....WALL STREET RAIDER UPDATE DETAILS....
(Click on your browser's "refresh" button if you have visited this page before)
VERSION 9.0 IS NOW AVAILABLE, NOW FEATURING A NUMBER OF NEW FEATURES, SUCH AS CORPORATE CASH
FLOW PROJECTIONS (AND WARNINGS), BOND FUND ETFs, AND 3X-LEVERAGED BULL AND BEAR STOCK INDEX FUNDS,
PLUS A RARE (BUT POSSIBLE) PANDEMIC DISASTER SCENARIO, THAT LIKE THE CURRENT PANDEMIC, CAN BE A
DRAG ON THE ECONOMY FOR YEARS.
VERSION 9.0 AND OTHER RECENT RELEASES HAVE ADDED SEVERAL NEW "ETHICAL SCENARIOS" YOU MAY
HAVE TO FACE, ONE INVOLVING SALES OF CONTROVERSIAL "SEXBOTS," OTHERS WITH PRODUCTION OF
AUTONOMOUS KILLER ROBOTS OR SELF-DRIVING TRUCKS WITH "SLIGHT" SOFTWARE PROBLEMS, OR
SECURITY FIRMS THAT ARE OFFERED BIG MONEY TO SELL THEIR CLIENTS' PASSCODES AND OTHER SECRETS
TO A CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION... OR ELSE. WE THINK YOU WILL ENJOY AGONIZING OVER THESE AND
THE MANY OTHER ETHICAL DILEMMAS THAT YOU MAY ENCOUNTER IN THE SIMULATION!
VERSION 8.7x ADDED THE ABILITY TO MANAGE ETFs AND POSSIBLY EARN LARGE MANAGEMENT FEE
PERFORMANCE BONUSES (LIKE A HEDGE FUND MANAGER) FOR SUPERIOR RESULTS. ANOTHER MAJOR
NEW FEATURE IN 8.7x ALLOWS YOU TO SET A MAXIMUM ASSET GROWTH RATE FOR ALL YOUR COMPANIES
THAT ARE OPERATING ON "AUTOPILOT," WITH ONE CLICK
OTHER RECENT RELEASES HAVE ADDED CONVERTIBLE BONDS AS INVESTMENTS AND FOR FINANCING, STOCK
PRICE ALERTS YOU CAN SET, IMPROVED INDIVIDUAL CASH FLOW PROJECTIONS FOR PLAYERS, AUTOMATIC
"SWEEP" OF CASH TO PAY DOWN PLAYER MARGIN DEBT, AND MANY OTHER IMPROVEMENTS, SOME OF
WHICH ARE LISTED BELOW.
Below are details on upgrades, updates, bug fixes, and other
improvements in the Windows version of Wall Street Raider. Click
here to see an image of the
main screen of Wall Street Raider (for Versions 6.0 THROUGH 9.0.
REGISTERED USERS: If you are a registered user
of the Windows version, you can order updates/upgrades of the
new version (v. 9.0) at a greatly reduced price of $12.95, which
includes the latest version of the (electronic) strategy manual,
which now comes in HTML format, for hypertext viewing with your
To access the reduced price ordering link, simply load your current
(REGISTERED) version of W$R, and click on the "Game Options/Updates"
menu item, which will take you to the ordering page on the Internet.
(If you have a very old copy of W$R, that only takes you back to this
page, e-mail us at email@example.com
with your registration info and we will give you the link for ordering
at the reduced $12.95 price.) The file you will download will be
the "Full Package" version, 9.0.
SHAREWARE USERS: Download the latest shareware
(free) version of W$R.
Note that the shareware version, limits games to 2 years in length and
options trading is not enabled; stock charts are also not generally available.
(The registered version allows games of up to 35 years length, and if that isn't
long enough for you, email us with your registration number and we will send
you a link to an "experimental" version that theoretically allows games to
go on for 999 years, though the compounding numbers will grow so large that
they will probably crash the program after about 100 years.)
To order the registered version 9.0 ($21.95) that includes the "Customizer"
utility program that lets you permanently change company names and stock
symbols, or to order the "Full Package" that includes the W$R Strategy
Manual (electronic, HTML file, not a print version) and the Customizer, for
$29.95, CLICK HERE to go
to our ordering page menu.
Check below, to determine if an update has been issued since
the version you currently have. As you can see, Wall Street Raider
is a "work in progress," and has constantly been improved and made
more realistic and usable over the years. The quest for perfection
OUR STOCK TRADING GAME!
Speculator: The Stock Market Simulation, is a
"spin-off" from Wall Street Raider, a simulation in which you are not a
billionaire tycoon who can influence or manipulate stock prices, but just a
small, middle-class investor with a $100,000 inheritance to invest or speculate
with. As such, we think you will find it a lot more challenging than Wall
Street Raider, as you have to be a nimble trader in stocks, bonds (including
convertibles), options and futures. For details, or to try a free (shareware)
version, CLICK HERE.
WINDOWS VERSION RELEASES THROUGH
January 1, 2021 (v. 9.0)
(Descriptions of releases are shown below in reverse order)
We don't expect you will read more than the most recent items
listed below, but this "abbreviated" page will give you some
idea of the tremendous number of improvements and extensions
we have made to the Windows version since it was first released,
many of which changes were based on user suggestions, for which
we are always grateful!
8.72 -- Released March 15, 2020 (Minor upgrade from 8.70/8.71 and bug fix)
- 9.0 -- Released January 1, 2021 (Major upgrade)
- We have received a number of requests from users in the last
year to include some kind of cash flow projection or warning
system when companies you control are about to run out of cash.
Our response has generally been, "Nice thought, but devilishly
difficult to see how I could do that, especially where there are
complex corporate structures involving complexities like the
presence of convertible bonds or 80%-owned subsidiaries that
are contributing unknown amounts of taxable income and/or tax
credits to a consolidated group's tax calculations, all at
Nevertheless, during our period of house arrest ("self-quarantine")
during the COVID-19 crisis, we have had plenty of time on our hands,
which we didn't want to waste watching the rubbish on the telly, so
we decided to tackle that thorny project, knowing that it would be
vastly more complex than the existing cash flow annual projection for
the individual players. It was, but we've come up with a cash flow
projection for non-bank corporations that isn't perfect, but will
generally give you a pretty good estimate of the near-term cash flow
of a corporation, with considerable detail, giving you some ideas
of what policies you need to quickly change if your corporation is
burning through its cash and credit rapidly and headed for a crack-up
on the financial rocks. Accordingly...
This version now includes detailed 3-month cash flow projections
for corporations, which can also help you determine when a stock
you are considering an investment in (or shorting) is about to run
out of cash and/or borrowing power, and perhaps be forced to sell
off assets when it has burned through all its cash and credit. Or,
it can give you some assurance that a company is sailing along
smoothly, with no near-term liquidity problems. The complex code
that does the calculations is also a diagnostic tool that can
give you warnings (pop-ups or in research reports on a stock)
when a company is about to experience a serious cash crunch in
the next three months. In such cases, the actual projection and
how it is being calculated will also show you where the worst
bleeding is occurring, so you can take appropriate action -- if
This feature is also an invaluable tool, once you recognize that
your company has a cash flow crisis coming. You can do "what-if"
analyses of changes like cutting the dividend paid, slashing R
& D spending, or cutting back on the growth rate, or increasing
the dividends paid by stocks your company owns controlling
interests in, and doing new cash flow projections to see how
such changes in policy will affect the bottom line cash flow, to
prevent your company from having to make forced sales of assets.
In addition, if you change certain settings that directly affect
cash flow (dividend payout, asset growth rate, or productivity
spending), you will be given an immediate warning if an increase
you make in one of those settings will trigger a major cash flow
problem in the next 3 months, in which case you may want to reverse
the change you have just made.
- Another new feature in this version is the addition of
another 5 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to the 15 sector ETFs
that were added in Version 6.30 (in 2012). These new funds
consist of three bond funds, and two triple leverage (3x)
index funds. One bond fund invests only in government
bonds, another invests only in investment-grade bonds
rated BBB or better, and the third fund invests only in
junk (high yield or convertible) bonds with ratings of
BB or lower, if available, (but not "C" or "D" unless the
issuer is profitable and appears likely to improve its
credit rating). The bond funds have somewhat volatile share
prices, fluctuating mainly in reaction to changing interest
rates, bit can be a good place for industrial companies or
holding companies to invest excess liquid funds.
We appreciate the suggestion from a user that we build in
3x leveraged index funds, which we thought was a great
idea! And while we were at it, we decided that adding bond
funds might also be an interesting addition to the sim.
As in the real world, the two index funds tend to be very
poor long-term investments, because of their constant
buying and selling of index futures contracts, but are
explosive vehicles for short-term trading. The long,
or "bullish" ETF attempts to track the movements of the
Global Stock Index, times 3. The other, "bearish," index
fund is designed to try to approximate 3 times the movement
of a short position in the Global Stock Index. Each index
fund initiates futures positions no further out than 8
months and seeks to maintain total futures positions that
are roughly 3 times the net asset value of the ETF. The
bullish fund can quickly be wiped out by either a "Black
Swan" market crash event, or, in the case of the bearish
fund, a massive "melt-up" in the stock market.
The best thing we can say about these two 3x leveraged
index funds is: "Buyer beware! And hang on to your hat
for a wild ride!"
These 5 new funds do computerized trading according to
complex algorithms only. Thus, a player who controls the
insurer or securities broker that is the investment advisor
to one of these 5 new ETFs will not be able to make any
investment decisions for the index funds and only limited
decisions for the bond funds, which will attempt to remain
almost fully invested in bonds at all times. However, you
can still make certain limited financial decisions, such as
possibly doing new stock or bond issuances, or calling in
existing bond issues. The corporate bond funds will quickly
sell off any bonds that no longer meet their investment
criteria, such as D-rated bonds or bonds that are much
higher- or lower-rated than the credit category of bonds
the fund is limited to holding.
Because your management functions for these new funds will
be very limited, your company that is the advisor to such a
fund will not be eligible to earn hedge fund-like performance
bonuses, or management fees in excess of the 0.2% of assets
minimum, unlike what they may earn for superior performance
of the 15 (older) equity ETFs. The new ETFs are pretty much
on "cruise control," with algorithms doing the trading so
that they maintain their character.
- A new "pandemic" crisis scenario has been added in this release.
It will only occur very rarely, but, as in the current real world
COVID-19 pandemic, when it does, the effects will be devastating
(unless you happen to own gold or shares in the new triple-leveraged
inverse index fund ETF, described above)! Like the "Peak Oil" and
"Subprime" crises that can some times occur in the simulation, the
new Pandemic crisis scenario can drag on for years, crushing stock
prices and causing numerous bond defaults and bankruptcies, a time
of much fear & loathing for bulls -- or great fun, if you are a
bear (short seller).
- Prices of put or call options on the stock of the two 3X
leveraged index funds have been significantly increased
in the options pricing algorithm, recognizing the extreme
volatility of those two ETFs. Conversely, prices for
options on bond ETFs, which ordinarily experience very low
volatility, have been reduced in the pricing algorithm.
- Restrictions have been imposed on the debt leverage that
an ETF may take on. An ETF in W$R must now maintain a net
asset value that is at least 3 imes the amount of its debts
(bank loan and/or bonds issued). If its net asset value falls
below that requirement it will be required to pay down bank
loans, possibly forcing a sale of some of its investments.
This means that an ETF's line of credit will be smaller
than a corporation with the same credit rating, and that
when an ETF issues bonds, the amount will be limited
by the foregoing "300% Rule," which is based on a U.S.
law (the Investment Company Act of 1940) that similarly
regulates investment companies, such as ETFs.
- Another change has been made to make ETFs more realistic.
Capital gains dividends are now only paid at the end of
the year, rather than quarterly, as is true of real-world
investment funds. Previously, an ETF might distribute
large capital gains in the first quarter or two, but then
have capital losses in the following quarters, perhaps
with little or no net gains for the year, but its assets
will have shrunken due to the quarterly capital gain
distribution. This change allows for a netting out of
gains and losses during the year, which will help to
prevent or slow the steady shrinkage of ETFs' assets
over the course of a game.
- At another user's suggestion, a new item has been added to
the Database Search function, which allows you to narrow
your search to a single industry. For example, you might do
a search of all banks rated as a "STRONG BUY" by analysts
and which have an increase of 10% or more in projected
quarterly earnings for the next quarterly earnings report.
Another improvement to the DataBase Search routine, for
bond searches, now sorts the display of the bonds that meet
your search criteria by the maturity date of the bonds.
This will make it easier, for example, to find bonds that
mature very soon, which can be a good place to park excess
cash at a reasonable interest rate. However, if you check
the "Credit Rating" button to only display bonds with a
specified minimum credit rating, then the bonds will be
sorted by credit rating, as in prior versions of the game.
- Loan amortization has been added for "mass loans" made by
banks and insurance companies -- the quarterly principal
payments of cash to the bank or insurer are equal to
5% of consumer loans, 2% of prime mortgage loans, and
1% of subprime mortgage securities owned by the institution,
but flow in monthly at 1/3 of the quarterly total amounts.
Of course, banks that have the asset allocation formula
turned on will soon reinvest the cash according to that
The varying amortization rates for corporate or ETF loans,
which depend on multiple factors such as creditworthiness
and cash balances of the borrower, have not changed. As
before, "margin loans" to players are not amortized, and
repayment is only required when the player receives a
margin call because of insufficient collateral, due to a
drop in the player's net worth.
- Bank financing (lines of credit) lending rules have been
liberalized considerably. Companies may now borrow amounts
ranging from 1.5 to 3 times net worth, depending on the
Difficulty Level at which you are playing and certain
economic conditions. Thus, in the spirit of the times,
Wall Street Raider companies will be more leveraged in
the new version, especially if you play at the higher
difficulty levels 3 or 4.
- A number of improvements have been made in the anti-trust
litigation features. The main change is that the amount of
legal fees incurred by both the plaintiff and defendant are
now sharply reduced, by roughly a third, if a case settles
after pre-trial discovery has concluded, instead of going
to trial. (Sort of an inducement to stay out of costly
court trials.) Also, when a company you control is being
sued and you are asked to accept or reject the settlement
offer, you are now shown the amount your company has already
incurred as legal fees, and the estimated total fees it will
incur if you choose to go to trial, and similar information
is shown when your company is the one suing, and you are
asked to enter the amount you would be willing to settle the
case for, on the courthouse steps.
- Since Internet Explorer is getting long in the tooth, and
Microsoft says they won't be supporting it much longer, we
have modified portions of the W$R software that previously
used Internet Explorer to access the Internet or to view
certain files, such as the W$R Strategy Manual. Thus, now
the program will use whatever browser (Chrome, Firefox,
Edge, Internet Explorer, etc.) that you have chosen as
the default browser that you use on your computer.
- When we are planning to buy a stock for ABC Corp, which we
control, we will often select 2 or more companies we do not
control as Active Entity, researching each of them, such as
DEF Co. and XYZ Company. Then, once we decide to buy some
stock of DEF Co., we may want to take another look at ABC's
financial profile before doing the tranaction. Until now,
this usually meant entering ABC's stock symbol before we
take one last look at its financials and buy the DEF stock.
We've often found that to be slow and a bit time-consuming,
especially if we have forgotten ABC's stock symbol.
In this release, we have replaced the "Line of Credit" item
on the main screen (in the "Active Entity Selected" box)
with an "Acting Now" item, which will show ABC's stock
symbol or name as the controlled entity that is doing the
transaction if, for instance, we click on the "BUY STOCK"
button. Now we can simply click on that item and -- presto!
-- ABC is now the Active Entity and we can take a quick
look at its statistics, without having to remember or
look up its stock symbol and enter it again. Just a small
labor-saving tweak we felt most users would like, since
the line of credit information is available in various other
places, like the "Credit Info" button or in a company's
- We have made a number of refinements to the "taxable
liquidation" feature. The main change was to close a
loophole that could allow a player to weasel out of the
ugly situation where his or her company is subject to
ongoing asbestos or "SuperFund" environmental clean-up
lawsuits or costs, by quickly doing a taxable liquidation
before the company's assets are too severely depleted.
Now the liquidating company will have to set aside 5% of
its total assets (or a minimum of U.S. $200 million for
asbestos claims or $100 million for environmental clean-up
costs) before it can liquidate. (No set-aside is required
in a TAX-FREE liquidation, since the parent company takes
on the liquidated subsidiary's liabilities, including its
liability for the asbestos or environmental damages.)
- When you start to purchase stock in an ETF, you are given
a warning that if you and/or your companies acquire more
than 15% of the ETF, it will be disqualified and lose its
tax-exempt status as an investment company. In this version,
the warning will also tell you what percent of the ETF that
you and the companies you control already own, so you don't
accidentally buy enough of the stock to cause the fund to
- We fixed a minor bug which could occur in games involving
multiple human players. When there is only one human player
the stock ticker, if running, will continue to run even
after your turn ends, if W$R becomes the background program,
such as when you open another program, like your browser,
and W$R is no longer visible on your computer screen. That
is what we intended. However, that was still occurring when
there were 2 or more human players, which meant the ticker
could keep running after your turn ended, when it should
have stopped and waited for the next (human) player to begin
his or her turn, which it now does since we have fixed the
problem. Thus, now, if there are 2 or more human players
and you cover the W$R screen with another application while
the ticker is running, it will only run, at most, until
your turn has ended, at the end or midpoint of a calendar
- Version 9.0 is file-compatible with saved games from
Versions 6.0 or higher. Although the 5 new bond and index
fund ETFs were not created in a game you may have started
and saved with v. 8.72 or earlier versions, the 5 new ETFs
will automatically be created and inserted into a game you
saved with a prior version, when you load the old saved
8.71 -- Released January 12, 2020 (Minor upgrade and bug fix)
- Improved the bank loan purchases feature, used when your bank is
buying business loans from other banks. Previously, if you were
doing several such purchases, your bank had to use only its
existing cash balances to make the loan purchases. Now, it can
continue buying if it has T-bills and receives deposits of cash
from its new loan customers, as soon as it becomes their banker.
- We have noticed in Versions 8.70 and 8.71 that a bank occasionally
will go bankrupt at a time when all banks should be thriving, for
no apparent reason, or that sometimes a bank we owned and were
watching closely would sudden have more (or less) cash than it
should, for no good reason. It only happened on rare occasions
but we suspected it was an obscure bug in the banking segments
of our code, but we were not sure if was actually a bug, since
we knew it could have been one of those random nasty events like
"rogue employee embezzles $10 billion from XYZ Bank."
However, a user of 8.71 reported that a bank he owned and was
closely watching sudden got a large unexpected infusion of cash,
with no effect on earnings, which gave us a clue of what to look
for in the 115,000 lines of WSR code, most of which is convoluted
logic, not GUI.
Finally, after over a month of testing and doing diagnostics,
we were at last able to generate the glitch a few times
and noticed what appeared to be a pattern -- the dates in a
calendar quarter when the loans to a non-existing bank would
sometimes randomly occur. We followed a long trail of bread
crumbs, and finally found the error -- in a part of the code
that deals with antitrust lawsuits, rather than banks, in those
rare cases where a plaintiff with little or no cash or line
of credit gets a quick emergency bank loan to pursue a lawsuit,
in exchange for allowing the bank to earn an additional loan
fee equal to 10% of the amount borrowed, if the plaintiff wins,
when it is a "slam-dunk" case. So, in short (Hallelujah!), we
have FINALLY found this rare and elusive bug and fixed it,
after a month of burning the midnight oil, though it is one bug
you may never have noticed since you downloaded 8.70 or 8.71.
Version 8.72 is a free upgrade for anyone who bought
Version 8.70 or 8.71. Contact us at the email link at
the bottom of this page for a download link for v. 8.72.
- Version 8.72 is file-compatible with saved games
from Versions 6.0 or higher.
8.70 -- Released January 1, 2020 (Major upgrade)
- Fixed minor text error -- Incorrect text was displayed when
attempting to sell stock of a company that is not publicly
traded, erroneously stating that the seller owned 100% of
the stock, even if he/she/it did not, although play was
not affected. In short, good code, bad text message.
Version 8.71 is a free upgrade for anyone who bought
Version 8.70. Contact us at the email link at the
bottom of this page for a download link for v. 8.71.
- We made it less automatic, when you list a stock as
"For Sale," to find a buyer, when the value of the
company being offered (using the "Offer to Sell Stock"
button on the MISC Menu) is too high, though sales of
stock in small companies are not affected, other than
the fact that it may now take a while longer before
a buyer comes along and takes the offer. In previous
versions, such stock offers were usually snapped up
almost instantly, if there were any buyers that were
sufficiently liquid. We simply made this feature
more realistic; the greater the cost of a block of
stock that is offered, the less likely a buyer can
- When you conrol insurers or securities brokers that
manage one or more ETFs, the quarterly reports for
those ETFs will pop up, like companies you control,
unless you have turned on the "Suppress Earnings
Reports" setting. Also, when you click on the "FILL"
button on the main screen, to fill the Streaming
Stock Quotes list with stocks you own, have short
positions in, or that you control, or stocks on
which you have other equity positions in (options
or convertible bonds), this version will also add
to the list any ETFs that are managed by companies
that you control (if there is room on the list).
