.

Among all the board threads on the most limited VEI books (or variants) I'd honestly like to see a thread on the top 20 highest-print books.

I doubt VEI's had 20 books surpass a 50K print run in its entire 8-year run.

Given how small today's modern comic collecting base is, the inability to consitently rank *any* book among the top 100 comics of the month is embarassing.


I think it's funny how badly they took the ousting of Dinesh.
I had a bad attitude about the ousting of Shooter because he meshed all the elements and wrote (or plotted) the stories I liked. Bob Layton stepped in and intentionally undid everything Shooter had spent so long building.
I remember criticizing the series and cover art for a H.A.RD. Corp issue on Greg's board and some guy acted all offended. I later found out that he was a dealer stuck with long boxes full of the glut books. He obviously didn't want anyone criticizing the books because he was trying to sell all the overproduced books he was stuck with.
Therein lies the problem with Valiant. The majority of the fans who liked it were not there seeing it build from the ground up. They hopped onto the bandwagon with the hype and they started with the mediocre product that Bob Layton released under his watch.

I really didn't care what Dinesh did with the company. It was too messed up for me by the time he bought it. On a personal level, I have a problem with him flat out lying to me and denying that he'd bought the properties. I'm sure he'll use some confidentiality contract as justification to lie, but there are still moral and ethical ramifications for that. One of those ramifications is that I have no desire to converse or entertain his rambling. I would never socialize with him. I don't wish ill-will on him, but I also didn't want to buy his product.

When they initially launched X-O, the book had respectable sales. Then they released a FCBD version which meant they negated any money they made off the comic and devalued it as a back issue collectible. The flood of variants milked any extra sales they coulg get, but it sabotaged back issue collectibility. Eventually it became impossible for anyone to own a complete set. That's especially true when they released comics limited to only one copy. Who can take pride in knowing that they'll never own a complete set? Would you have started a CGC registry set if you knew it was impossible to get even one copy of a book in the series? You'd probably choose to focus on something that is actually obtainable.

When I started collecting Atlas/Seabord publications, I sought out Gothic Romances and My Secret Magazine first. I knew I'd take no pride in the collection if those were completely unobtainable. Then I moved on to Vicki #3 & #4. I eventually gave up, but at least I know I could potentially get a whole set. There's only one known copy of My Secret 32, but at least I know the guy who owns it and it's just a matter of meeting his price.

Back to my point, Dinesh sabotaged any chance of Valiant becoming collectible by over-producing variants and milking fans and retailers out of every dime they could get.

The problem with venture capital is that they don't step in to finance your dream and make you rich. They invest in you so they can get rich. Many will give you just enough money to where you've got it up and running. Once the plateau is reached, they cut off the funds so that you have to relinquish it to them. They walk away with everything, you walk away with nothing.
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