- Version 8.71 is file-compatible with saved games
from Versions 6.0 or higher.
8.57 -- Released May 1, 2019 (Minor upgrade)
- In response to user suggestions, we have made some
major revisions regarding the 15 Exchange-Traded Funds
("ETFs") in the Wall Street Raider simulation. Users
have been asking for a way to manage the investments of
ETFs and, somewhat like hedge funds, the opportunity to
earn large performance bonuses for superior results. As
long-time players of W$R are aware, it has always been a
rule that you need to buy 20% or more of a company's stock
in order to control it, and if you bought over 15% of an
ETF, it would no longer qualify as a tax-exempt investment
company. While each ETF was nominally "managed" by an
investment advisor (an insurance company or securities
broker), all that meant was that the "advisor" received
quarterly management fees, as a percentage (0.2% to 1.0%
annual rate) of total assets of the ETF, but didn't
actually direct the ETF's investment activities, which
are all managed by the software.
Accordingly, we have made a number of significant changes
to enable players to actually manage most of an ETF's
financial affairs, if the player controls the company
that is the investment advisor/manager of the ETF. The
changes include the following:
- On the Buy/Sell, Financing, and Misc Menus, if
an ETF managed by a company that the player controls
is selected as the Active Entity (or was the most
recently selected previous Active Entity), the ETF can
engage in several actions on each of those menus: buying
and selling stocks and options, doing public stock
offerings (only once a year, in December, and only
if the ETF's shares are up 15% or more for that year),
bond issuances, calling or buying back bonds, and
borrowing or making repayments of bank loans. Note
that issuance of new stock will bring more net assets
under the advisor's management (resulting in higher
- As before, the company that is the advisor to an
ETF will receive a "base fee" paid quarterly, based
on the ETF's total assets, at an annual rate of 0.2%
to 1% of total assets. However, if the base fee is
set at the minimum 0.2% rate, the advisor MAY also
earn a performance bonus for each 2-year measurement
period, if the ETF's net worth (as adjusted for
capital gains dividends) has grown by more than 20%.
In general, this "gain-sharing" performance bonus
will be similar to what hedge funds usually take: In
this case, 20% of any gain in excess of 20%. Thus,
if net worth per share increased by 50%, the excess
would be 30%, and the advisor's bonus would be 20%
of that, or 6% of the beginning net assets, which
can be a very large number, giving a HUGE boost to
the earnings of the insurance company or securities
broker that is the advisor.
- To facilitate players' ability to have a controlled
company become the advisor to an ETF, the Management
Menu now will contain a "Become ETF Advisor" menu item
for an insurance company or securities broker that you
control. If you click on it, your company will be able
to buy the contractual rights to manage an ETF you
choose, by paying the existing advisor an amount equal
to 10 times the annual base management fee then in
effect. (This button only appears if your company does
not already manage any ETFs.)
- Once your company becomes an ETF's investment
manager, you can begin trading stocks and options
for the ETF, and possibly raising more funds by
issuing more ETF stock or a bond issue. You may also
want to lower the annual fee to 0.2%, to become
eligible for possible performance bonuses, as noted
above, or you may just want to raise the annual fee,
although that is now only allowed if the ETF stock
has outperformed the Global Stock Index by at least
2% in the last 12 months. To be eligible for a
performance bonus fee, the base rate must be set at
0.2% for the entire 2-year measurement period. (For
some ETFs, the measurement period ends on December 31
of an odd-numbered year; for others it ends on the
31st of December in an even-numbered year.)
- If you are managing an ETF, you can also have it
buy back bonds it has issued or pay an extraordinary
dividend of up to 30% of the total of its cash and
T-bills, as long as it does not owe any bank debt or
bond indebtedness. However, you probably will not want
to have it pay any extraordinary dividends, since that
would reduce the amount of assets upon which the
advisory fees are paid.
- As in prior versions of W$R, there are limits
on how much an ETF can invest in one stock --
which is 10% of the company, and it can only have
one put option contract (on up to 10% of a stock),
and one call option contract on a given stock at
any one time. Each ETF can only invest in stocks
or options of companies in a certain sector, such
as energy or health care. In addition, as in prior
versions, if a particular stock becomes too large
a part of an ETF's portfolio, it may be forced to
sell part of that stock holding, so you can't put
all of an ETF's eggs in one basket!
Also, only one ETF is allowed to speculate in
commodities, and you don't manage that activity --
the commodity trades are deemed to be done by a
commodities broker and all such trading will
cease once your company becomes the active advisor
to that ETF. The same applies to the one ETF that
is randomly chosen each game to occasionally
engage in interest rate swaps. So you won't be
able to take extreme gambles with the assets of
an ETF you manage.
- If you grow weary of actively managing an ETF,
you can just put the company that is advisor to
the ETF on "AutoPilot," and the software will take
over management of the ETF at that point, as it
does for other ETFs that players do not have the
right to manage. If you are actively managing one
or more ETFs, you will periodically get a pop-up
reminder, if you have not done any transactions on
behalf of an ETF in the past calendar year.
- In prior versions, the prior stock price history
of an ETF was adjusted downward each time the ETF
paid a capital gains dividend or an "extraordinary
dividend" (a non-taxable return of capital), so that
such distributions would not reduce the ETF's total
return to shareholders, on which certain incentive
fees to the manager were based. Starting with this
version, we have decided to also reduce the previous
stock price history records by "regular" (taxable)
dividends, in order to give a true picture of the
ETF's total return on investment for shareholders,
which should and now does include share appreciation
PLUS all cash distributions.
- A new setting has been added as an item on the Game
Options Menu: "Max Growth Rate (Global) Throttle."
This works like a throttle, to set a speed limit, such
as 15% (or even a negative percentage), on the rate
of growth of all the industrial companies you control
that are operating on "AutoPilot." This feature will
mainly be useful when you have a large number of
controlled companies on AutoPilot and do not want
them to grow their business assets at more than an
annual percentage rate you specify, from -10% to 60%.
The default rate, unless you change it, is 60%, but
having the "throttle" set at a high growth rate like
50% or 60% does not mean that your companies will all
begin trying to grow their business assets at that rate.
It simply sets a maximum rate of growth, one that the
AutoPilot function will not allow your companies to
exceed. Within that limit, AutoPilot will function
as it did before, having some companies grow assets
faster or slower, or have some actually reduce their
business assets, by as much as 10% a year. But none
will exceed the "speed limit" growth rate you set
by changing the "throttle" number setting.
The throttle feature will be particularly handy at
times when there is a sudden change in the economy,
such as a depression, when you have a large number
of controlled companies on AutoPilot, at which time
you could simply change the throttle setting to a
minus rate, like -10%, to quickly have all your
companies start DISinvesting in assets that are
likely to become unprofitable. In the past, you had
to change the growth rate for all your companies,
one at a time, using the SET GROWTH RATE button on
the Management Menu, and the AutoPilot function
could in many cases quickly reverse your changes,
unless you turned off AutoPilot for each such
Keeping your companies from trying to grow too fast
has other benefits, such as preventing them from
getting too large a market share, which would make
them targets for antitrust lawsuits; or preventing
them from creating oversupply vs. demand in their
industry; or from pouring too much money into assets
that are earning a low (or negative) rate of return,
which could hurt the company's earnings and/or its
Note that the limit on growth rate set by use of
the "throttle" setting does not apply to companies
that you actively manage (i.e., those that are
not on AutoPilot) and does not apply to financial
companies -- banks, insurance companies or to
- In prior versions, the "Buy" or "Strong Buy," and
"Sell" or "Strong Sell" recommendation buttons at
the bottom of Research Reports could be clicked on
to immediately buy or sell the stock in question.
However, those buttons were not always very helpful,
in certain situations. We have made some major
modifications to those functions, to very quickly
identify entities you control that might be sellers
of that stock if you click on the "Sell" button on
the research report for that stock.
Also, in prior versions of W$R, when a company you
controlled was the Active Entity and you clicked on
such a "Buy" button to buy that stock, you would
get an error message that the company cannot buy
itself or sell its own stock short. (An LBO or
Greenmail buyback is required, for a company in
W$R to buy its own stock, and a stock offering
is required for a company to sell its stock.) Now,
if you click on the "Buy" button on a Research
Report on the current Active Entity, the software
will suggest an entity you control (or you,
personally) as the buyer.
- Players who have gotten in a weakened financial
condition have probably encountered the aggressive
action whereby one of the computer players does a
hostile merger, merging a company with massive,
ongoing asbestos litigation liability or "Superfund"
environmental cleanup costs with a company of yours,
doing major damage to your financial empire. We
think it is a neat feature, but not when it occurs
repetively in one game, so we have made changes to
prevent such multiple occurrences of this nasty
tactic over a short period of time, like 5 years.
- A new "ethical scenario" has been added, for firms
in the security industry, involving the sale of its
clients' passcodes and and other security secrets
- Version 8.70 is file-compatible with saved games
from Versions 6.0 or higher. As in all upgrades,
the "Help" files and optional Strategy Manual have
been fully updated to reflect all significant
changes in the simulation.
8.56 -- Released April 1, 2019 (Minor upgrade and bug-fix from 8.55)
- A new item has been added to the Settings pull-down
menu. It allows you to clear the stock price history
of the currently selected Active Entity. You may have
noticed that if, for example, you add $10,000,000 M.
as a capital contribution to a small company that
previous had only $50 million of assets, that will
greatly increase its stock price, and the prior
stock history on the stock chart for the previous
5 years will look like an almost flat line, which
isn't particularly useful, going forward. This new
menu item lets you zero out the previous stock
history, and start a new stock history, to make the
information the company's stock chart provides much
If you, as Player, are the current Active Entity, this
feature will zero out your prior net worth history
that appears on the chart of your net worth changes.
- Version 8.57 is file-compatible with saved games
from Versions 6.0 or higher. It is a free upgrade,
on request, for anyone who bought Versions 8.50 or
8.55 (which had serious bugs) or Version 8.56.
8.55 -- Released: February 5, 2019 (Relatively minor upgrade from 8.50)
- This is a free upgrade for anyone who has registered
Versions 8.50 or 8.55, as we fixed bugs that several
users reported in those two versions.
If you are a registered user of Versions 8.50 or 8.55,
email the author (link at bottom of page) for a FREE
download link for Version 8.56.
- Some crafty players have found a way to (temporarily)
get around the W$R restriction on circular chains of
stock ownership, and by inflating the value of one of
the companies' shares, caused the stock prices of all
the companies in the circle to shoot upwards to near-
infinite prices, before W$R stepped in and broke up
the circle, by forcing a divestment. Version 8.56
does much more frequent searches for such circular
stock ownership, to nip such schemes in the bud, and
is now more sophisticated in stopping attempts to
create such circles, before the "virtuous circle" of
rising stock prices in the companies can get started.
Even cross-ownership of more than 10% of parent by
its sub, for example, will now be blocked or quickly
undone by a forced divestment.
- In the "My Corporations" listing of all the companies
you control, we have added another column of useful
information, showing the percent of revenues each such
company is spending or R&D or marketing. This will be
very handy if one of your companies is spending a lot
on R&D or marketing, resulting in losses, and is also
expanding rapidly, which would widen such losses. Now
you can notice any such unprofitable or unwise combination
of settings for any of your companies at a quick glance.
- The bond portfolio listings of corporate convertible bonds
owned by players or corporations now indicate, with the
abbreviation "cv." before the coupon rate, that the bonds
are convertibles. As such, you can now tell at a glance
which bonds in a bond portfolio have equity features.
- An accounting change was made in this version, for
companies that own less than 20% of the stock of another
company. Previously, if the two companies were under
common control, and XCorp owned 12% of YCorp, XCorp
would include 12% of YCorp's reported earnings in
XCorp's earnings, using the "equity method" of
accounting for income from a subsidiary, and the
dividends received from YCorp were not included in
reported income. We decided to change that method,
so that now XCorp must own at least 20% of YCorp to
include a percentage of YCorp's earnings in XCorp's
earnings (regardless of whether the two companies
are under control of the same entity).
8.50 -- Released: January 1, 2019 (Major Upgrade)
- We have refined the Database Search feature added in 8.50,
which allows you to exclude all but industrial companies
from searches, by excluding financial companies -- banks,
insurers, holding companies, and ETFs. That feature also
excludes companies you already control.
Since some industrial companies have only a small amount
of operating assets ("business assets"), in relation to
their other assets, such as stocks, options, cash, and
T-bills, they are much like holding companies, since
their operating assets may have only a minor effect on
their total earnings. Thus, we have tweaked the feature
that lets you choose to exclude financial companies and
companies you control to also exclude from search results
any industrial company whose "business assets" are less
than 20% of its total assets.
- Some players have suggested that they should be able to
turn off the bank automatic allocation of assets for
any bank you control. A good idea, so we have added an
"OFF" button on the Asset Allocation menu screen in
- After releasing 8.50, we had second thoughts on the
choice we made to have companies that you actively
manage not automatically buy or sell T-bills. Other
companies, not controlled by players or controlled but
on AutoPilot setting, automatically buy T-bills if
the percentage of their total Cash + T-bills consists
of less than 60% T-bills, or sell some T-bills if
htat percentage is over 80%. That left all decisions
on how much of companies' cash to invest in T-bills
strictly up to the player for actively managed companies.
We have made a minor change, so that now an actively
managed company that has cash will automatically buy
some T-bills if its percentage of T-bills falls below
60% -- but it will NOT automatically sell any T-bills,
except to cover any cash deficit that arises. Thus,
for an actively managed company, you can put all of
its cash into T-bills, and the T-bills will not be
sold unless necessary. (However, cash that comes in,
such as from earnings, dividends or other sources,
will gradually build up until it is more than 40%
of the total of Cash + T-bills, at which point an
automatic purchase of T-bills, up to about 80-90%,
- A major accounting change has been made for the way
bond holdings are valued, for banks and insurance
companies. Previously, bonds that those entities held
were valued (in computing net worth) at their current
market value, which resulted in wide swings in net
worth when interest rates went to extremely high or
low levels, sometimes resulting in negative net worth
for banks or insurers, even though they generally
would hold most of the bonds until they matured at
face value. At a minimum, such fluctuations in bond
values based on interest rates caused regular changes
in the entities' credit ratings and violent swings
in their stock prices, due to the changes in net worth.
This was particularly true for banks, with their
Under the revised system, bonds held by banks or
insurance companies are now valued at their cost,
plus or minus any discount or premium amortization
that has occurred since purchase, which means they
are valued at their "tax basis." The only exception
is for D-rated bonds, which are still valued at the
LOWER of their market value or their adjusted cost
(i.e., tax basis).
- In another modest accounting change, government and
corporate bonds are no longer traded "flat" (without
accrued interest). Now, when bonds are bought, you
must also pay for the accrued interest through the
date of purchase and the seller receives that payment.
However, D-rated bonds (which are in default on
interest payments) are still traded "flat" (with no
accrued interest paid by the buyer or received by
- A minor change was made to bond interest payments on
D-rated junk bonds. In most cases, no cash interest
will be paid on such bonds -- interest is just added to
the principal owed. However, in some rare cases, where
the bond issuer is not a bank or insurance company, owes
no bank loans, and has enough cash and T-bills for the
quarterly bond interest payment, it may pay the interest
in cash, if its financial situation is not too dire.
- The Spin-Off function, which was a bit opaque, has
been greatly refined to give players more information
about the tax effects of a proposed spin-off in a
number of different situations, in which the tax
treatment varies for different types of entities and
depending on corporate ownership percentages of the
company doing the spin-off. The rules still parallel
the U.S. tax laws on spin-offs, but the tax results,
when a spin-off is not entirely tax-free, are now
more transparent to the player, enabling you to make
much more educated decisions on whether to execute
a spin-off transaction.
8.12 -- Released: July 1, 2018 (Minor Upgrade)
- Banks have become potentially more profitable in Wall
Street Raider -- see below, regarding player and
company bank deposits, which are now non-interest-
bearing demand deposits, rather than interest-bearing
time deposits (CDs). On the other hand, regulation of
banks has gotten somewhat stiffer, at least for banks
with too high a loan-to-deposit ratio. (Google the term
"loan to deposit ratio" if you want a bit of background
on how that figures into real-world bank regulation.)
If a bank's loan portfolio in relation to deposits and
its reserves-to-deposits ratio become too risky, the
regulators may temporarily stop a bank from lending
or buying loans, and perhaps put a freeze on lines
of credit to most corprate borrowers, as well.
When a bank is deemed to be over-extended and too
aggressive in making loans and equity investments,
the "regulators" will limit the bank's new
investments to government securities only, until
its finances are back on a sounder footing.
- As some players of W$R have suggested, in this new
version we have built in the ability to set asset
allocation percentages for banks, to help you better
manage a bank you control, even if it is on AutoPilot,
via a new menu item on the Management Menu. It lets
you set allocation percentages of the bank's assets
(for all assets EXCEPT stocks, options, and business
loans), for any bank you control. You can set the
percentages to allocate, if any, to 5 asset classes:
- Prime mortgages;
- Subprime mortgages;
- Consumer loans;
- Bonds (the total "carrying" (book) value of government
and corporate bonds, rather than current market value); and
- Cash equivalents (cash, which earns no interest, like
currency in the vault, and short-term Treasury bills,
which earn a usually low rate of interest).
- This version also allows players to set the growth rate for
"public" bank deposits, between -5% and 10%. While rapid
growth in deposits may seem best, it is a mixed blessing,
unless the growth in reserves keeps up, otherwise the
bank's credit rating will decline, meaning it will have
to pay higher interest on CDs, and if the additional
funds from new deposits are invested in loans, that
will require more addtions to the bad debt reserve,
hurting earnings -- not to mention increasing the
overhead costs of serving more deposit customers.
- A new class of investment assets has been added, and one
has been changed. In this version, players and companies
can now invest in short-term Treasury bills ("T-bills")
that are highly liquid, like cash, and do not fluctuate
in value. The rate earned on T-bills fluctuates with
overall interest rates, and is generally somewhat lower
than the interest rate on short-term government bonds,
but they are an extremely safe investment. (Safer than
bank deposits, since banks can and do fail in W$R.)
In all previous versions of W$R, all liquid assets of
players and companies (except banks) were deemed to be
held as bank Certificates of Deposit ("CDs"), on which
the bank paid you or your companies interest on their
"cash" balances. Since in the real world, corporations
generally need to maintain significant cash balances
and do not put all their liquid assets in time deposits
(CDs), we chose to make the simulation more realistic.
Now, companies' liquid assets are generally divided
(unless you actively manage the company) between "cash"
(non-interest-bearing bank demand deposits) and T-bills,
about 30% cash and 70% T-bills.
Banks still receive interest-bearing CD deposits, but
only from "the Public," along with some demand deposits
from the Public. All deposits ("cash") of players and
corporations that do business with a particular bank
are now non-interest-bearing demand deposits (which
will tend to increase banks' profitability, if they
have significant deposits from players or companies).
As in prior versions, cash assets of a bank will not
earn interest, but banks will now invest most of their
liquid, cash-equivalent assets in T-bills, like other
- A new item has been added to the "MISC" Menu, to
allow a player or any company a player controls to
buy or sell T-bills, which is mainly useful for a
controlled company that is not on "AutoPilot," and
thus is actively managed by the player.
- The automatic "sweep" setting, when it is turned
on by a player, will still sweep any "cash" almost
immediately and automatically to pay down the
player's margin loan indebtedness. However, in
this version, if a player owes no bank debt, the
"sweep" setting will instead "sweep" all cash the
player receives into T-bills, so that the player
will be earning interest on the T-bills.
- Options margin requirements, in W$R, which come into
play when players or companies sell "naked" options,
have been made much more sophisticated and realistic,
similar to real-world options margin rules. ("Naked
options" are created when you sell calls short
without owning the underlying stock or you sell puts
short when they are not covered by a short position
in the underlying stock.)
In prior versions of W$R, when computing the short
options liability of a player or company, against
which net worth must exceed a certain percentage,
to avoid margin calls or to allow for short sales
of more options, the program simply computed that
liability as the total of all the shorted put and
calls of that particular entity. As revised, and
as in the real world of options margin rules, if
you are short $100 million of calls on XYZ and
$500 million of puts on the same stock, the
margin requirements aren't determined by adding
up the margin requirements on the puts and the
calls. Instead, only the larger amount, the
$500 million of puts, is taken into account.
Thus, if you wanted to short more calls, you
could short $400 million more calls without
increasing your initial or maintenance margin
requirements, since the higher amount would
still just be $500 million. (Real world options
margin rules are much more complex than that,
but the general principle is the same, where
there are short positions on both puts and
calls on the same stock.)
In this version, the program calculates the
total call liability and the total put liability
on each stock the entity has shorted options on.
Only the higher of the call liability or the put
liability is taken into account for each stock,
and higher amount for each stock is added up to
arrive at the total options liability, if the
entity has naked options on more than one stock.
But before that calculation, the put or call
liability for each stock is first reduced by
taking into account any stock that the entity
owns or is short -- that is, no liability is
applicable to covered calls or covered puts.
Only after that adjustment for any covered
options is made does the software then add
up the higher of the put or call liability
(adjusted in either case) for each stock when
totaling up the entity's "naked" options
exposure (for margin purposes only -- not for
computing net worth, which still takes into
account the liability for ALL short options).
"Why do we mention these complex options margin
details?" you may be wondering....
As a result of these margin calculation changes,
it's now possible to do large-scale "strangles,"
when an entity sells short large dollar amounts
of out-of-the-money puts and out-of-the-money
calls on a given stock, betting that the stock
will trade in a fairly narrow range until the
puts or calls or both have decreased in value,
or become totally worthless by the expiration
dates, an interesting but high-risk options
trading strategy used by real-world traders
who have nerves of steel.
- New "ethical scenarios" have been added, including
one for European auto makers you control, where
the company is about ready to release self-driving
trucks but discovers there is ... um... a slight
problem with the navigation software, which tends
not to always recognize pedestrians.
Another new ethical choice scenario has been added
for insurance companies, involving a strategy of
denying health insurance claims to reduce costs, a
rather cruel and heartless way to get richer....
- The ability to manipulate earnings for banks, by
adding to the quarter's bad debt loss provision has
been made much more robust. Instead of only being
able to add an amount to your bank's bad debt
reserve (to temporarily reduce earnings) equal to
5% of projected profits or 10% of the projected
quarterly loss, you may now add an amount equal to
1% of the bank's loan portfolio of business loans,
mortgage loans, and consumer loans. Since the usual
size of the bad debt reserve is usually only 1 to
3% of the loan portfolio, this can be a significant
amount -- a one-time big hit to earnings that will
hurt initially, but will enhance reported earnings
in subsequent quarters. It's a nice tool to have
when you know the current earnings are going to be
negative anyway, so you might as well book a larger
loss, and be able to show better earnings in the
future as the excess reserve is drawn down, or does
not need to be increased.
- On the DataBase Search screen, a new item has
been added, which, if selected, will exclude from
the search results any company that is a bank,
insurance company, or holding company, or any
company you already control. In short, only those
industrial companies that meet your other search
criteria, and which are not controlled by you,
will be shown in the search results if you have
checked the box for that item.
In previous versions, factors like "Industry
Supply/Demand Improving" did not apply to
financial companies, so they were not excluded,
in which case searches often turned up nothing
but banks, insurers, or holding companies -- as
well as companies you already controlled.
- In previous editions, late in a game in which
you or other players controlled long chains of
companies and control of a company near the
top of such a chain changed hands, it could be
very annoying to watch 50 or 100 timed messages
pop up, announcing the change of control of
each company in the chain. This would occur
even if the "Suppress Popups" setting was
turned on. In this version, such change of
control messages will no longer be shown if
you have turned the "Suppress Popups" setting
to "ON." (Which is usually a good idea if you
control a large number of companies.)
- The transaction costs (the "bid/ask spread"
and commissions) may have been unrealistically
high in prior versions of W$R, since in the
real world, large corporate trades of corporate
bonds generally are made with relatively low
transaction costs. Accordingly, in this W$R
release, spreads have been reduced and the
former 1% commission on corporate bonds is
reduced to 0.2%, which will make it less
costly to invest in or trade bonds. Note that
commissions are not charged on either sales
or purchases of T-bills, which are assumed
to be bought directly from the government.
(T-bills don't pay cash interest, but are
sold at a small discount from face value,
and steadily appreciate to their face value
- When lists of companies are displayed, an
"_H" appears for a company that is on the
list, to signify that it is controlled by a
hostile player. That marker now includes a
number behind it, from 1 to 5, indicating
the Player Number (as shown in the Who's
Ahead? listing) of the hostile player.
For example, if the company is controlled
by Player #3, "_H3" would be shown. This
will help you to quickly ascertain that a
particular opposing player controls one or
more companies in an industry, when viewing
an Industry Summary or Industry Projection
8.11 -- Released: April 21, 2018 (Minor Upgrade)
- Revised the Freeze/Unfreeze function for banks. It now
allows (as before) freezing or unfreezing loans to
individual companies or players, but now also includes
the ability to freeze/unfreeze loans to companies you
control, if you wish to control their borrowing from
your bank. In addition, a "universal freeze" option
now allows your bank to freeze all loans except loans
to you or companies you control, or to unfreeze ALL
loans that are currently frozen by your bank.
- A minor bug was fixed, which had prevented one of the
insurance companies (AIG in the registered version)
from being able to trade subprime loans, due to a
typo in the source code.
- This release is file-compatible with files saved by
earlier Versions 6.0 through 8.04. (NOTE: When loading
a file saved by versions prior to 8.0, v. 8.12 will
change the number of commodity contracts in each open
position, to reflect the change in the number of ounces,
bushels, etc., covered by each contract in the new
version, so you won't unfairly incur a loss or receive
an undeserved profit on existing commodity or futures
positions saved in the old game file, using the old
- Improved the "Change Managers" features to make it possible
to handle a large number of management changes. Also, a
pop-up now announces the eventual result of the management
change, even if "Supress Popups" is turned on. In prior
versions, players sometimes did not see the headline
announcement, if popup suppression had been elected.
8.10 -- Released: March 15, 2018 (Minor Upgrade)
8.0 - 8.04 -- Released: May 1-8, 2017 (Major Upgrade)
- Version 8.0 (see below) was probably our last major upgrade,
mainly because, with convertible bonds added in 8.0, we have
finally completed the addition to W$R of all major asset
classes for investment, other than real estate, for which
there are other games/simulations far better than anything
we might come up with in that realm. (And no, we have no
plans to add Bitcoin as an asset play or Bitcoin mining as
an industry group. But thanks for asking!)
However, we have continued to tinker with the program, refining
algorithms, such as for setting the fees to cancel an interest
rate swap contract, and corporate bond pricing, plus adding
various features to make playing game play easier and more
convenient, such as the items listed below.
A number of players didn't like the fact that we limited the
"add cash" cheat to $10 billion in v. 8.0, so we increased it
to $100 billion in 8.04. Some players still feel that is too
low a limit, so in this release we have increased to $1 trillion
the cash you can add to your account, using the "add cash" cheat.
That is about 10 times the net worth of the richest person on
In 8.0, we had ended the unlimited add cash feature, since some
players were adding amounts like $100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
to their accounts and then complaining to us or online of "bugs"
in W$R when the game's economic model and stock index did crazy
things as a result, or the program couldn't display such large
numbers in the formatted listboxes. They apparently expected that
adding such near-infinite amounts to the economic model wouldn't
have any effect on it.
"Garbage in, garbage out," as the saying goes, so we limited
the harmful input of such insane numbers. We hope the $1
trillion limit on cheats in this edition will be a happy
medium, and should be enough to let you take over several
major industries very easily, but shouldn't be enough to
throw a monkey wrench into the market model and finely tuned
economic model we have spent many years developing and
- Currency exchange rates for the 22 non-U.S. currencies have
all been updated to reflect actual rates in March, 2018.
(Players can reset the exchange rate for a currency at the
start of a new game, if the March, 2018 values have become
out of date, compared to the current real world rates.)
- The listing of companies with the largest industry market
share now shows who, if anyone. controls each such company.
- The listing of all the companies you control, with recent
and projected quarterly earnings, now also includes a
column showing the asset growth rate for all such industrial
or insurance companies, so, for instance, you can see at a
glance if any of your companies are expanding too fast at a
time when the economy is sinking into a recession or
- The listing of all the companies you control now also
includes a column that indicates whether each of your
companies is on "autopilot" or not, giving you a quick
- Since the simulation's tax calculations are largely based
on the U.S. tax system, we have updated a few tax features
of the sim, in light of the massive recent U.S. income tax
reforms. For example:
- The corporate tax rate at the start of each game is now
reduced to only 21% (although it can still fluctuate from
time to time during a game and is likely to go higher).
- The 70% dividends received tax deduction on dividends a
corporation receives is reduced to 50%; and the former
80% deduction for dividends from a 20%- to 79%-owned
subsidary is reduced to 65%. (The 100% deduction for
dividends received from an 80%- to 100%-owned sub is
- Net operating losses of a corporation no longer expire,
but last until utilized or lost due to a liquidation
or certain corporate reorganizations.
- New "ethical choice" cheat scenarios have been added,
regarding robotics, plus a scenario that deals with
construction of a windfarm on an Indian reservation by
a utility company.
- Registered users of version 8.10 seeking an even more
challenging version than the regular version 8.10 can
request an alternate version 8.10 from the author,
which has some slightly different rules. Under the
alternate version, as in the "shareware" version, each
human player's turn lasts for exactly one month, in
which the player can do up to 10 transactions. If the
player does 10 transactions, his or her turn does not
end at that point, but lasts until the end of the
month. (The "End Turn" button has been replaced by a
"Chart" button to display a chart of the player's net
worth.) We have already implemented this feature in
the "shareware" version, to make it more challenging
For most players, this is not a significant rule
change, except that it lets computer players play at
the beginning of each month, in a typical game where
you are the only human player. (Using the regular
version, if you do no transactions, you can extend
your turn for up to 7 1/2 game months.) However, the
new rule will pose a major challenge for players who
are accustomed to stopping the ticker as soon as a
game starts and possibly doing hundreds of
transactions, often taking over whole industries,
in the first month or two of play, before the
economic and market situation can change to any
significant extent. Instead, you will do up to 10
transactions, then just do research or run the ticker
for the rest of each month, until your next turn
begins and you can do another 10 transactions. This
adds much more realism, in terms of time passage, as
in the real world it would be very unrealistic for
one company or person to take over whole industries,
do dozens of mergers, liquidations, etc., all in the
space of a couple of weeks or months.
With this version, you will be limited to doing 120
transactions over the course of a year (of game play).
NOTE: Due to popular uprising among W$R
players, this 10-plays-per month version has been
discontinued, except in an "alternative," more challenging
version that is only available upon request from a
user. (Requests that have been few and far between.)
We actually like the alternative version better, but
most players seem to feel W$R is already challenging
- This release is file-compatible with files saved by
earlier Versions 6.0 through 8.04. (NOTE: When loading
a file saved by versions prior to 8.0, v. 8.10 will
change the number of commodity contracts in each open
position, to reflect the change in the number of ounces,
bushels, etc., covered by each contract in the new
version, so you won't unfairly incur a loss or receive
an undeserved profit on existing commodity or futures
positions saved in the old game file.)
- In December, 2016, we added some helpful features to the "Who Owns What?"
menu that is accessed from the General Research Menu. Now, when "looking
under the hood" to see which entities have positions in commodity futures,
physical commodities, interest rate swaps, or options, you are given the
choice of viewing such positions for all entitities (as in prior versions)
or viewing a list that only shows positions of yours or companies that
you control. (This can be a real time saver, when you control a large
number of companies and don't remember which companies have which
futures, options, etc.)
- After releasing Version 8.0, we decided
to release a Version 8.01, with one significant rule change, which should
make it far more challenging for some players, though it barely be noticed
by most W$R players. We have tried to close a lot of the "loopholes" in
8.0 and other recent versions, but some can't be closed if we want to
retain the basic nature of the simulation. Version 8.01 takes a different
The only difference in Version 8.01 from Version 8.0, to make it FAR
more challenging, is that your turn now only lasts one month, even if
you don't do all 5 allowable transactions; but you can't end
your turn until it ends automatically at the end of the month. (Once
you do all 10 transactions, you can still do research, and things on
the MISC Menu, like stock splits, loan repayments, advances, etc.)
(The computer players, if any, all take their turns on the first day
of the next month.)
This is designed to make it tougher for the players who unrealistically
stop time passage by stopping the stock ticker (as much as possible)
at the start of a game, and do several hundred repetitive transactions
of one type or another, taking advantage of any "loopholes," and often
turning their $1 billion into $200 billion or more in the first "month"
or two of the first quarter of play in the first year. Now players will
have to do five transactions, and let the ticker run to the end of the
month to do another five transactions, which will be far more realistic,
since no mortal human being in the real world could ever do hundreds
of major transactions in a matter of weeks, taking over hundreds of
companies and a dozen or more industries, make $200 billion overnight,
This is a change that won't make much difference to most players, who
are simply trying to invest in and manage companies, but will also move
games along a lot faster if there are two or more human players, since
turns will end pretty quickly, instead of going as long as 2 1/2 calendar
quarters in some cases. (BUT SEE NOTE ABOVE, IN RED,
under the list of changes for v. 8.10, in which we changed back to the
less challenging set of rules, due to popular demand of pitchfork-wielding
The following is a summary of the major changes in Version 8.0. (If
you have purchased 8.0 and want the greater challenge of playing 8.01
instead, email us at the address at the bottom of this page, and
we will send you a free upgrade link for 8.01 or 8.04.)
- Version 8.0 has added a useful new class of investments or financing:
convertible corporate bonds, convertible into the stock of companies.
Players, banks and insurance companies can now invest in these
equity-like bonds, which offer fixed income and more safety than the
underlying stock, but which will participate in any significant gains
in the stock, with much less downside risk. These securities add a
powerful new tool, usable in many creative ways, to your arsenal of
investment and financing strategies.
As a financing tool, players who control a company can still have the
company issue "straight" (non-convertible bonds), but may now choose
instead to issue convertible bonds, at significantly lower interest
rates than straight bonds, due to the "equity kicker." In addition, if
the stock has risen above the conversion price by the time the bonds
mature, or when the bonds are called before maturity, the company will
simply issue new stock in exchange for the bonds at that time, instead
of having to pay off the principal amount in cash.
Convertible bonds will now allow for new takeover strategies, such as,
for instance, taking a large position in the convertible bonds issued
by a company that seems to be firmly controlled by another player,
which may give you enough stock to take control when the bonds mature
or are called early, if they are converted to stock. (Such conversion
won't occur, however, if the stock is below the bonds' conversion
price when the bonds mature or are called.) Other strategies include
doing half-hedges, where you buy 2x amount of a convertible bond that
trades at a fairly low conversion premium (like 10%, or less, over the
value of the underlying stock) and sell short 1x dollar amount of the
stock, in which case you should make a profit if the stock goes up a
lot, or down a lot, particularly if the bonds mature in just a few
years, since the bonds shouldn't go down nearly as much as the stock,
and their price often won't fall much below par, no matter how far the
stock may fall.
- Taking a user's suggestion, we have added a feature that lets you choose
to be alerted when a particular stock's price rises above or falls
below a level that you specify. The alert will remain in effect for a
full year of game play, or until the objective is reached and you are
notified by a pop-up message. A new "Stock Price Alert" item has been
added to the MISC Menu. Simply click on that button and enter your
specified target price for the stock that is the current "active entity,"
and you will receive a pop-up notification if the stock reaches the
price target you set during in the next "year" of game play.
- Currency exchange rates fluctuate rapidly, as world economic changes occur.
As a result, the "default" exchange rates (relative to the U.S. dollar)
we have built into Wall Street Raider can get seriously out of date in a
matter of a year or two. Accordingly, in this version, if you start a new
game in a non-U.S. currency, the program will display the default exchange
rate (ranging from 0.64 per dollar for the British Pound to 1100 Korean Won)
and ask you if you wish to change it by entering a more up-to-date currency
- This release has a singular focus on creating MORE REALISM. Although
previous versions imposed some size limitations on commodity futures,
options, and interest rate swaps, those limits were unrealistically
large. For example, if a player had enough net worth, he or she (or
a company controlled by a player) could take positions in a commodity
equal to many times the annual global production of that commodity,
or buy or short puts or call options in an amount equal to 100% of a
company's total outstanding stock, or do interest rate swaps limited
only by the number of available counterparties (most of whom would be
bankrupted if they were all on the wrong side of your successful swap
Based on research into global production and storage numbers for the
various commodities, as published by the International Energy Agency,
the United Nations, and certain trade associations, we have limited the
total amount of futures on a given commodity held or shorted by all
players and companies in the game to 100% of annual global production
for that commodity, and set a limit on total storage by all entities
in W$R to 100% of estimated global storage of the commodity (by private
entities). Each player and his/her companies are limited to 10% of the
annual production or 10% of global storage capacity. (Or, in the case
of crude oil, because of the vast magnitude of real world physical oil
production and storage and futures trading volume, those limits are set
at 5% in W$R instead of 10% of the annual/global amounts.)
In addition, we have made the size of individual futures contracts
the same as the contracts actually traded on major U.S. commodity
exchanges, such as 1,000 ounces of gold per contract (vs. 10,000
ounces per contract in prior W$R versions) or 100,000 bushels of
wheat or corn (was 1 million bushels in prior versions).
This version also reduces the size of the options positions of call
options (long) a player and his/her companies may have, from an
amount equal to 100% of the underlying stock's total shares
outstanding, to 20%. The limit remains at 100% of total shares for
shorted calls, long puts, and shorted put options. However, the
100% options position limit applies to ALL players and companies
combined, including companies not controlled by any player, for
each of the four types of options positions (long calls, short
calls, long puts, and short puts).
An absolute limit of $10 trillion (notional amount) or ten times net
worth, whichever is less, now applies to any bank or other entity doing
interest rate swaps. This may still seem like an unrealistically large
amount of exposure, but in the real world, some megabanks like J.P.
Morgan-Chase or Deutsche Bank are known to have had total derivatives
positions (including swaps) of $70 trillion or more in recent years.
Plus, you still have to be able to find counterparties in W$R with
sufficient net worth to take the other side of large swap contracts,
which is not always possible, unless you do a number of small swaps
of much less than $10 trillion each.
The above changes should make it more difficult to quickly become a
quadrillionaire, adding a large dose of realism to the simulation.
You may actually have to successfully trade stocks or grow companies
now, in order to amass a great fortune.
- It can be useful to know at a glance whether the supply/demand
situation in a particular industry is changing for the better or
worse, or is stable. Thus, we have added, in the "All-Industries"
projections of growth rates and profitability, a column which
indicates whether each industry's trend is in the direction of
improvement or worsening profitability, or if the rates of return
are stable at the current projected levels of growth in supply
- Interest rates paid by banks, while fluctuating, were the same for
all banks in prior versions. This version recognizes that having
deposits in banks with lower credit ratings involves a greater
risk of default, so the CD rates paid by banks now reflect the
greater risk by offering a higher interest rate. Banks rated AAA,
AA, or A now pay the lowest rate on CDs, BBB, BB, and B-rated banks
pay a slightly higher rate. Banks rated CCC, CC, or C are in a yet
higher risk category, and pay an even higher interest rate, and the
highest CD interest rates are paid by D-rated banks, which could
fail at any moment, causing depositors to possibly lose part or all
of their deposits. (Depositor beware!)
- We have put some limits on the "Add Cash" cheat function. A player
can now only use it once a game, and the maximum cash the player
can add to his/her bank account is now limited to $10 billion U.S.
(or the equivalent in other currencies). You can still decrease
your cash as often as you wish (if you wish to experiment with
poverty and/or bankruptcy), but any decrease is now limited to the
amount in your bank account, so it will not create a massive
negative bank balance that could bankrupt your bank and throw
the whole economic simulation out of whack.
We put in these limits because W$R attempts to maintain a balanced,
fairly realistic economic model in which all the companies and
industries can function. Some players have discovered that if they
suddenly added something like $100,000,000,000,000 million or so
to their bank account, that it causes all kinds of problems like
bankrupted banks, a stock index that goes from 5,000 to over a
million in a few moments, etc. These crazy results get reported as
"bugs," but only because such large amounts totally disrupt the
economic model, like throwing a monkey wrench into a finely-tuned
machine, just as such an addition to the real world money supply
overnight would also create global financial havoc. Since we are
seeking to make W$R more challenging and realistic, putting in
these limits seemed like a good place to start. There are a few
people on the planet worth more than $10 billion, but NO ONE makes
$100,000,000,000,000 million or anything like that.
Of course, in a recent release (v. 7.50), we added a "Cheat Menu"
with new "insider information" cheats you can use, without being
disqualified (but with considerable risks), so there are still
ample "cheat" opportunities in W$R, if you want to live dangerously.
- In previous versions, in some bankruptcy reorganizations, the program
modified, rather than totally eliminate, option positions on the stock
of the bankrupt company, adjusting the number of options and the strike
price, which sometimes yielded unreasonable results. In this version,
during a bankruptcy, all call options on the bankrupt's stock are
canceled with total losses to the holder and 100% profit to anyone who
was short the calls (zero buyback cost). Puts are settled based on a
stock price of zero, resulting in a gain for holders of the puts and
a loss for anyone who had shorted the puts.
- The "Streaming Stock Quotes" feature on the main screen has been
improved by modifying the way the "Fill" button works. As before,
when you click on the "Fill" button, the Streaming Stock Quotes list
will list all the stocks you directly own (or are short), then all
companies you control (up to the limit of 15 stocks). However, if
the list is not full, in this new version the stocks of companies
in which you have other equity positions -- convertible bonds and/or
options -- will also be listed, up to the screen's watch list limit
of 15 stocks.
- This release is file-compatible with files saved by earlier
Versions 6.0 through 7.83. (NOTE: When loading a file saved by
versions prior to 8.0, v. 8.x will change the number of commodity
contracts in each open position, to reflect the change in the
number of ounces, bushels, etc., covered by each contract, so
you won't unfairly incur a loss or receive an undeserved profit
on existing commodity or futures positions saved in the old
7.83 -- Released: June 1, 2016
- We didn't like the changes we made, to increase commodity price
volatility in Versions 7.81 and 7.82.
We think the commodity price volatility is now TOO extreme, and
no longer seems realistic, with prices often gyrating 50% or more
almost every month. We should have done more testing of those two
recent releases. This is a free upgrade for registered users of
versions 7.80-7.82, upon request.
Accordingly, in keeping with our goal of making W$R more challenging
and to make it somewhat more difficult in W$R to win at trading
commodities (it's darn near impossible to do so, except for a few
insiders, in the real world of commodity trading), we have damped
down the volatility of commodity prices in v. 7.83, so that (we
hope) there will be less opportunity to make gigantic quick profits
on massive commodity trades, for all you Wall $treet Raider
trillionaires and quadrillionaires.
In addition, once you reach a very high net worth level and are
able to do very large commodity futures trades, your counterparties
will now begin to wise up, and not be quite so stupid as to take the
other side of your commodity trades on your terms. Thus, you will
not be able to buy 100,000 oil futures contracts (at 10,000 barrels
per contract, in a single trade) for five years when crude oil is
$20 a barrel, or trade some other commodity that is similarly at an
extreme high or low price for an easy killing, sticking the poor,
stupid counterparty with a loss that may bankrupt that company. As
you get richer, the counterparties will become smarter and warier
of dealing with a slick speculator like you, with a reputation for
winning every futures trade.
So, in the crude oil example above, a potential counterparty
may make you a counter offer (take it or leave it!), such as
for only 5,000 contracts (not the 100,000 you wanted) at $50 a
barrel (not $20), expiring in only two or three years, not five.
You may still want to do the trade on their terms, but you will
have an immediate unrealized loss that could cause margin calls,
and even if oil does go up as you expected, it will have to go up
a lot (and sooner) before you profit on that trade. Since prices
are less volatile now, oil may still be trading (spot) at about
$20 or $30 when the contract expires two or three years later,
barring some event like a Middle East war or a Peak Oil crisis.
In short, as with tender offers for stocks, and when doing interest
rate swaps when interest rates are at extreme levels, you're now
going to have to do large futures transactions by paying over the
current market (or shorting at well below market) when market prices
are abnormally high or low, so that trading futures, at least in
gigabuck quantities, may no longer mean easy profits. Small futures
trades of 100 contracts or less (or 500 crude contracts) can still
be done in all cases at the market price, as can larger trades when
a commodity price is at or near a "normal" level, in which case your
odds of winning would likely be more like 50-50, not 90-10. Also,
you can still simply buy and store the physical commodity without
facing such counter offers, but with the reduced volatility we've
tried to build in for commodity prices, you may have to wait a
long time before the physical commodity you bought cheap goes up
very much, all the while paying storage and insurance costs.
The bottom line? Your counterparties for futures trades are no
longer going to be patsies who take on the losing end of your
trades and regularly go broke as a result, although you still
won't be getting counter offers from them in the early stages
of the game, when you are trading futures in smaller quanties
and aren't yet anywhere close to being a notorious trillionaire.
Another (minor) tweak in this version is to tone down the
extreme rise in a company's stock price when it's going along
making a normal return on equity of say, 10% to 20%, and
suddenly you sell off a hugely profitable commodity hedge
position for an enormous gain, or there is some other windfall,
like a small company receiving a large antitrust case settlement.
That kind of sudden and extreme boost in earnings will send
the stock soaring, maybe up 200% or more that quarter, only
to come back down (when you are wisely shorting it after its
upward spike) when earnings return to normal the next quarter.
That's a bit unrealistic, so the stock pricing algorithm now
treats any annual profit that's more than a certain percent
of the company's net worth as partly temporary and ignores the
"excess" in the current pricing. So the stock will still go
up a lot when there is a big windfall, but not quite so much
as before. This means the benefits of manipulating a stock's
price by manipulating the timing of big earnings swings are
now a bit less.
(We keep trying to make the W$R simulation more challenging,
and players keep finding "loopholes" that aren't always simple
to fix, without crippling the game. We never cease to be
amazed at the creativity of some W$R players...!)
Version 7.83 is a free upgrade for anyone who has purchased
7.80, 7.81 or 7.82. Just email the author at the address at
the bottom of this page for a download link.
7.82 -- Released: April 15, 2016
- This release is just a very minor tweak to prevent an undesired
consequence of having counterparties for options trades, for players
who have built up many trillions (or quadrillions) in net worth, and
who are able to do massive stock (and stock index) manipulation. They
were finding that the very large option positions they created, which
were virtually "sure things" as they manipulated stock prices upwards
by hundreds or thousands of percentages, were quickly bankrupting
most of the counterparties. In some cases we've seen, there were only
about 500 companies left standing in the simulation after all the
wipeouts. This version imposes some higher credit standards before
a counterparty will take the other side of an options trade, and
provides for quicker jettisoning of bad options positions by
uncontrolled companies, before they go broke by, for instance, being
short call options that suddenly go up by 1000% when you manipulate
the stock upwards.
Unless you are one of the rare players who gets up to the levels
of multiple trillions or quadrillions of net worth, you won't
notice this minor change in the program's selection and monitoring
of options counterparties.
7.81 -- Released: January 27, 2016
- This version makes a minor change in the AutoPilot feature regarding commodity hedging.
At times, companies on "autopilot" have tended to buy (or short) commodities at bad
times, like buying silver futures when silver is at $38, or shorting wheat at $2.50,
or have closed parts of existing futures positions at inopportune times, as part of
the normal hedging process done by companies in certain industries, where companies
close out part of profitable hedges each quarter, and sometimes close part of unprofitable
ones, as well. To prevent this from happening, Release 7.81 prevents any such spontaneous
commodity purchases or sales by human-controlled companies, even if the company is on
"autopilot" (except for forced sales, or when the company's credit rating falls to CCC or
lower, and positions have to be closed). Thus, if you want a company to hedge or speculate
in commodities, or close an existing position, you must now actively initiate the
transaction. Any "bad trades" will now be because you guessed wrong about the direction
of a commodity price, and not because the program did so.
Version 7.81 is a free upgrade for anyone who has purchased 7.80. Just email the
author at the address at the bottom of this page. (If you prefer the way hedging
operated in v. 7.80, then we suggest that you don't "upgrade" to 7.81.)
- In this version, having noted how easy it is to make money trading commodity
futures in the simulation, so that many players don't even bother with the
more realistic corporate finance/securities markets features that are the
main part of W$R, we decided to take some steps to make fluctuations more
drastic and unpredictable, to add to the risk.
7.80 -- Released: September 15, 2015
- An automatic "sweep" setting has been added to the items on the "Settings" Menu.
Turning this setting "ON" will cause any cash in your bank account to regularly
be "swept" to pay down any bank loan you owe. As a result, any sales proceeds,
dividends, interest, salary or other cash you receive will almost immediately
be put to work reducing your bank debt, thus helping to reduce your interest
expenses. However, if you have no line of credit, you may want to turn the
"sweep" setting off, in order to keep some cash in your account to pay expenses
that you incur. Otherwise, if your bank balance is zero and you are unable
to borrow, you would be forced to sell off assets when you have to pay an
expense, such as taxes or interest. The "sweep" function is similar to the
way most margin accounts with stockbrokers work, in the real world, where
any cash credited to your account is quickly applied to pay down your margin
debt, if any.
- The "easy pickings" from shorting or buying puts on stocks of companies
that are about to go bankrupt will no longer be available, generally.
In this new version, you cannot trade options on a company that is under
bankruptcy court protection (that is, has a "D" credit rating), except
to close an existing position. Also, in some cases, where a company is
almost certain to be liquidated or reorganized in bankruptcy, you will
not be able to borrow any of its stock to sell short.
- The portfolio information for individual players now includes a
projection of a player's annual cash flow, from salary, dividends,
bond interest, and interest earned on bank account balances, less
loan interest expense and, if any, income tax on the net amount.
This projection gives players a quick "heads up" as to whether they
will be running a cash flow deficit in the next 12 months of play.
It doesn't try to "guesstimate" speculative or unknown amounts, like
the proceeds from sales of assets you will dispose of or expenditures
to buy assets, or any profits or losses you might generate from
interest rate swaps, options, or futures. Nor does the projection
take into account any additional taxes you may incur on sales of
assets that result in taxable gains.
- The Industry Summary listing of Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) now ranks
all the ETFs by their share price performance in the last 12 months,
and shows the percentage gain or loss over that period. This feature
goes into effect after the first year of game play. During the first
year, ETFs are ranked by their dividend yield, as in previous versions.
- The "Buy," "Strong Buy," "Sell," or "Strong Sell" button that appears
on the Research Report for a company is now clickable, to either buy
or sell the stock of that company or, if you don't own the stock, to
sell it short. (If the button says "Hold," clicking on it has no effect.)
- In the past, it was often easy to shrug off occasional anti-trust
lawsuits from other companies when you were able to monopolize most
of a large number of industries. This problem was partly remedied in
the last version by imposing government fines and forced divestitures
on monopolistic companies, but some players are still able to get
around those restrictions and acquire nearly 100% market share of
numerous industries. This version adds real teeth to the private
anti-trust suits, making them much more frequent and for vastly
larger damage sums, even for small companies with bad credit that
could hardly pay legal fees to sue your Behemoth Industrial Co.
Now, where it is clear that it is almost a "slam-dunk" winning
antitrust case, such companies will get special additional bank
financing to bring such a lawsuit, and the bank will receive 10%
of the damages if the plaintiff (suing) company wins, for providing
such "bridge loans." Life just got a lot riskier for monopolists!
- Costs of trading shares of ETF's (Exchange-Traded Funds) have been
reduced. Previously, you had to make a tender offer to acquire
more than 5% of an ETF, like other stocks, paying a significantly
higher price than the market price. Likewise, when you sold your
shares, you had to sell them at well below market if selling a
significant percent. Since ETF shares tend to trade at or very
close to their net asset value, that seemed somewhat unrealistic,
so now when you buy ETF shares you simply pay the market price
plus a 1% commission, and when you sell them you receive the
market price, less a 1% commission. As before, the sales don't
affect the market price of the ETF stock, which is based on
net asset value of the fund's assets, with only a slight random
deviation of about 1%.
- A stock's P:E ratio (Price:Earnings ratio) in previous versions was
computed based on the previous year's income. That could often become
misleading by the middle or latter part of a year, so we have changed
the calculation to base the P:E on any earnings for the current year,
plus an appropriate part of the prior year's average quarterly results.
For example, to calculate the trailing 12 months (four quarters) of
earnings, after a company has reported in the third quarter, the 12
months of earnings will now include the year-to-date earnings for the
three quarters, plus 1/4th of the prior year's earnings. Thus, the
displayed P:E ratios for companies are now more realistic and much
more responsive to recent changes in a company's fortunes, which
means stock prices are likely to change direction more swiftly and
unpredictably. The stock pricing algorithm now gives more weight to
projected earnings, as well, further adding to increased volatility
and quicker reaction to changing circumstances for a company.
In prior versions, we felt that bank stocks tended to sell at high
multiples of net worth (like 10 or 12) and often traded at 30 to
35 P:E ratios, also too high. We have tinkered with the pricing
of bank stocks, where the banks are not highly leveraged (with
reasonably good credit ratings), so they now tend to trade at
much more reasonable multiples of net worth and earnings, except
for very small banks, which may be able to grow earnings very
rapidly and achieve a fairly high P:E.
- The limitations on the "notional amount" of interest rate swaps
you or your companies may enter into have been changed. In earlier
versions, the limit per contract was 100,000 million dollars,
Euros, etc. (or 100,000 billions of some currencies, like the
Rupee or Yen), and there was an overall net long or net short
position limit of 100 times net worth. Now the single contract
limit is the lesser of 500,000 million (billion) or 100 times
net worth, with an overall net long or net short position limit
of 500 x net worth for players, or 100 to 300 x net worth for
a corporation, depending on the Difficulty Level at which you
are playing (100 times the Difficulty Level, times net worth,
but not more than 300 times net worth).
In previous versions, a player or his companies could "load up"
hundreds of swaps counterparties with what was likely to be the
losing side of swaps contracts. Often, this would result in
bankrupting hundreds of companies that really could not afford
to take such gambles, causing some very unrealistic changes in
the simulation. Now, only companies that are large enough to
take on such risks will be available counterparties, so if you
are trying to do hundreds of interest rate swaps, you may not
be able to find as many counterparties. The ones you do find
may still be damaged badly by the swaps (if interest rates go
in the direction you expected -- profitable for you, disastrous
for the counterparties), but now the swaps will not generally
bankrupt the counterparties.
Also, when interest rates are very high or very low, the
counteroffers you will receive when you make an offer to enter
into a swap are less attractive than in previous versions.
- This release fixes a bug in recent editions, where a bank
is liquidated into another bank or an insurance company is
liquidated into another insurance company. In either case,
subprime mortgages owned by the sub were not being transferred
in such (nontaxable) liquidations. (Thanks to users who pointed
out this flaw on the W$R blog!)
- Since some users have succeeded in building their assets up into
the quintillions of dollars (or sextillions of some currencies),
we have revised a lot of the displays in the program that were
unable to correctly display numbers like $1,304,883,388,027 million.
However, many of the changes in this version, designed to keep
things more realistic, should make it much harder for players to
ever generate wealth in such fantastic amounts.
7.70/7.72 -- Released: March 1, 2015/July 5, 2015 (Major release)
- (Version 7.72 is a bug fix for a bug in v. 7.70 that was causing
an annoying "Error 9" error message that could occasionally occur,
or a very rare situation where a corrupted stock ownership percentage
for a bank could cause the entire Stock Index to go through the roof.
Purchasers of v. 7.70 can contact Mike Jenkins at the email address at
the bottom of this page, to request a link where they may download a
free copy of the corrected version (7.72). We have emailed a notice with the
download URL to everyone who purchased 7.70 or 7.71 (an initial bug fix)
in the short time 7.70 was being sold, but some users may not have read
the email.) These "bugs" were not in versions prior to Version 7.70.
- In response to requests from numerous users, we have now made it
possible in Version 7.70 to have multiple computer players. In the new
version, if you choose to have computer players, you first choose the
total number of players (2 to 5), and then specify how many HUMAN
players there will be. The remaining players will all be computer
players that compete against you -- and against each other. For
example, if you choose to have 5 total players, with only one
human player, you would be playing against four aggressive,
cutthroat computer players. In the new version, a successful
computer player will not only try to squash you (harrassing
lawsuits, freezing or calling in your loans, etc.) if you get
into a weakened financial position, but it will do the same
to other computer players that get in financial difficulty
and become vulnerable to ruthless tactics. Now you will have
more than one vicious competitor to deal with!
(Although you may be playing against as many as four computer
players, it still only takes about a second or less for all
of them to take their turns, after you finish your turn, so
the game is not slowed down by the additional computer players.)
- Since we have often noted in long games that a very successful
computer player may sometimes accumulate control of several
hundred companies, we have placed some limits on the number of
companies each computer player can control, after which it will
(usually) not attempt to acquire control of any more companies.
The more computer players there are, the lower this limit is
set at, for obvious reasons. However, we won't tell you what
these limits are, as they are somewhat flexible. (These limits
do not apply to HUMAN players.)
- The Wall Street Raider Tutorial that we began including with Version 7.60
now includes links to a series of excellent video tutorials (not by us)
on YouTube. The author of the tutorial says he will eventually do
about 50 "episodes," playing one 35-year game to its conclusion, at a
very deliberate speed, explaining his strategy or tactics with each action
he takes. Each episode is about an hour in length.
- In previous releases 7.50 through 7.60, an "AutoPilot" function
was introduced, whereby you can now select "AutoPilot" status
ON or OFF for all the companies you control, by toggling the
"AutoPilot ON/OFF" item on the "Game Options" pulldown menu.
However, it was an all-or-none setting for your companies. In
this version, the item works the same way, as a "global" setting,
so that when you turn AutoPilot ON, it sets an "ON" variable for
each company you control (except the one you are CEO of), and
likewise if you set the AutoPilot global setting to "OFF" it
turns the AutoPilot setting for each of your companies to "OFF."
However, you may now change the ON/OFF AutoPilot setting for an
individual company you control by using the "Toggle AutoPilot ON"
("OFF") button on the Management Menu. Thus, you may use the
global setting on the "Game Options" menu to turn AutoPilot "ON"
for all your companies, but may then decide to turn the setting
for a particular company to "OFF" by using the "Toggle AutoPilot
OFF" button that will appear on the Management Menu. Or vice versa.
Note that when you become CEO of a company, its AutoPilot status
is automatically turned "OFF." (That is, you must ALWAYS manage
that company, rather then delegate its management functions.) But
if you later cease to be the CEO, its status will become the same
as your global AutoPilot setting. Similarly, if you acquire control
of a company, it automatically adopts the same AutoPilot status as
your global AutoPilot setting.
- Improvements have been made to the Interest Rate Swaps screens.
Now, if a player or company is seeking to exceed allowable limits
for net long (or net short) positions in interest rate swap
derivatives, the program shows you how much more exposure you may
take on. Also, when viewing your (or your company's) list of swap
contracts, the display now includes the estimated quarterly profit
or loss on each active swap contract, plus the total estimated
quarterly profit for all such active contracts.
- Limits have been increased on the maximum size (notional value)
of a single swap agreement / contract. In prior versions, the
maximum size limit of a swap was 100,000 million of the selected
currency. That limit is now increased to 500,000 million of the
currency. (500,000 billion for some currencies that have very
small unit values compared to the U.S. dollar, such as the
Japanese Yen, Indian Rupee, or Korean Won.)
- Also, limits have been set on total exposure of a player or
company, in addition to the previous limit on the size of one
individual swap contract. A player's net long or net short swaps
exposure (in terms of notional value of contracts) is now limited
to 500 times the player's net worth, since no counterparties will
contract with you if your exposure becomes too large. For all
companies, the limit ranges from 100 to 300 times the company's
net worth (depending on the Difficulty Level of the current game,
with more risk allowed at higher Difficulty Levels). Thus, for
example at Difficulty Level 3 or 4, a bank with net worth of
$250 billion could take on long (or short) interest rate swaps
exposure of 300 times that amount, or $75 trillion, which is
comparable to risks taken on by certain megabanks like Chase
in the real world.
- The government anti-monopoly agencies have been made a little
bit less efficient in this version. This means in some cases
you may be able to monopolize most of an industry by buying
up or merging companies, even though your acquisition would
generally be considered an illegal restraint of trade and
would normally have been blocked by an agency like the FTC
or Justice Department in prior versions of W$R.
Now, these agencies will sometimes be a bit "lax" and let you
proceed with your (questionable) acquisition. Of course,
after you have acquired control of most of an industry,
you may still be sued by competitors -- or later, even by
the government -- for antitrust violations. (Life isn't
fair.) Therefore, such occasional opportunities may tempt
you to try to monopolize an industry, which can sometimes
be very profitable, or can turn out to be a major blunder.
- When doing tender offers to "the public" for stock of a
company, you will now be advised by investment bankers as
to what price (in excess of market price) you will need
to offer in order to acquire all the shares you seek. You
will also be told the total purchase price when doing a
tender offer or buying a 5% or smaller position in a stock
on the open market.
- We have corrected a flaw in the Transaction Financing routine,
when you are asked if you want to borrow to complete various
transactions. For a few types of transactions, the routine
was sometimes underestimating the negative effect on your
credit rating if you did the borrowing and made the planned
expenditure. For example, before the correction, you might
have been warned that going ahead with the transaction and
financing would reduce your credit rating to "B," while
the actual result might have been much worse, reducing your
credit rating to "CCC," "CC," "C" or even to "D." That
could previously occur (only) if you were spending the money,
but were not acquiring an asset, such as when you or your
company paid a large fee to get out of an unfavorable interest
rate swap contract, which greatly decreased your net worth.
7.60 -- Released: November 15, 2014 (Major release)
- Subprime mortgages have been added as a new asset class, and can be
purchased by banks or insurance companies. The high yields are very
tempting, but these are high-risk loans, which will tend to have high
loss rates if the economy turns soft, and if sold when things are bad,
will usually be sold at a loss. In addition, an occasional "subprime
crisis" (like the real one in 2008) can sometimes occur, in which
huge losses will be incurred on such loans over a period of years, and
during such a crisis they can often only be liquidated for no more than
40% to 60% of their face value. High reward, high risk.
- An online tutorial for new players is now available, and can be accessed
by clicking on the "Tutorial" item on the "Game Options" menu, on
the main W$R screen. To view the tutorial without opening W$R, go to:
- Earnings reports for companies now include a comparison of reported
operating earnings to the most recent estimated earnings projection.
Stocks of companies that beat estimates tend to rise (all other
things being equal), while those that fall short of projected earnings
tend to fall.
- Being granted options on 2% of a company's stock is no longer an automatic
"perk" of being CEO of a company. Now, if the company is losing money, or
its most recent quarterly earnings per share were lower than the year before,
you will not be granted any options for that quarter. If earnings have
improved, but by less than 15%, you only receive a 1% grant. If earnings
have grown by 15% or more, you receive a 2% grant, or 3% if you also control
over 50% of the company's stock, directly or indirectly.
- If you (or one of your controlled companies) has commodity or stock index
futures contracts expiring in the middle of the next month, you are now
notified of the upcoming expiration(s) by a pop-up message just before
the end of the preceding month. The notice will also remind you as to
whether your current setting for taking phyical delivery (if long a
commodity futures contract) is "YES" or "NO." (If "NO," the futures
contract will merely be settled for a gain or loss. If "YES," you
or your company will have to buy the agreed amount of the commodity
at the contract price, and take physical delivery. This can be a very
important reminder, if you have the "Take Delivery" setting on "YES"
and don't have enough money or credit to make the purchase, causing
a forced sell-off of assets.)
- Refinements have been made to the "AutoPilot" setting, so that when
you have turned on AutoPilot, to let most of your companies manage
themselves, they may attempt to buy or sell other companies, or list
offers to sell stocks they own or issue new stock in public offerings,
but will only do any such transaction if the company requests and
obtains your permission to proceed, giving you a veto over any such
- Some users who like to invest in banks have been unhappy with the fact
that banks automatically buy bonds when they have excess cash, and
often are forced to sell the bonds at a loss when they need to raise
cash. This version prevents banks from automatically trading bonds,
when you control the bank and actively manage it. (If "AutoPilot" is
turned on, and you are not the bank's CEO, however, it will continue
to buy and sell bonds like banks that you do not control, as before.)
Naturally, you can still direct a bank you control (whether not it
is on AutoPilot) to buy or sell a particular government or corporate
bond, when you think it is wise to do so. Banks will continue to
buy or make or sell business loans, however, even regardless of the
The same treatment of bond trading now also applies to insurance
companies a player controls, as well as to banks.
- A new end-of-game analysis (in the sidebar of the Entity Research
Menu, when the player is selected entity) computes your annual
compound rate of return on your investments (on your beginning stake,
of $100 million to $1,000 million), if you increased your net worth
during the game. This feature isn't activated for a saved game file
from older versions, since older versions didn't store the amount of
your starting "stake" (which could range from $100 M. to $1,000 M.)
- It is now easier (cheaper) to start up a new company. Startup costs
are now a maximum of 10% (previously 20%) of initial capital, and
are limited to a maximum of $25 million U.S. (or equivalent in another
currency) for a new holding/trading company, $100 million to form
an industrial company, and $200 million for a bank or insurance
company. Initial minimum startup capital is still $1,000 million for
a bank or insurance company, or $100 million for any other startup
(industrial company or holding/trading company).
- In a long game, we have noticed that many insurance companies and
holding/trading companies eventually own control of many other such
companies, partly because such companies often trade at well below
their net worth, and thus become takeover targets. Thus, we have
tweaked the stock takeover algorithms, to make such random takeovers
of insurers and holding/trading companies much less frequent, so that
a handful of companies are less likely to control hundreds of other
companies after 25 or 30 years of play, or longer.
- When stock splits (or reverse splits) occur, including automatic
rounding of total shares from odd numbers like 76.53 million to
80 million, the program now adjusts the company's dividend payout
accordingly, to keep the yield the same at the time of the change.
- In this release, we detected and fixed a subtle flaw in the corporate
tax provision calculations, where a company has tax credits and
taxable income from extraordinary gains, but no ordinary (operating)
income -- which was causing tax credits to incorrectly be carried
over and not be used to offset the tax on the gains, except when
the company happened to be an 80%+ subsidiary of a parent company.
7.51 -- Released: June 8, 2014 (Minor release)
- This is a free upgrade for anyone who purchased v. 7.50, which was a very major
upgrade, but also introduced a few minor bugs. E-mail us at the link at the bottom
of this page for a 7.51 download link, if you purchased 7.50. This is a fairly minor
upgrade, which mainly fixes a couple of minor "bugs" that were in 7.50, though you
would probably never have noticed them. It also has some more "cheat scenarios"
added, regarding "inside information" on upcoming earnings turnarounds or mergers,
plus many minor improvements throughout the program.
- This version also has a number of cosmetic changes, such as better text formatting,
where text messages often were raggedly formatted, when displayed by some monitors. (No
two monitors are alike, it seems.) The main (visible) change is to the layout of the
main W$R "Trading Desk" screen. The stock ticker and Ticker On/Off button have been moved
up to the center of the screen, making for a smaller screen image footprint, since the
stock ticker and bottom part of the main screen was no longer visible on some monitors,
when set at lower than their default resolution. In addition, a "Cheat" button, which
was formerly accessed from the Misc. Menu, has now been moved to the main screen,
allowing for direct one-click access to the "Cheat Menu" that we added in Version 7.50.
- You will notice now, when one of your companies is the target of an antitrust lawsuit
and you are presented with a choice of settling the case by paying a specified amount,
or risking a trial, the program now offers you "advice from your attorneys" as to
whether or not you should accept the settlement offer. (Of course, attorneys' advice
is not always 100% accurate...!)
- New algorithms have been added to put to work excessive cash build-ups at companies
not actively controlled by a player. If you have your companies on "AutoPilot,"
they will generally not buy stocks or initiate mergers, but if they have a
significant cash build-up and good credit rating, they may initiate stock
purchases, but will only make such a purchase after first stopping play to ask
- Strategy improvements were made for the Computer Player, regarding advances (demand loans)
to companies it controls, which will now occur in some cases, making the Computer Player
a little smarter. Also, when the Computer Player has made advances to a company it
controls and it later loses control, it will then attempt to call in part or all of
the loan, subject to the same restrictions as when a human player tries to call in such
an advance, where the borrower has a weak credit rating and has senior creditors (such
as a bank lender, bondholders, depositors in a bank, or the policyholders of an insurance
company). Those of you who already hate the computer player ("Wally Raider") will now
hate him even more, since he has gotten even smarter....
- For users of the "shareware" (free) version of W$R, stock charts are still not generally
available for individual companies, but now are available for ETF's (Exchange-Traded
Funds). Stock charts for all companies are available in the registered versions of W$R.
7.50 -- Released: April 1, 2014 (Major release)
- A new "Cheat Menu" has been added. When viewing the "MISC" Menu,
click on the "Cheat Menu" item to see a pop-up menu with three
"cheat" choices -- the previously existing option to add any
amount of cash to your bank account is still available. However,
using it will disqualify the current game as your "personal best"
score, for obvious reasons, but is still fun to use if you want
to experiment with being ultra-rich (or ultra-poor, since you can
also use it to subtract cash from your account).
The new "Cheat Menu" also contains two new cheat options, both
of which allow you to obtain crucial "insider information." One
gives you a heads-up on an upcoming merger on which you can make
a quick profit (usually). The other gives you advance notice of a
coming big change in a certain company's earnings, either up or
down, so that you can either buy or short the stock before the
In both cases it is highly secret information that will
be leaked to you, long before the Street knows about it. However,
obtaining such lucrative "insider information" is, of course,
highly illegal, not to mention unethical and immoral, and there
is always an outside chance that your informant may be arrested
and "rat you out," or your phone may be tapped by the authorities,
in which case your wrongdoing would be discovered and you would
face massive fines.
But who knows? Even if you fall afoul of the law, you
may make so much money trading off the insider tips that you
can afford to pay the fine, like so many real corporate raiders
and stock manipulators. In real life, it seems that raiders who
steal $100 million end up paying a $10 million fine as penance --
and then donate $5 million or so to Harvard or Oxford, which
names a building after them and awards the scalawag an honorary
degree, as a "great benefactor."
- A new "AutoPilot" setting has been created, for each player.
When you control a lot of companies, it becomes difficult to
actively manage all of them properly, as conditions change,
when it becomes advisable to change growth rates, R&D spending,
manage build-ups (or shortages) of cash, etc. Companies you
do not control are fairly "smart," and tend to react to such
changes intelligently, as well as randomly doing mergers,
liquidations, stock and bond purchases and sales, and trading
futures or options, plus doing various other types of
This version now lets you turn on (or off) an "AutoPilot"
setting. When this setting is turned on, you will be, in effect,
delegating the management of the companies you control to the
program, which will operate them for you as if they were uncontrolled
companies. The one exception is the controlled company of which
you are the CEO, for which you must still make almost all of the
management decisions, as in prior versions of W$R. Of course,
if you turn AutoPilot off, you will be operating as in prior
versions, making all major decisions for ALL of your controlled
companies. Using the AutoPilot function when you control numerous
companies relieves you of the difficulty of micro-managing all
the management decisions for those companies, except major
decisions like doing acquisitions, selling off subsidiaries,
or engaging in merger activity.
Notice that turning AutoPilot on does not mean you
give up control over your companies. You may still have your
controlled companies do any transactions that were allowed in
previous W$R versions, at any time. For example, you can set
a company's R&D spending to 20% of sales if you wish, and that
rate will stay in effect if AutoPilot is off, until you change
it. However, if AutoPilot is on, the program may decide at
some point to either increase or decrease the R&D spending
rate, above or below where you had set it. Or, you may have
your controlled company buy a particular stock you like, but if
AutoPilot is on, the program may decide to sell that stock, if
it decides there is a reason to do so.
The default setting for AutoPilot in a new game is
"off," since you usually will want to totally manage the
first few companies that you control. Later, if you gain
control of too many companies to micro-manage all of them,
you may then want to turn AutoPilot "on."
The AutoPilot option can be turned on or off by
toggling that item on the pull-down "Settings Menu" on the main
- Additional conveniences have been built in. Now, if you click
on "List Portfolio" for a company and it has no stock or bond
portfolio, a message will say so and ask if you want to instead
see your individual portfolio. Similarly, if you click on "Tax
Basis Info" for a company that has no stock or bond portfolio,
you will be asked if you want to see your portfolio tax basis
In either case, if you also have no stocks or bonds, an
error message will simply inform you that the company has no
portfolio to display. Similar features were added in recent
releases, where a company has no option positions, or no
physical commodities, or no futures, when you click on the
appropriate button to display one of those three categories
- Players often like to do quick calculations in their heads,
but that can often be difficult when computing per-share
items, especially when the number of shares a company has
outstanding is something like 3231.74 million shares. The
program now does small automatic stock splits to "round"
the number of shares off to a more manageable number, like
3000 million in the above example.
- This release is file-compatible with saved game files
from prior versions 6.0 to 7.01, 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 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, that in recent releases, if a game
saved by an older version like 6.21 or earlier was loaded,
the ETF's would not be activated, as they would have been
saved in the past as regular (usually "dormant") holding
companies. Thus, you needed to start a new game, if you wanted
ETF's to be available to invest in, if you were upgrading
from v. 6.21 or an earlier version, to versions 6.30 through
6.70. However, in this version and later versions, if you load
a saved file originally started in versions 6.0 through 6.21,
W$R will now create the 15 ETF's, unless some or all of those
dormant "shell" corporations had been put to use already in
the saved game (which would be very unusual).
7.01 -- Released: January 18, 2014 (Minor release)
- Version 7.01 simply cleaned up the text formatting on a number of message box pages.
7.0 -- Released: November 1, 2013 (Major release)
- We have continued to add more and more highly detailed commentary
on industry and economic conditions and trend analysis, for many
common or unusual situations, displayed in the sidebar on the Entity
Info and General Research pop-up menus, as the "DAILY MARKET
In fact, most of the huge number of hours, on weekdays, holidays,
nights, and weekends, that went into doing this new release, were
spent on devising and refining these new textual commentaries, to
ensure their accuracy and relevance to the facts at hand, as well
as their realism. Our goal has been to not only make the "DAILY
MARKET COMMENTARY" useful and realistic, but to make it read much
like a column you might see in a financial daily like the Wall
Street Journal, Investors' Business Daily, or the Financial Times.
- Trading in physical commodities (oil, gold, silver, wheat,
and corn) has been expanded. All corporations except for
banks and insurance companies may now acquire and hold any
of those commodities (incurring storage and insurance costs
while they are held). Some companies, if not controlled by
a (human) player, will occasionally buy and store a commodity
if its price gets ridiculously cheap, and may sell it if the
price eventually rises to a very high level. Of course, you
can still trade futures on all of those commodities, too (as
well as Stock Index futures).
- Players or companies that sell commodity futures short can
(if the user turns on a "Make Physical Delivery" variable
on the Settings Menu) choose to have a physical commodity
they own delivered when a short futures contract expires, in
lieu of a cash settlement. In previous versions of W$R, the
only type of settlement of expiring futures was a cash
Similarly, if you turn on the "Take Physical Delivery"
variable setting, you can buy a futures contract on oil, gold,
silver, wheat, or corn, and you will take delivery of the physical
commodity at the agreed contract price at expiration, instead of
having a cash settlement. (If you do this, be sure you have
adequate cash or credit to make the purchase, or you will be in
a forced liquidation mode!)
- New features have been added that let players or companies
post offers to sell a certain amount of stock, and in the
case of industrial companies, offer to sell business assets,
and also to buy such offered stocks (at 95% of current market
value) or business assets (at 95% of seller's cost, per balance
sheet), which other players or companies are willing to sell.
Companies that are having cash flow problems will often offer
some of their stock holdings or business assets for sale in
this way, instead of making forced sales that may be at "sacrifice"
prices on the open market. This is the first time that Wall Street
Raider has made it possible for a player to buy stocks or other
assets directly from another player or from a company controlled
by another player, other than by tender offers in hostile mergers.
Two new buttons for posting items for sale have been added
to the "MISC" Menu, and a new "For Sale" button has been
added to the "OTHER TRANS." Menu. Click on that button to
view all currently available offers and, if interested, act
on one of them to buy stock without driving up the stock
price or having to make a tender offer. Or have one of your
companies buy offered business assets from an existing company
in its industry, rather than buying new assets (which would
increase industry supply and reduce industry profitability).
In addition, by buying business assets offered for sale by
another company (at a 5% discount), your company can avoid the
somewhat common situation of having to pay a significant premium
("goodwill") when buying assets from another company, if using the
"Buy Corporate Assets" button on the Buy/Sell Transactions Menu.
Any offer made by you or a company you control can be terminated
at any time, by simply clicking on it, from the list of offers,
and answering "Yes" when asked if you want to cancel it.
Some of the few restrictions on offers are that you or a company
of yours can only have one offer to sell a particular stock
at any one time, and you can't offer to sell more stock of a
company than you actually own. If you own 10% of XYZ Co. and post
an offer to sell all 10%, but then sell 6% of XYZ, the program will
automatically reduce your offer to 4%. Similarly, a company can
only list one offer at any one time to sell some of its business
assets. If a new offer is posted, the old one is canceled. Once an
offer to sell stock is posted, any company (subject to the usual
anti-monopoly rules, etc.) may accept the offer, EXCEPT the issuing
company, which can only buy back its stock in a "greenmail" buyback
tender offer (at a significant premium over the market price).
If a buyer chooses to buy only part of an offering of stock or
business assets, the rest of the offer remains in effect. For
example, if ABC Corp. offers to sell $300 million of assets,
and a buyer comes along and accepts the offer, but only for
$100 million of the assets, the offer remains, but is reduced to
$200 million of assets. All offers expire either at the end of the
calendar quarter when listed, or, if the user chooses, at the end
of the following quarter. Thus, an offer posted on July 25 will
expire on either the following October 1 or on January 1 of the
- The simulation has been modified so that uncontrolled (by human
players) companies will now randomly list offers to sell stock or
business assets when their credit is too bad to borrow and they
are experiencing a cash crunch. Other, stronger companies, with
excess cash or good credit ratings will randomly buy some of
the offered stocks or, if in the same industry, business assets,
from the weaker companies, in a Darwinian fashion. Only the
strong survive, in Wall Street Raider, as on Wall Street.
- The ability to "look under the hood," to peek at important
corporate data has been added. A "Who Owns What?" button is
added to the General Research Menu. It brings up a submenu that
lets you see a list of all companies that have long or short
stock index or commodity futures positions; companies that
own physical commodities; entities that have entered into
"long" positions on interest rate swap agreements (and the
identity of the "short" counter-party); companies that have
long or short put or call options positions; companies that own
stock in other companies; and companies that are paid investment
management fees by the Exchange-Traded Funds.
Each of those six listings also provides details as to amount,
percentages held, or fixed interest rate for swaps, and also
identifies the commodity, stock, option, or terms and types of
interest rate swap, for each company with a position in any of
the above-mentioned instruments. Clicking on any item will
select the company in question as the new "active entity," if
you wish to do more research on the company, or buy or sell short
- A new button has been added to the Buy/Sell transactions
menu. It now has a "Trade Futures" button, which allows
you to trade commodity or stock index futures, and a "Trade
Commodities" button that allows you to buy or sell PHYSICAL
commodities. However, the "Commodity Trading Desk" menu that
pops up when you click on either of the above buttons also
has a toggle button, which lets you toggle between trading
futures and physical commodities, without having to exit
the "trading desk" back to the Buy/Sell menu or main screen.
- Greenmail buybacks are now allowed unless the seller is a
human player, or is a company controlled by a human player.
Thus, a greenmail buyback is now allowed where the seller
is the computer player, Wally Raider, or a company that is
controlled by the computer player. However, the premium
you will need to offer in that case will be considerably
higher, generally, than you would need to offer to a
seller that is not controlled by any player. Therefore,
you can now force the computer player to sell a stock it
(or a company it controls) owns in a greenmail buyback,
but only if you are willing to pay a very large "greenmail"
premium for the stock.
- Similarly, In prior (recent) versions, you could make a
tender offer for shares of a company held by another company,
but not if the holder was controlled by another player, or
if the holder was another player. That rule remains in effect,
generally, for a stock owned by another human player or if
the stockholder is controlled by another human player. But
in this new version, you can now make a tender offer (at a very
sustantial premium over the market price of the stock) for
shares owned by the computer player, or owned by a company
that is controlled by the computer player, Wally Raider.
- Small (under 5% of a company's stock) LBO or greenmail
stock buybacks are no longer allowed, unless the LBO
buyback offer your company makes is for all of the
company's remaining publicly-traded stock, or if the
greenmail buyback offer is for all the shares held
by the selling shareholder.
- We have closed a loophole, when a merger is pending, with an
uncontrolled company offering to acquire a player's controlled
company. Previously, you could have your targeted company
declare a large extraordinary dividend, reducing its value,
while still receiving the same amount for its stock from the
acquiring company in the merger. Nice trick! In this new version,
however, any such sneaky action will cause the pending merger
offer to be canceled. Similarly, a greenmail or LBO stock
buyback by the targeted company, which would also reduce the
company's net worth significantly, will also cause the pending
merger offer to be withdrawn by the acquiring company.
- This release is file-compatible with saved game files
from prior versions 6.0 to 6.70, 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 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.)
6.70 -- Released: July 1, 2013 (Major release)
6.60 -- Released: March 1, 2013 (Major release)
- A very large amount of additional commentary has been added to
the "Industry Outlook" and "Economy and Markets" sections of
the sidebar on the Entity Info and General Research Menus.
Our goal, as we keep adding and refining this text is to make
the commentary read somewhat more like a page from the Wall
Street Journal or the Financial Times.
- In this release, we have responded to user suggestions by
adding the ability to invest in physical commodities, which
can be stored indefinitely, to wait for a good time to sell,
instead of entering into commodity futures contracts. Players
with adequate buying power can buy unlimited amounts of crude
oil, gold, silver, wheat and corn. However, the commodities
must be purchased with cash, although players can borrow
against the commodity holdings to the same extent as they
can borrow against stocks or bonds. However, when buying a
physical commodity, you will not be able to get the 20-to-1
leverage you get when trading commodity FUTURES.
While you will not have to pay a premium ("contango")
like you often must when you buy futures contracts, you will
instead incur storage costs of varying amounts for each commodity,
and will incur insurance costs of 3% of the value of the commodity
per year. In addition, since wheat and corn are somewhat perishable
commodities, your stored grains will be subject to a certain amount
of "shrinkage," which will continue as long as you keep the grain,
due to spoilage, etc.
Only players, not corporations, may buy physical commodities,
for now, although future releases may allow such purchases by some
types of corporations, as well.
To buy or sell a physical commodity, a player can either
click on the "TRADE" button on a chart of the commodity price,
or open the BUY/SELL Menu and click on the "Trade Commodities"
button. There you can either trade the commodity futures or,
if you click on the "toggle" button that reads " ==> PHYSICAL ",
you can trade a physical commodity. Once the toggle button is
clicked, it will change to read " ==> FUTURES ". To resume
trading futures, click on the " ==> FUTURES " toggle button.
Note that if the entity trading is a corporation, or if the
"TRADE" button is clicked on a Stock Index chart, the company
(or the player, in the latter case) will be in futures trading
mode, and the toggle button will merely show a line " -------- "
and will not be functional, since the Stock Index is not a
physical commodity that can be stored and since companies
cannot buy physical commodities in this release of W$R.
- A new button, "Physical Commodities," has been added to the
ENTITY RESEARCH Menu, but only appears when you, the player,
are the "Active Entity." Clicking on this button will bring
up a list of any and all of the physical oil, gold, silver,
wheat or corn you currently own, showing the unrealized gain
or loss on each position, plus the current price per barrel,
ounce, or bushel, compared to the price you paid. Clicking
on any one of the listed positions will allow you to quickly
sell all or part of that position.
- A procedure has been created to automatically transfer an interest
rate swap agreement to the parent company, when a subsidiary is
liquidated into the parent in a non-taxable liquidation. The parent
company is substituted for the subsidiary in all interest rate swap
contracts to which the subsidiary was a party. In prior releases,
due to an oversight, a swap agreement was simply canceled in a
- Another loophole has been closed: Previously, if two companies
both controlled by a player were parties to an interest rate
swap agreement (or if a player and his/her controlled company
were the parties to the swap agreement), the agreement could
be canceled by either party, usually requiring a large cancellation
fee be paid to the other party. Players were able to use this
feature to manipulate earnings and cash, for example by having
XCorp pay a large cancellation fee to YCorp, just before dumping
the stock of XCorp. In this version, no cancellation fee is paid
when a swap agreement is between two entities under control of
the same player.
- We modified the options exercise routine, so that when an
insurance company "inherits" a short put option position when it
liquidates a subsidiary, the put will be settled, not exercised
against the insurer, at its expiration date (assuming the put is
"in-the-money" at expiration).
- In the previous release, any time an investment advisor of an ETF was
fired for poor performance, an insurer was selected to replace it.
That has been changed so that, generally, an insurer will replace
a broker as the advisor, and vice versa. It was also possible in
the previous release for the randomly selected new advisor to be
an advisor that was just fired from the same or another ETF. That
can no longer immediately occur.
- When an ETF's investment advisory company is to be rewarded for
good performance, that is accomplished by the issuance of more
stock by the ETF, so that the quantity of funds under management
is increased, thus increasing the advisory fee paid to the
advisor. In this release, the advisory fee (rate) is also
increased by 0.2% (unless the fee was already greater than
0.8% of assets).
- Trading of stock index futures is now permitted, in the
same way as commodity futures. Gains or losses are capital
gains or losses for players, or "extraordinary" gains or
losses for most companies, except those in the Securities
Brokers industry, for whom their trading profits or losses
on stock index futures trades are reported as part of ordinary
operating income. Players and all companies except banks
may buy or sell short stock index futures, if they have
an adequate ("BBB") credit rating. (To have an insurance
company initiate a stock index futures trade, click on
the "Stock Index" number shown on the lower left corner
of the main Wall Street Raider screen, and a "TRADE"
button will appear on the Stock Index chart.)
To close a futures position for an insurance company
or any other entity you control, you can just click on the
"List Commodities" button and then select the futures contract
you want to sell or to buy it back, if it is a short position.
- Charts now generally include a "TRADE" button when
displaying a chart of interest rates, commodities, or of
the Global Stock Index. One click on the "TRADE" button
will take you to the "Commodity Trading Desk" menu if
the chart is for a commodity or the stock index, allowing
you to quickly buy or sell futures on that item (or close
existing futures contracts). In the case of the interest
rate charts, clicking on the "TRADE" button will take you
or your controlled company that is to do the transaction to
the screen for creating or terminating interest rate swap
derivative contracts, with the specific interest rate whose
chart you were viewing, such as the Prime Rate, pre-selected
for creating a swap agreement.
No "TRADE" buttons will appear on commodity charts
if the entity that would be trading is a bank or insurance
company that you control, since they are not allowed to
gamble on commodities. A "TRADE" button also will not appear
on the Stock Index chart if a bank you control would be
trading the Stock Index futures. However, the button will
appear for any other company that is currently selected to
do transactions, including an insurance company you control.
Also, no "TRADE" button will appear for the GDP Growth
Rate chart, since there are no GDP futures contracts to be
traded in Wall Street Raider (or the real world). In addition,
no "TRADE" button will appear on a chart of your Net Worth
when you click on the Net Worth item on "My Balance Sheet" on
the main screen, for obvious reasons, since your net worth is
also not something on which anyone trades futures contracts.
- Stock charts will now generally have a "BUY" button, if the
stock is the currently selected "Active Entity" and if it is
NOT a company that you control. (If you controlled it, the
"BUY" button would cause the company to try to buy its own
stock, which is not permitted, except as an LBO or Greenmail.)
A "BUY" button will also not appear on the chart if the
entity that would be buying (you or your controlled company)
already has positions in 15 stocks other than the Active
Entity whose chart is shown. (15 stocks is the maximum any
player or company can directly hold in W$R.)
- This version has a number of new trend analysis algorithms,
which we have put to good use throughout the program to provide
players with more textual analyses of trends in stock, commodity,
and index prices, and interest rates. The trends are described
in Research Reports and menu sidebar notes that accompany the
Entity Info and General research menus. These trend analyses
will tend to become more detailed and helpful, once you get at
least a few years into a game, and will alert you to developing
industry, commodity, or economic trends you may want to trade
on, if you are a "momentum player" (or against, if you are a
"contrarian"). Most of the many hours of programming, testing,
tweaking and refining this release have been devoted to making
the economic model more realistic and responsive to events,
commodity prices, interest rates, and GDP growth rates, all
of which interact with each other in many complex ways.
- At the start of each game, or if continuing a saved game from
recent prior versions (6.0 or later), each of the 15 exchange-
traded funds (ETF's) in the simulation is assigned an investment
manager / advisor, from among the companies in the securities
brokerage industry. Each quarter, the management fee paid by the
ETF is paid to its investment advisor (a brokerage, or in some
cases, an insurance company). The player who controls a broker
that has an advisory contract with an ETF can reset the default
annual management fee, which can range anywhere from 0.2% to
1.0% of total assets of the ETF. Naturally, a higher fee will
tend to inhibit growth in the ETF's assets.
If an ETF is disqualified (because a player or company
acquires over 15% of its stock), it will no longer pay an
investment management fee and becomes a (fully taxable) holding/
trading company. If an investment advisor, such as a securities
broker, goes bankrupt, or if the ETF goes bankrupt, the ETF's
investment advisor will be fired and the ETF will select another
securities broker or insurance company as its advisor. If a
broker becomes a holding/trading company by selling, scrapping
or transferring all its business assets, it will cease to be
an advisor and the ETF will either seek a new advisor or, if
the business assets of a securities broker were transferred to
another broker by sale or capital contribution, the acquiring
broker will also acquire the advisory contracts with the ETF's.
If there is no broker (with at least a BBB credit rating)
that does not already have an ETF client, when the advisor to
an ETF has been fired, the ETF will select an insurance company
as the new manager or advisor. An advisor may also be fired by an
ETF in some instances where the ETF's stock has performed badly
over a 5-year period.
Very good performance of an ETF, if significantly better than
the performance of the Global Stock Index (provided that the
appreciation in the ETF stock has averaged at least a compound annual
growth rate of 6%), may be rewarded by additional stock issuances
by the ETF, increasing its assets on which the management fees are
based. An ETF's performance is reviewed every two years, to
determine if the advisor is to be fired or if additional capital
is to be raised by a stock offering.
If an advisor is liquidated into a parent company in a tax-free
liquidation, the advisory contract or contracts of the liquidated
company will be transferred to the parent, but the contracts will be
canceled in a taxable liquidation of an advisor and the ETF will find
a new advisor.
- This and other recent upgrades of W$R have made the Securities Brokers
companies potentially much more profitable, by earning investment
advisory fees from ETF's (for most brokers), and by occasionally
engaging in interest rate swaps and trading of stock index futures,
when not controlled by a player. In addition, since any gains or
losses of brokers on stock index futures trades are treated as
"hedging profits" and thus as reportable operating income, that
affects a brokerage's price-earnings ratio and stock price, which
will greatly add to the volatility of the brokerage stocks, as
their earnings may fluctuate widely.
- This release includes what might be called "mini-bubbles" in
specific industries. From time to time during play, the stocks
in a particular industry will become "hot," rising steadily,
almost without regard to the companies' fundamentals in that
industry. This can go on for months of play, before ending
rather suddenly. Unlike the multi-industry "bubbles" we have
long had since early versions of Wall Street Raider -- "tech
bubbles" and "biotech bubbles" -- which were always announced
with some fanfare, if you paid attention to certain news
announcements, these "mini" bubbles occur quietly, and you
probably will never notice one, unless you happen to have
stocks in a particular industry that keep going up to crazy
levels, seemingly for no good reason. (And, like all bubbles,
these mini-bubbles will end quickly and badly, with the stocks
plummeting back to earth and into the pits.)
- In previous versions, if you had options on a company that was
acquiring another in a stock-for-stock merger, all your options
were forcibly settled when the merger went through. That has
been changed, so that now your options are simply adjusted based
on the terms of the merger, so their value will be essentially
unchanged immediately after the merger. The only exception would
be where the target company becomes the parent during the merger,
because it owned stock of the acquiring company. Options on
whichever company becomes the subsidiary will continue to be
settled at the time of the merger, at their in-the-money value
(if any), since it will no longer be a publicly traded company.
- We corrected a minor bug, where the Basic Commodity Fund ETF
made a capital gain distribution but made no "regular" dividend
payment, in which case a shareholder did not receive the
capital gain dividend that should have been received, either.
We also corrected another bug that, in rare situations, could
allow a stock option or futures contract to continue in
existence after it should have expired.
- Made it possible to have ETF's in a saved game that was
created in an older version of W$R (6.0 through 6.21),
before W$R included ETF's. Now, when the old saved game
file is loaded, the program creates an ETF industry (15
exchange-traded funds) on the fly, except in the very
rare instance where the game that was saved had already
utilized all of those "shell" companies as holding
companies, computer companies, etc.
- We have added a choice of sorting method for the list of
bank loans, either by credit rating or alphabetically by
the name of the borrower, when your bank is selecting
business loans to buy. Previously, the default (and only)
sorting method was alphabetical.
- We have spent hundreds of hours since the last release
(on December 1, 2012) tweaking a huge number of items
in the program and writing thousands of lines of new code,
to improve realism and functionality, but two very simple
changes may have more of an impact on game play than any
of the above changes: Companies may now borrow, on a bank
line of credit, up to as much as 2 twice their adjusted net
worth, rather than 1 times adjusted net worth in prior versions,
if you are playing at Difficulty Levels 3 or 4. This will
sometimes allow for much more borrowing, and more booms and busts
in various industries. The old 1 x adjusted net worth borrowing
limit for corporations still applies if playing at Difficulty
Level 1 or 2, however. ("Adjusted net worth" is net worth
less the time value portion of the price of any options
owned.) Also, lines of credit for players are not affected
by this change.
In this new version, the multiple times Adjusted Net Worth
will range from a low of 1.0x to a maximum of 2.0 x Adjusted
Net Worth. The higher interest rates are, the tighter money
will become, adding an additional element of realism, as lines
of credit will shrink in concert with a higher Prime Rate, once
the Prime Rate rises above 8.5%. The new "default" line of credit
multiple is 1.5x, which applies when the Prime is in the mid-range
of 6.75% to 8.5%. Below 6.75%, the allowable line of credit for
corporations will rise (money becomes "easier"), the lower the
Prime Rate goes, up to a maximum multiple of 2.0x Net Worth.
Thus, the availablility of credit is now partly a function of
the banks' Prime Rate. The minimum (1.0x) multiple will apply
when the Prime Rate is above 15%, and the the maximum (2.0x)
multiple will apply if the Prime Rate falls to 4% or lower.
For example, if the Prime Rate is 10.5%, a company
with an "AAA" credit rating will only have a line of credit up
to 1.3x Net Worth. But if the Prime Rate falls to 4.75%, its
line of credit would increase to 1.9x Net Worth.
Offsetting this increase in potential lines of credit,
we have added a second wrinkle to the computation of a
company's line of credit: Only an "AAA" company gets
to borrow the full amounts described above. An "AA"-rated
company can borrow only 90% of that maximum amount; an
"A"-rated company 80% of the maximum; a "BBB"-rated
company only 70% of the maximum amount (Adjusted Net
Worth, reduced by any existing debt and accrued taxes).
Thus, borrowing on its line of credit not only reduces a
company's remaining line of credit by the amount borrowed,
but also reduces the remaining line of credit further if
the borrowing reduces the company's credit rating a notch
or more. Accordingly, if a company decides to borrow part,
but not all, of its line of credit, it may find that doing
so causes the bank to suddenly greatly reduce (or perhaps
completely cancel) any remaining line of credit. (Note: This
limitation does not affect the lines of credit for players.)
- A new "Industry Strategy" button has been added to the General
Research Menu, when the selected industry is an ETF. Clicking
on it brings up a list of all the ETF's, and a brief description
of the sector it invests in or strategy it employs, such as
trading commodity futures. This is the same information screen
that previously was accessed by the "Industry Summary" button.
In the new release, the "Industry Summary" button now brings
up the same type of summary information for each ETF in the
industry as is shown for other industries, except that some
data categories, like P:E multiple and Return on Equity, are
not relevant for investment funds (ETF's) and are not shown.
6.50 -- Released: December 1, 2012 (Major release)
- 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 now 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.
6.40 -- Released: July 1, 2012 (Minor release)
- A new "ethical scenario" has been added (involving sale of
untested vaccines to a Third World country), for biotech
or pharmaceutical companies that a player controls.
- A number of players of Wall Street Raider have requested
that the program rules be modified so that they can buy
out the stock of a corporate stockholder of XYZ Company
when they do not control that stockholder, since the only
way that was possible was either by a merger (not always
feasible) or, if they already controlled XYZ Company, by
having it do a "greenmail" buyback to buy out the (unwanted)
stockholder. That was often not possible where XYZ Company's
credit was too poor to do the buyback. Thus, it was often
impossible to obtain 100% of the stock of XYZ Company,
even if the player or his other companies had more than
enough money or credit to do so, unless the player was able
to get control of the unwanted shareholder and have it sell
its stock to the player or one of the player's other
In this release, we have made it possible for a
player or company to make a formal offer to buy out an
unwanted corporate shareholder (but not stock owned by
another player or owned by a company controlled by another
player). Now, if you wish to buy out some or all of the
stock of a shareholder of XYZ Company, you can select it as
the seller, and can make a tender offer for some or all of
its shares (incurring legal fees when you do so). Your offer
must be at a price at least 10% above the current market
price to be considered, or often much higher. Sometimes
the unwanted stockholder will accept your offer, sometimes
not. The higher your bid, the better your chances of having
your offer accepted. (A bit of advice: make your first offer
a good one, as the seller will often demand an even higher
price if it rejected your first, "lowball" bid.)
The same procedure now also applies when doing a
"greenmail" buyback of stock from an uncontrolled corporate
stockholder of XYZ Company. Previously, you could do so at
a flat 25% premium over the market price of the XYZ stock.
Now you must make an offer that is least 10% over the market
price and wait to see if it is accepted or not. As before, you
cannot do a greenmail buyback of stock from a shareholder you
control (conflict of interest!) or from another player or from
a corporate stockholder that is controlled by another player.
(You can't make another player sell his or her stock, in short.)
- Several refinements have been made to the algorithms that
sometimes prevent you from buying stock in an industry that
you would dominate or monopolize if you controlled that company.
In prior versions, you would be blocked from buying ANY stock
in such a company, even if your intended purchase would not give
you control of it. As revised, you are now allowed to buy stock
in such a competitor, as long as the purchase does not give
you control of it. Also, in some cases you may be warned that
your companies will be saddled with antitrust lawsuits if you
go ahead with a takeover, giving you a chance to cancel the
acquisition, or go ahead and take the risk. In other cases, as
before, a government antitrust agency will block your takeover.
- Research Reports now tell you, for industrial companies, if the
company and other companies affiliated with it (under common
control by one player or by one company) have a combined market
share of more than 25% in their industry. This will save you
from having to do additional research to determine if a particular
company may be a target for antitrust lawsuits, if you invest
in it (or if you are looking for a company that is vulnerable
on antitrust grounds, so that you can file suit against it).
- In prior versions, if the program selected an antitrust
"target" for a lawsuit, when 2 or more companies under
common control dominated market share in an industry, it
always targeted the company with the largest market share
of the affiliated group of companies. Now, the largest
company (by market share) will usually be the target of
such suits, but occasionally one of the related companies
will instead be selected as the defendant.
- Various loopholes have been plugged. For example, a company
may no longer buy back or call any of its bonds prior to
maturity if it has a weak credit rating, if allowing it
to do so would impair the assets available for the senior
creditors, such as bank lenders or, in the case of banks
or insurance companies, their depositors or insurance
policyholders. Also, when a player loses control of a
company that is spending at a very high rate on R&D or
marketing, or is growing at an extremely rapid rate, the
company will now immediately cut back its spending rate
and growth rate. This makes it more difficult for a player
to establish settings, just before selling a stock, that
will cause earnings (and the stock price) to soon drop
precipitously, after which a player could buy back control
once the stock is depressed and then lower those settings
again, to instantly improve its profitability. That large
loophole is now (mostly) closed.
- The algorithms that calibrate the effects of contango (or
backwardation) on commodity futures prices have been tweaked
in various ways to make their effects more realistic and
to better take into account the influence of interest rates,
spot price levels (elevated or depressed), and price trends
in the commodity, when determining the degree of contango or
backwardation. The net effect is to (generally) create more
volatility in the pricing of the longer-term futures contracts
(which may be created for terms as long as five years).
- Fixed minor bug that sometimes displayed the wrong date for
the next earnings release on the main screen for the current
"Active Entity," an error that could occasionally occur when
the end of a quarter coincided with the end of the player's
6.35 -- Released: April 1, 2012 (Minor release)
- In this release, we have completely revised the options
pricing algorithm, making it more realistic in general
(using present value concepts and comparisons to actual
option price statistics for some of the most actively
traded options in the real world). The algorithm now also
analyzes the last 24 months' stock price fluctuations for
a company's stock, and adjusts the option time premium
(price) upward for stocks with significantly above average
"Beta" (volatility) or downward for less volatile stocks.
Thus, a $50 call option on XYZ Co. for 1 year when the stock
is $50 might sell for $8 at one point in the game, and later,
after a period when the stock of XYZ has been very volatile,
but is still at $50, an identical one-year $50 call option
on its stock might sell for $9, based on its recent stock
Option pricing now also takes into account the general
level of interest rates and dividends that are expected to be
paid on the underlying stock during the term of the option,
which will tend to increase the price of puts and decrease
the price of calls if there is a significant dividend yield.
- Option spreads (the difference between the bid and ask
prices for an option) have been made more realistic. In
prior versions, there was a flat 5% bid/ask spread. In this
version, options with strike prices near the market price
will have narrower spreads, as low as 2%, while options
that are far "out-of-the-money" (which are less actively
traded in real-world option markets) will have spreads
that widen to as much as 15%, and in-the-money options
may have spreads of up to 5%, if deep "in-the-money."
- New information has been added to research reports on
companies, alerting you if a stock's price history over
the past 2 years has been one of high volatility or
relatively stable ("low Beta"), as well as when a stock
is trading at or near its 52-week high or low stock price.
- ETF's (Exchange-Traded Funds), which were introduced in
the last release (v. 6.30), did not engage in interest
rate swaps (derivatives contracts betting on the direction
of interest rates). In this new version, one such ETF,
the Financial Shares Fund, is now allowed to gamble on
interest rate swaps. In addition, banks, brokers, and
insurers, which typically act as counterparties with
companies wanting to do swaps, are allowed to engage
in such contracts with net long or net short positions
of up to $500,000 million (1/2 trillion), instead of
the previous limit of $100,000 million, adding a bit
more risk to them.
- Stock charts of ETF's are adjusted for prior periods
to reflect capital gain distributions, reducing prior
period prices per share by the amount of any capital
gain. This makes ETF stock charts more accurately reflect
the performance of the fund, where the ETF has regularly
been distributing substantial capital gains dividends.
- Numerous minor improvements have been made. For example,
lists of owned or shorted options, commodity futures, or
interest rate swap contracts are now sorted by expiration
dates, showing the nearest expirations first. In addition,
the "Analyst's ratings" of "Hold," "Sell," or "Strong Sell"
are now usually accompanied by a target price, if significantly
different from the current market price of the stock.
6.30 -- Released: January 1, 2012 (Major release)
- We've added a new industry -- Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF's). These are
15 investment companies that are passive investors in various sectors,
such as Automotive, Hi-Tech, Health Care, Energy, Basic Commodities,
Asian stocks, and the like. The funds usually trade at a price that
is within 2% of their net asset value per share, and usually hold
15 stocks, owning no more than 10% of any company they invest in.
Like other companies, they sometimes borrow from a bank or issue
bonds. However, unlike other companies, ETF's do not pay income tax
or any of the various taxes on capital like Carbon Tax, Corporate
Shares Tax, HealthCare Tax, Oil Windfall Profits Tax, etc. To retain
its "investment company" status, an ETF in W$R must pay out 90% of
its net income from dividends and interest (reduced by any interest
expense and an annual management fee of 0.4% of assets). It also has
to distribute 100% of any capital gains it has from sales of stocks
or options. Capital losses are carried forward and shelter any
subsequent capital gains the ETF realizes.
An ETF that has one stock that grows to exceed 50% of its total assets
will sell off some or all of that stock, to remain diversified. If an
ETF has incurred substantial debts, it may also sell off some of its
largest stock holding to raise cash. On the other hand, if an ETF has
accumulated too much cash, and has no debts, it may make a tax-free
"return of capital" distribution in addition to regular dividends. A
return of capital distribution reduces the recipient's tax basis (cost)
of his or her stock of the ETF.
An ETF that holds less than 15 different stocks may, on occasion,
sell put options short, which may result in a stock in its industry
sector being "put" to it. ETF's that own the maximum of 15 stocks
will often sell off the smallest such position and seek to invest
excess cash in a larger company. Thus, ETF's trade stocks fairly
One ETF, the Basic Commodities Fund, not only invests in stocks
in basic materials companies (such as paper, chemicals, metals, and
building materials), but also trades in all of the various types
of commodity futures. In each game, one ETF will also engage in
regularly selling "covered call" options against its stock holdings,
as a hedging technique and to earn additional income.
No player or company can control an ETF. If a player or company
obtains voting control, or even if any single entity owns or controls
more than 15% of an ETF in W$R, the ETF is instantly disqualified as
an "investment company" and simply becomes a Holding/Trading Company
at that time, fully subject to taxes. If it has net capital loss
carryovers at the time it is disqualified, the capital losses are
converted into net operating losses for tax purposes, however.
ETF shares can be bought and sold by players or their
controlled companies just like corporate stocks.
- The database search screen has been modified. Now, instead
of searching for companies whose earnings increased (compared
to the previous year, same quarter) by a specified percentage
in the most recent quarter, you can search for companies whose
PROJECTED earnings for the next quarter exceed the same
quarter in the prior year by the percentage you specify.
- To give a break to smaller companies, a tax credit of up to
$10 million (U.S.) against taxes on capital is allowed each
quarter for corporations whose total capital taxes liability
is $10 million or less. This applies to the U.N. Carbon Tax,
Health Care Tax, Oil Windfall Profits Tax, Personal Holding
Company Tax, and Corporate Shares Tax. If the total of such
taxes for a company would be $10 million or less for the
quarter, no capital taxes are due. (But companies must still
pay income tax on their taxable profits.) Individual players
receive no tax credit against the Corporate Shares Tax or the
Wealth Tax (although, as in previous versions, the wealth tax
only applies to a player's net worth that exceeds $1 billion).
- We made several modifications to the algorithms for computing
"contango" and "backwardation" for commodity futures pricing,
to make futures pricing more realistic, with generally
greater differences from the current "spot" price of the
- Increased time span for futures, so you can now buy or
sell commodities for 60 months out into the future, versus
36 months in prior versions.
6.21 -- Released: October 21, 2011 (Minor release and bug-fix; free upgrade if you have purchased v. 6.20)
- When a player or company creates an interest rate swap, the fixed interest
rate that is counter-offered by the broker, bank, or insurance company you
have to deal with is usually somewhat higher or lower than the actual
current rate, and if so is always to your disadvantage. For instance,
if you want to be "long" the current 9% Prime Rate (where you receive
a fixed rate payment at that level), a bank or other dealer may only
offer to do the deal if you instead accept an 8% fixed rate. In this
new version, if your company that is initiating the swap is itself a
securities broker, bank, or insurance company, you get a better deal --
the "haircut" you would otherwise have to take is cut in half (as a
professional courtesy). Thus, in the foregoing example, if the formula
would otherwise call for a counter offer of 8% instead of the actual
current Prime Rate of 9%, the algorithm will split the difference if
your entity initiating the swap is, for example, a bank, so the counter-offer
would be at a fixed rate of 8.5%, instead of 8%. (Our thanks to a W$R
fan who suggested that his bank or broker should get a better deal than
a mere "civilian" when initiating an interest rate swap, an idea which
made sense to us!)
- Fixed obscure bug that could pop up on rare occasions, where two companies
could both have the same stock symbol ("STO"). Corrected the CORPNAME.DAT
file by changing the stock symbol for Stone Container from "STO" to "STON".
6.20 -- Released: October 1, 2011 (Major release)
- A new type of derivatives trading has been added in this release.
Players or companies may now enter into interest rate "swaps"
with unrelated companies (usually with "sharks" like brokerage
houses), usually on initially unfavorable terms. Swap agreements
can be in effect for up to 5 years and can be based on the Prime
Rate charged by banks, or the yield to maturity of either the
long-term or short-term government bonds. Players or companies
can take huge risks with these swaps, on principal amounts of
100 times net worth or, if less, 100,000 million (or 100,000
billion in some currencies). Any player or company with a "B"
or better credit rating can get in on this action, for better
In such contractual swaps, the "long" party agrees to receive
from the "short" party a fixed rate of interest each quarter
during an agreed term (the present rate for the type of contract
chosen, or a rate near that) and agrees in exchange to pay the
"short" party whatever rate is in effect at the end of each
quarter during the contract term. At the end of each calendar
quarter, the swap agreement results in one of the two parties
making a payment to the other for the difference in the agreed
fixed rate and the actual current rate at that date.
Thus, if you are the "long" party on a Prime Rate contract,
you are betting that the Prime Rate will go down, so you are
locking in the current high interest rate. The counterparty
is taking your bet, and will profit if the Prime Rate goes
up, rather than down, while the swap remains in effect. For
example, if you are "long" the Prime Rate and are receiving
a fixed rate of 8% on a principal amount of 100 million and
the Prime Rate is 6% at the end of a quarter, you will be
receiving the difference, or 2%, annualized (1/4 of 2 million,
or .5 million for a calendar quarter). On the other hand, if
the Prime goes up to 11%, you will be losing 3%, annualized,
each quarter that the Prime Rate is at 11%.
Doing these swaps is not for the faint of heart, since the
"professionals" you will have to deal with on the other side
of each transactions are usually brokerage houses, banks, or
insurers, and they will only deal with you on their terms --
which routinely favor them. For example, if the current Prime
Rate is 12% and you think it will soon decline, you may want
to go "long" on a swap contract on the Prime Rate. However,
the "money runners" who deal in these contracts are not stupid,
and they won't usually agree to give you a fixed rate of 12%.
Instead, they might offer to do the swap at 10.5% or, if you
want to do the swap only for the next 1 or 2 quarters, they
might offer you a fixed rate of 11.5% on the swap. Take it
or leave it. Doing swaps with these cutthroat financial types
is a bit like trying to win at the craps tables at Las Vegas
-- possible, but the odds are stacked against you. They are
not in business to lose money to amateurs like you.
As in the real world, these dangerous derivatives do not show
up on the balance sheets of companies or players, but can have
devastating (or wonderful) effects, due to the huge leverage
implied. (In the real world, some major banks have TENS OF
TRILLIONS of dollars of such "bets" outstanding.) No money
changes hands at the time you enter into a swap, and the swap
contracts are not given any value in computing your net worth.
Players or their companies can get out of such contracts, if
they become unfavorable, but only by paying a large termination
fee of as much as 3% of the "notional" (principal) amount of
the swap. Otherwise, the only other way to get out of a swap is
for one party to go bankrupt! (If you liquidate a subsidiary
into its parent corporation in a tax-free liquidation, the
parent assumes the subsidiary's position in any swap contracts
the subsidiary was a party to. In a taxable liquidation, the
company being liquidated has to pay the termination fee to get
out of any swap agreements, before it can wind up and liquidate.)
- The "taxable liquidations" routine has been refined to deal with
situations where the liquidating company is an 80%-owned (or
more) subsidiary of another company. As revised, any taxable
income or loss of the subsidiary is passed up to the parent
company on a consolidated tax return basis, for the final short
tax period of the subsidiary. Thus, for example, if the liquidating
company has to sell off stocks or other assets at a large loss in
order to liquidate, that tax loss will now "flow" up to the parent
company, which will transfer cash to the sub an instant before
the liquidation distribution is made, to compensate the sub for
the tax benefit of the tax loss that the parent will use to
shelter its income from tax.
In addition, even where the company being liquidated does not have
an 80% parent corporation, its final "equity method" (non-cash)
earnings or losses for the final short period will flow through
proportionately to any controlling or 20%-or-greater corporate
shareholders, affecting their reported earnings.
- We have added, for convenience, a new "List Commodities" button
to the "Quick Search Functions" section of the main W$R screen,
so you can quickly view your commodity futures positions without
having to go through one of the menus. The new button replaces
the "Database Search" button, which has been moved back to the
"General" research menu, where it was in some older versions.
The "Recall DB Search List" button remains on the main screen,
so you can still instantly recall your latest Database Search
to see if any additional companies currently meet your search
- The "Personal Holding Company Tax" that is sometimes imposed
when you are playing at Difficulty Level 4 has been modified.
When it applies, it is now based on the company's total assets,
less any Business Assets and Working Capital. In prior versions,
it applied to the company's net worth, less the amount of its
Business Assets and Working Capital, if any.
- Because of major changes in real world currency values, such as
the decline of the value of the U.S. dollar and the sharp rise
in currencies such as the Aussie dollar and Swiss Franc, we have
updated the exchange rates for all the currencies in the simulation
to reflect recent (September, 2011) values.
6.11 -- Released: December 9, 2010 (Minor release)
- When you (the player) are the CEO of a company, your personal
Financial Profile now shows the year in which you first were
elected CEO (and president) of that company. This is important
in determining the amount of the bonus you will receive each
year, if the company has achieved good earnings growth each
year for the past several years. (Your bonus compensation formula
only gives you credit for those increasing earnings for the years
in which you were the CEO.)
- Where a player has made a prepayment of estimated income taxes
and a "Wealth Tax" on billionaires applies, the player's projected
Wealth Tax calculation now adds the prepaid tax to the player's
wealth, since any income tax refund at year end will be received
before the Wealth Tax is computed.
- This release is file-compatible with saved game files
from prior versions 6.0 and 6.10, but not with versions
prior to v. 6.0, except for v. 3.10.
6.10 -- Released: November 17, 2010 (Minor release)
- Revisions have been made to commodity trading, imposing
limits on contract size and the amount of any commodity
a player or company can be net long or net short. In the
prior release, a player who accumulated a large net worth
could easily enter into commodity contracts for, say,
crude oil, in amounts that exceeded all the known oil
reserves on the planet many times over. Since that was
unrealistic, the new version imposes some limits, to
10,000 contracts per trade for any commodity other than
oil, or 100,000 contracts for oil. You can do multiple
trades for up to 5 times those amounts in total, net
long or net short in any particular commodity.
- In this revised version, a commodity transaction may
only be entered into if a "counterparty" can be found
that is able to take the other side of the trade. For
example, if you wish to buy 10,000 gold contracts, the
program will try to find a company not controlled by
any (human) player that is able to sell 10,000 gold
contracts short. If no short seller can be found that
is able to sell more than 6,000 contracts short, you
will only be able to buy 6,000 contracts (although
this limitation will rarely, if ever, occur).
- When a player who has open commodity positions receives
a margin call, the program asks the player (if it is
the player's turn) if he or she wishes to first liquidate
commodity positions, before selling off any stocks. In
the prior version, if the player answered "YES," all such
positions were immediately liquidated. In this release,
the player is allowed to choose which position or
positions to liquidate, wholly or in part.
- Streaming quotes were not updated very frequently in
prior versions if the stock ticker was set to run
at a low speed. That has been remedied, so that the
frequency of updating stock quotes on your streaming
quotes list will be reasonably similar at all ticker
- Several minor bug fixes, grammatical corrections, and
numerous minor improvements and tweaking of algorithms
are also included in this update, including a potential
serious bug that could cause a player to go bankrupt
when getting margin calls, even if he or she still owned
commodities or had a balance in a commodities margin
account, where the program asked the player if he or she
wanted to liquidate commodity positions before selling
off stocks, and the player answered "NO." This bug has
been fixed in this release.
- This release is file-compatible with saved game files
from prior versions 3.10 and 6.0, but not with other
versions prior to 6.0.
6.0 -- Released: September 1, 2010 (Major release)
- Commodity futures trading has been added to this new
major release of Wall Street Raider. Players and all
companies (except banks and insurance companies) may
now engage in buying or shorting commodities futures
contracts on five commodities: crude oil, gold, silver,
wheat, and corn. Trades can be done with only a 5%(of
the notional value of the contract) deposit into a
commodities margin account, so the leverage is 20-to-1.
This means that if you guess right on the direction of
a commodity, you can make a huge profit in a short
period of time. On the other hand, if the price moves
against you even briefly, it can trigger massive margin
calls and you (or your company) can be wiped out in a
heartbeat. As in the real world of commodity trading,
we have made it EXTREMELY TREACHEROUS and risky in W$R.
- Commodity futures contracts are traded from 1 to 36
months out on each of the five commodities. Futures
prices usually are higher than the "spot" price of
a commodity, reflecting to some extent the time value
of money tied up in such contracts. (This condition is
called "contango.") However, in somewhat rare instances,
such as when interest rates are very low and a commodity's
price is expected to fall, futures may trade at less
than the spot price, a condition called "backwardation."
- In order to initiate commodity trades, players or
companies must have at least a "BBB" credit rating.
Both players and companies must maintain a commodities
margin account equal to 5% of the value of the futures
contract plus any accrued loss on the contract if the
price moves against you (or less any accrued gain if
the market price of the futures moves favorably for you).
Corporations with commodity futures positions must close
all such positions if their credit rating falls to "CCC"
- The main W$R screen has been modified to show constantly
updated spot prices for gold, silver, wheat and corn.
(Prior versions already showed the spot crude oil price.)
The "Entity Info" pop-up menu now has an additional button,
the "List Commodities" button, that lists all futures
contracts held or sold short by the current Active Entity.
Clicking on the line item for any such contract allows you
to instantly close out some or all of that position if you
control the entity. Also, the Buy/Sell pop-up menu has a
new "Trade Commodities" button. Click on it to view a
trading menu on which you first select a commodity to trade,
then decide whether to buy it, sell it short, or buy back
(cover) some or all of an existing short position in the
selected commodity or sell all or part of an existing long
position in that commodity.
- Gains or losses on commodity trades are treated as capital
gains or losses in W$R, for players. For corporations, they
are generally treated as "extraordinary" gains or losses,
and do not affect operating income. However, companies in
certain industries can hedge certain commodities that are
closely related to their business, and the gains or losses
for them are treated as part of operating income, thus
affecting reported operating earnings per share. For
example, oil and oil service firms that hedge by buying
and selling crude oil futures treat gains or losses as
operating income, and likewise for Agribusiness companies
that hedge by trading wheat or corn, or Precious Metals
companies that trade gold or silver. Companies for which
certain commodities are a key cost input may also hedge
and treat the gains or losses as operating income -- for
example, Packaged Foods companies that trade wheat or
corn futures and Utilities or transportation companies
(Rail, Airline, Shipping, Trucking, Air Freight Couriers)
that trade crude futures, since fuel is a major cost input
for companies in those industries.
- Estimated income tax calculations are changed in this
release. In prior versions, estimated taxes for players
were calculated by extrapolating the tax accrued so far
each year out to the end of the year. In this version,
if the tax accrued so far includes capital gains, the
estimated tax for the whole year is calculated by
extrapolating only the "ordinary" taxable income earned
thus far and adding to that the tax on net capital gains
that have been recorded so far during the year. Thus,
it is now no longer assumed that any more capital gains
will be recognized during the rest of the year when
projecting the total income tax liability that may be
owed for the year.
- In previous versions, players could buy or sell newly
created stock options with a strike price at up 50%
above or below the current stock price, which made it
possible to, for example, buy long-term calls on a
stock for a price that barely exceeded the intrinsic
("in-the-money") value of the option, by buying calls
at a strike price 50% below the stock price. In this
release, new options can only be created with strike
prices of no more than 25% above or below the current
stock price. Thus, you will now have to pay a fairly
significant time value premium (in addition to the
intrinsic value of the call) even if you buy a call
with a strike price at the lowest price now possible,
at 75% of the stock's current price, unless you are
buying a call that expires in a near month.
- This release is not file-compatible with saved game files
from prior versions, due to the fact that the amount and
types of data related to new and enhanced features has
greatly changed the size and content of the saved data
files. (Note that files saved with a newer version also
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 turn, you must
both be using the same registered version of Wall
Street Raider. However files from versions 6.0 through
6.30 are all interchangeable.)
- Because of the many changes in Version 6.0, it is not
file-compatible with games saved from prior versions.
5.40 -- Released: June 25, 2010 (Minor release)
- Rules have been changed for exercise of put or
call options. In prior versions, an option could
not be exercised if doing so would give a player
or company control of the company whose stock was
obtained by exercising the option. In the new
version, you are prohibited from gaining control
via an option exercise only if gaining control
of the target company would cause you to violate
antitrust rules about dominating too large a share
of any industry group.
- Clicking on the "GO" button on the main screen
now has an added function, besides making a
company whose stock symbol you have entered
next to it become the "active entity." In this
new version, clicking on "GO" is also a quick
way to close all the "child" dialog boxes that
you may have open at the moment, even if some or
all of them have been minimized. If the stock
and news tickers were running, but had paused
when you opened any such child dialog boxes, the
tickers will resume movement when the dialog
boxes are closed.
- When a company earnings report pops up while the
ticker is running, that company's stock symbol
is now temporarily placed in the stock symbol box
next to the "GO" button, so that you can simply
click on the "GO" button to select that company
as the new "Active Entity," in case you want to do
research regarding that company, or perhaps have
it do a transaction, if you control it. If you
don't click on the "GO" button, the Active Entity
will remain unchanged from what it was before the
earnings report popped up, and its name and stock
symbol will automatically re-appear once you close
the earnings report screen.
- This release is file-compatible with saved game files
from prior versions 3.10 through 5.30, but not with
versions prior to 3.10. (But note that files saved
with a newer version cannot be used in an older
version, so if you are playing with another person
and e-mailing the saved data file back and forth
after you each take your turn, you must both be using
the same registered version of Wall Street Raider.)
5.30 -- Released: October 1, 2009 (Minor release)
- A new button function ("Prepay Income Tax" has been added
to the "Misc. Menu" on the main W$R screen. Players can
use this function to add to the estimated income tax paid
for the current year. While the W$R program automatically
sets aside up to 90% of your year-to-date income tax
liability at the end of each quarter, you may still owe
a large tax bill some times, at the end of the year. This
feature lets you prepay your expected taxes NOW, so you
won't forget and invest all your cash in assets that you
might be forced to sell at year-end, if you owe a
significant amount of taxes at that time.
- In prior versions of W$R, when a company "spun off"
stock of a subsidiary in a TAXABLE spin-off, each
recipient of the subsidiary stock was fully taxable
on the distribution, in an amount equal to the value
of the stock received. This version makes a change in
that rule, so that a distribution to a corporation
that owns 80% of more of the distributing company
is treated as nontaxable, even if the spin-off is
otherwise a taxable one. This is congruent with the
W$R rule for "extraordinary dividends" to an 80%
parent company, which are also non-taxable, like
other (regular) dividends to an 80% parent. Other
refinements to the information provided during a
spin-off have also been made, as well as to the
tax treatment of the dividends to different classes
of shareholders (individuals, corporations owning
under 20%, or 20% to 79%) when a spin-off is taxable.
(Corporations that receive dividends are only taxable
on 30%, 20% or 0% of the dividends they receive in W$R,
depending upon whether they own under 20%, under 80%,
or over 79% of the paying company.)
- This release is file-compatible with saved game files
from prior versions 3.10 through 5.20, but not with
versions prior to 3.10. (But note that files saved
with a newer version cannot be used in an older
version, so if you are playing with another person
and e-mailing the saved data file back and forth
after you each take your turn, you must both be using
the same registered version of Wall Street Raider.)
5.20 -- Released: July 1, 2009 (Minor release)
- In this version, if an anti-trust lawsuit is initiated
against a defendant company, the company incurs an
immediate charge (an accrual) to the current quarter's
earnings for the estimated after-tax costs of legal
fees to defend against the suit, and that amount is
added to its Reserve for Contingencies. Later, when the
antitrust suit is litigated, the pre-tax cost of the
actual legal fees the company pays at that time will
also be charged to income, but will be offset by a
credit to income equal to the after-tax cost of such
legal fee expenses, by withdrawing that amount from
the contingency reserve, to the extent the reserve
is still large enough to cover such costs. Thus, the
legal fees expense will be recognized in the quarter
when the lawsuit is initiated, not when the case is
litigated (unless the reserve has been eliminated for
other reasons first, such as to manipulate earnings).
- Any taxes on capital for the upcoming quarter are
now shown as a liability on a company's balance sheet,
as a separate line item just below the "Accrued Income
Tax Payable" line item.
- The main screen now shows, at all times, the date of
the next earnings report release for the current
"active entity" (if it is a corporation).
- The "Database Search" screen now includes an item for
selecting stocks based on Analyst's Rating, which can
be used to only select stocks with a "Strong Buy" rating,
or any of the other 4 rating categories: "Buy," "Hold,"
"Sell," or "Strong Sell."
- After clicking the "Who's Ahead?" button, the screen
that comes up now displays the difficulty level (1 to 4)
at which the current game is being played.
- This release is file-compatible with saved game files
from prior versions 3.10 through 5.10, but not with
versions prior to 3.10. (But note that files saved
with a newer version cannot be used in an older
version, so if you are playing with another person
and e-mailing the saved data file back and forth
after you each take your turn, you must both be using
the same registered version of Wall Street Raider.)
5.10 -- Released: May 1, 2009 (Minor release)
- The automatic addition of stocks to the Streaming Stock
Quotes List can now be turned off, if desired, using a
toggle item on the "Settings" pulldown menu.
- A new "Clear" button has been added to the Streaming Stock
Quotes List section on the main screen. Click on it to
clear the entire streaming quotes list, if you decide
you want to start a new list from scratch.
- A new "Fill" button has been added to the Streaming Stock
Quotes List section on the main screen. Click on it and
any stocks you own (or are short) will be added to the list,
if the list is not full. In addition, if there are still
any open slots, any other companies you control will then
be added to the list,
- The six types of new taxes (on capital) that were added by
Version 5.0 will now only be imposed if you are playing at
the new Difficulty Level 4, which is otherwise identical
to Difficulty Level 3. Thus, when playing at the highest
difficulty levels, you will now be given a chance to choose
whether or not any of those taxes might be applied, (in case
you think that dealing with a number of punitive new taxes
on capital and wealth is a bit "too realistic" for you).
- The bonus compensation formula for CEO's has been
completely revised and made more complicated. However,
if you control 51% of a company's stock, you will continue
to earn a bonus at least equal to 100% of your salary,
even if the company is performing miserably. Otherwise,
if you control less than 51% of the stock, bonuses are
now more difficult to earn, as the company must increase
earnings by 15% over the prior year to earn a bonus of
150% of salary, and no bonus at all is earned in the
calendar year in which you become the CEO. But if your
company increases earnings by 15% each year for two years
after you became CEO, your bonus is 300% of salary in the
second year; add a third consecutive year of 15% earnings
increases, and the bonus is 500% of salary in the third year
(and each of those percentages is doubled if you control 51%
or more of the stock -- so you could conceivably earn
bonuses equal to as much as 10 times your base salary).
- Also, the program now keeps track of the year in which
you were elected CEO of a company, and you won't earn
any bonuses except for the years AFTER the year you were
hired AND where a company has a string of 15% of better
earnings increases. (This feature was added so that you
can't take control of a company with a history of earnings
increases, make yourself its CEO, and begin collecting huge
bonuses based on what the company did before you arrived).
The only exception is when you control 51% or more of the
stock of the company, in which case you receive a minimum
bonus equal to 100% of salary, regardless of earnings
performance or when you became the CEO.
- Other minor changes: When changing the name of a company
(when doing a startup or otherwise), the old, discarded
name would previously appear on the streaming stock quotes
list for a while, until the stock ticker ran for few moments
and replaced it with the new name when updating the list.
Now the new name replaces the old one on the list immediately.
Also, when doing a startup of a new company, the company
could sometimes be confronted almost immediately with an
"ethical choice scenario," unless Cheat Mode was turned off.
Now, in the registered version only, a startup won't be
offered such an ethical choice dilemma until it has been in
existence more than 2 years, which is a bit more realistic
for most scenarios.
- The algorithms for adjusting the terms of options contracts
have been improved to better reflect transactions such as
spin-offs, extraordinary dividends, stock offerings, mergers,
and stock buy-backs, to prevent "unfair" losses or windfall
gains on options held or shorted on companies doing such
- This release is file-compatible with saved game files
from prior versions 3.10 through 5.0, but not with
versions prior to 3.10. (But note that files saved
with a newer version cannot be used in an older
version, so if you are playing with another person
and e-mailing the saved data file back and forth
after you each take your turn, you must both be
using the same version of Wall Street Raider.)
5.0 -- Released: April 1, 2009 (Major release)
- Options trading has now been extended to all corporations.
All corporations except banks and insurance companies are
now allowed to buy put and call options, sell "covered
calls" against stocks they own, or sell naked puts or
calls. They may purchase puts or calls if they have the
cash to do so, but may only sell "naked" puts or calls
if they meet certain creditworthiness requirements,
including a minimum "BBB" credit rating. As in the
previous release, a corporation controlled by a player
cannot sell naked calls on a stock also controlled by the
player, or buy puts on such a stock, except to the extent
the parent corporation is selling calls and/or buying
puts to hedge its ownership of stock in the subsidiary,
in order to prevent conflicts of interest (using options
as the equivalent of short-selling stock of a company
Banks and insurance companies are only allowed to sell
"covered calls" against stocks they own, or buy puts
to hedge such stock positions (or do some combination
of the two). They may not speculate by buying calls or
selling "naked" puts or calls. However, they may buy
back calls they have sold short or may sell puts they
have bought as hedges.
- While corporations (other than banks and insurance
companies) can usually speculate by selling "naked"
puts calls short, there are limits based on the
seller's financial strength. To make such "naked"
option short sales, a corporation but have at least
a "BBB" credit rating or higher, and cannot sell
naked options if doing so would cause the total
short liability (to buy the naked options back)
to exceed 25% of the selling company's net worth.
Thereafter, if the short liability exceeds 50% of
net worth, the selling company will have to buy
back some or all of the shorted options.
- In this new version, buying or selling options may
sometimes be limited, since the Options Exchange now
must lay off the risk for each new option you create,
by finding a corporation that is able to take the other
side of the contract. Thus, if you wish to buy calls
on 5% of IBM, the program will search for a seller
corporation that is able and permitted to sell calls
short on 5% of IBM, under the same terms (same option
exercise price and maturity date). If your transaction
is too large, or if you have created too many large
options contracts, you may not always be able to find
a counterparty, at some point. (It is no longer an
infinite financial universe in W$R....)
- The main W$R screen has been improved in a number of
ways, to enhance usability and appearance. Six additional
buttons have been added to the main screen "Quick Search
Functions" area, so it is no longer necessary to open up
a menu to bring up a Research Report, Earnings Report,
Financial Profile, Shareholder List, Portfolio List, or
Options Portfolio List. One mouse click now brings up any
of those items. Three buttons that were formerly on the
main screen (Market Share, Most Cash, and Largest Tax
Losses) have been moved to the General Research menu.
- A new button has been added to the General Research Menu,
the "Largest Market Cap" button. Click it and a list of the
100 largest companies will be displayed, ranked by their
stock market capitalization (stock price times number of
shares issued = capitalization). This list also shows each
company's credit rating and who, if anyone, controls it.
- Buy Call, Sell Call, Buy Put, and Sell Put buttons have
been added to the Buy/Sell Menu, for all corporations, now
that options trading is permitted for all corporations.
- If there are any open slots on the Streaming Quotes List
(which displays streaming quotes for up to 15 stocks),
a stock will now be added to the list automatically if
it is selected as the "Active Entity" (unless you have
recently deleted it from the list).
- In the previous release, a feature was added that allowed
a player to manipulate the earnings of a company of
which he or she was the C.E.O., by adding to or drawing
from "contingency reserves." This release extends that
feature to any company that a player controls, whether
or not he or she is C.E.O. of that company. Buttons for
these functions have been added to the "Other Trans."
Menu. The prior restriction, allowing such transactions
only for a company of which you were the C.E.O., was
too easy to get around, and simply was an unnecessary
annoyance, so we have eliminated the C.E.O. requirement.
- In prior versions, you could use the "Spread Rumors"
feature to bring down the stock price of a competitor's
company, just before a game ends, so that there is no
time for the opponent to sue you for slander and possibly
win a judgment against you. In this version, you can no
longer use the "Spread Rumors" feature in the last year
of a game.
- In keeping with the spirit of these dismal times, we have
decided that you fat-cat billionaire players, Big Oil,
and other greedy mega-corporations were getting away with
not paying enough taxes (since the maximum income tax rate
in W$R only goes as high as 75%), so we have added a few
new taxes on capital, none of them deductible from your
income tax, to make life more interesting and more like
today's mad, mad world. These new taxes on capital, which
can pop up at any time (and can sometimes get repealed)
are as follows:
- A "Wealth Tax" (annual) on players, but only to the
extent your net worth exceeds $1 billion U.S. (or the
- A "Windfall Profits Tax" on capital assets of oil and
oil-related industries that applies when oil prices
are high, regardless of whether the companies have any
- A "Health Care Tax" that can be imposed on the capital
assets of drug and biotech companies, as well as on
health care providers and medical equipment companies;
- A "Corporate Shares Tax" that can be imposed on
corporations that are incorporated in the U.S.
and some other countries (paid by the shareholders
of those companies, based on the stock values);
- A global warming "Carbon Tax" on a wide range of industries
that either produce energy or consume a lot of it,
like airlines, rail, trucking, and utilities, based
on their capital (business) assets, not on profits
(Chinese and Indian companies are exempted); and
- A "Personal Holding Company Tax" that applies to
a company that is either a "pure" holding/trading
company or has less than 20% of its assets invested
in business capital assets and working capital, if
the company is owned directly (26% or more) by you,
the player. This tax is paid by the company on its
net worth (if any) reduced by the amount of its
business assets. (Banks and insurers are exempted.)
Tax rates and details for all these new taxes, and
whether or not currently imposed, can quickly be
found by clicking on the "Economic Statistics" button
on the General Research menu. Each tax is paid quarterly
except the "billionaire's" (wealth) tax, which is paid
at the end of each year.
Of course, not all of these taxes will be imposed
in any one game (usually), and the tax rates are often
rather low, but they will be imposed often enough to
keep things interesting, if you are in danger of
becoming too filthy rich....
- Players who like for their controlled companies to have
high stock prices (a la Berkshire-Hathaway) will no longer
have the stock price automatically split at prices above
1,000. Instead, splits won't be mandatory unless the stock
price rises to 100,000 or above.
- The Chapter 11 Bankruptcy reorganization provisions have
been modified so that companies emerging from bankruptcy
will now usually have at least a "CC" credit rating,
meaning larger writedowns for shareholders and creditors,
but the bankrupted company will now have a somewhat
stronger balance sheet and a better chance of avoiding
another bankruptcy proceeding.
- When trying to change banks, if you have a very large
account balance (cash) to transfer to the new bank, it
will not accept such a transfer of "hot money," which
might have caused its stock to soar -- but only until
you moved the money to yet another bank. (Sound of
another large loophole clanging shut....)
- Players cannot sell "unvested" executive stock options,
but the options "vest" and can be sold when the player
is in dire circumstances and receives a margin call.
In prior versions, a player could create a margin call
situation in order to be able to sell the options, but
now all bonds and stocks must be sold first when a player
receives margin calls or has a negative cash balance that
can't be canceled by borrowing. (Another, small, loophole
- This release is file-compatible with saved game files
from prior versions 3.10 through 4.90, but not with
versions prior to 3.10.
4.90 -- Released: December 1, 2008 (Major release)
- By popular demand, a print feature has been added
to various research screens, enabling users to print
out a financial statement, earnings report, company
research report, portfolio listing, industry summary,
etc. Dialog boxes whose contents are printable will
appear with a "PRINT" button on the bottom of the
dialog box, enabling one-click printing. (Some
copyrighted material, such as various cheat scenarios,
still may not be printed.)
- As the CEO of a company, you can now "manage" earnings
(to some extent), by underreporting profits, burying
the difference in a "Reserve for Contingencies," for
possible future expenses, such as litigation, product
liability, environmental liability, and the like.
You can add up to 5% of a quarter's profits to this
reserve, which may be advisable if your company is
showing a large profit increase of say, 25% or more.
Reducing that profit report by 5% won't have much
effect on your company's stock price, and you will
be "banking" some of that profit to be taken back
on a future rainy day. (Or, if your company expects
a quarterly loss, you can increase that reported loss
by 10%, as an addition to the contingency reserve --
again without seriously affecting your company's
stock price, since the company is already reporting
losses, and a little larger loss won't be noticed.)
Companies not controlled by a player will also
routinely add to their Reserve for Contingencies,
but only when they are expecting a profit, not a loss.
Once a significant amount of reserves have been set
aside over a number of quarters or years, you may then
want to draw on that account to manipulate earnings
UPWARD. For example, if your company is riding high,
with its stock benefiting from a long string of steady
profit increases, but is finally expecting profits to
drop from $100 million last quarter to $85 million
in the current quarter, you might choose to pull $20
million out of the Reserve, with the connivance of
your accountants, arguing that your reserves were more
than adequate, thus increasing reported profits to
$105 million for the current quarter, and keeping the
steady string of profit increases intact (and your
company's stock aloft). Additions or withdrawals from
the reserve have no tax effect, since additions were
Banks are treated somewhat differently, since
they are much more closely regulated and scrutinized
by the government. Instead of creating a Reserve
for Contingencies for a bank, you simply add
additional amounts to its Bad Debt Reserve, reducing
the need for future additions, but you aren't allowed
to make discretionary reductions of this reserve
(which is only reduced according to a formula
applicable to all banks, based on the size and
quality of its loan portfolio, or when bad debts
are charged off against the reserve).
Two new buttons have been added to the "Other
Transactions Menu" for decreasing earnings (adding
amounts to the reserve) or increasing earnings
(taking amounts back out of the reserve). On or
both of these buttons appear if you are CEO of the
current "Active Entity" and also control it.
- Where a proposed merger is announced regarding
a targeted company that you control, you are now
(as an "insider") prohibited from trading in options
on that company while the merger is pending, except
to close out any existing long or short options
positions on the company. (But you can still buy
more of its stock, in the hope of a quick profit
when the merger goes through, though you will have
to make a "tender offer" at well above the current
market price, which may not be worthwhile. Or, you
may sell your stock if you have doubts about the
- Where a holding company you control is about to
try to merge with a target company and you or your
company buy up call options on the target company in
the hope of making a quick profit on the run-up in
its stock when the merger is consummated, you or
your company will now be forced to close the option
positions, based on the target's pre-offer stock price
-- thus closing a big loophole and preventing a
conflict of interest (insider trading).
- The "My News" button functions have been enhanced.
In the new version, this feature will not only
collect and display any recent news items regarding
you, companies you control, or stocks you own directly
(or are short), but now will also look for news items
on any stocks on which you (or any company you control)
has an options position or owns any stock in.
- This release is file-compatible with saved game files
from prior versions 3.10 through 4.80, but not with
versions prior to 3.10.
4.80 -- Released: October 1, 2008 (Minor release)
- A player or company owning a put or call option that is
"in-the-money" may now exercise the option prior to its
expiration date, by using the "Exercise Call Option" or
"Exercise Put Option" buttons that have been added to
the Other Transactions Menu. (Such early exercises are
subject to the same limitations as exercise at expiration,
such as not being able to acquire control of a company by
an option exercise, having sufficient funds to exercise a
call option, not buying up the last "public" shares of
a company, and not being able to exercise an "unvested"
executive stock option.)
- When an unrelated company offers to merge with a company in
which you or your controlled companies own stock, you will
now be given a notice of the offer, including the identity
of the offering company and the offer price per share (which
will be paid in the form of the offeror's stock at its value
on the date the merger is consummated). For example, if YourCo
sells for $25 a share and AcquirerCo offers $30 a share, this
means that if the merger occurs, AcquirerCo will issue an
amount of its stock which has a value of $30 for each share
of YourCo. The notice also specifies the date (about one month
ahead) on which you will have to vote your shares for or
against the merger proposal. That will give you a month
(of game time) to do some research on the acquiring company
and decide how you wish to vote.
- Research Reports now show more detail on pending antitrust
lawsuits by or against the company, including the amount
of damages being sued for. (The amounts won't show up if
you load a game file from a prior version, for antitrust
suits that had been filed while playing the older version.)
- A company profile (financial statement) now includes an
additional footnote if there are antitrust lawsuits
pending against the company, indicating its maximum exposure.
- We've plugged a loophole in the prior version, which allowed a
company to make an extraordinary dividend distribution without
an immediate large (downward) adjustment to its stock price,
and plugged a similar loophole regarding a spin-off of stock
of a subsidiary.
- A bug in the tax calculation for exercise of shorted call
options has been corrected.
- This release is file-compatible with saved game
files from versions 3.10 through 4.70, but not
with versions prior to 3.10.
4.70 -- Released: July 1, 2008 (Major release)
- Changes have been made regarding "executive stock options"
for company C.E.O.'s, a new feature added in the previous
W$R release. In the new release, such options are still
granted to a C.E.O. early in each quarter (at the middle
of the first month of the quarter), but each such grant
of options on 2% of the employer's stock expires 2 years
after the date of grant. Also, instead of having the
company buy publicly-traded options on its stock and
grant them to the C.E.O., thus hitting the company with
a large expense for the value of the options granted at
the time of grant, now the company only recognizes an
expense to the extent the option has intrinsic value
at the expiration date, at which time the option is
either bought back by the company or, if the option is
exercised, the company issues new stock to the player
but buys back an offsetting amount of stock on the open
market (transferring it to the player at a loss), to
- Executive options are restricted, and cannot be sold
for one year after the date granted. However, after
that date, the player may sell the option back to
the employer company (without a commission), at its
current fair market value. Whatever the company pays
the player to cancel the option is an expense to
the company at that time. (In the shareware version,
the options remain restricted until the date of
expiration, at which time they will be exercised or
bought back by the company for their cash value, if
- Earnings projections for a company now take into
account the value of any executive options that will
be expiring before the end of the quarterly reporting
period, assuming the current intrinsic value of the
option, the excess of the current stock price over
the strike price of the option (if any), will become
an expense at expiration if the stock price does not
- Under the revised rules, if you are C.E.O. of a
company, but lose control of the company AND cease
to be its C.E.O. for any reason (such as resigning of
being fired), any executive stock options you have from
that company that are not yet vested will be revoked
-- that is, forfeited. Thus if you take over another
player's company, XYZ Corp., of which the other player
is the C.E.O., and terminate that player as C.E.O.,
he or she will also lose (forfeit) all the unvested
executive options he or she was granted by XYZ Corp.
- The program will now warn you with an announcement
if you, or a company you control, have option
positions (long or short) that are due to expire
in mid-month in the following month. The announcements
are made just before the end of each month of play.
- Companies are now able to issue new stock (for cash),
at current market value, to the player who controls
the company or to another company (other than a bank)
that is also controlled by the player. This provides
a means of injecting equity capital into a company
that is on the verge of bankrupcty, to help stave
off the bankruptcy. It also can be a useful way for
a parent company to boost its stock ownership to 80%
or more (in order to file consolidated tax returns
with the subsidiary that issues new stock to it), as
in a case where the parent company owns 77% of the
stock and a hostile stockholder holds the other 23%.
Use the "Private Stock Offering" button on the
Financing Menu to either do such a transaction, or,
as in prior versions, to issue stock to an unrelated
"white knight" company as the investor. Unlike public
stock offerings or private stock offerings to unrelated
"white knight" investors, there is no limit on the
number and frequency of the private stock offerings a
company can make to the controlling player or companies
- Companies with ongoing exposure to asbestos or
"SuperFund" (environmental) lawsuits are no longer
able to float new bond issues or to do public stock
offerings (but may still do private stock offerings or
- Adjustments are now made in stock price history (for
stock chart purposes) to accurately reflect stock
issuances and stock buybacks by a company that increased
or decreased its outstanding stock by such transactions.
- The main screen now shows the full current game date
at all times, rather than just the quarter and year,
or the month and year, as in prior versions of W$R.
This is useful to watch, when, for example, you are
awaiting a company's next quarterly earnings report
(the date of which release is shown in a company's
- This release is file-compatible with saved game
files from versions 3.10 through 4.60, but not
with versions prior to 3.10.
4.60 -- Released: March 10, 2008 (Major release)
- Options trading (call options) has been added for holding/
trading companies and insurance companies, although with
some restrictions that don't apply to individual players,
since the corporations are not subject to any margin
requirements. Thus, an insurance company can only sell
"covered" calls (or buy back such calls it has sold short).
A holding/trading company can sell covered calls and can
also buy calls. Whether options bought or sold by such
corporations can be exercised will depend on the exercise
(or not) setting for the controlling player. If no player
still controls a corporation that has long or short positions
in call options at the time the options expire, the options
will be settled for cash value (if any), rather than being
- Executive stock options are now granted to the CEO of a
corporation. Once you've taken control of a corporation
and had yourself elected as its CEO, you not only receive
cash salary and bonuses from the company, but now you will
also receive a grant of stock options (call options) on the
company's stock at the beginning of each quarter. Options are
granted at an exercise price equal to the current stock price,
on 2% of the company's stock, giving you until mid-December of
the next year to do whatever it takes to get the price of the
stock higher. Best of all, the granting of the option is not
taxable to you, the employee, and if you sell the option later,
the amount you receive is taxable at the favorable capital
gains tax rate. However, there is a catch: The options you
receive are restricted and can't (voluntarily) be sold during
the year they are received. (In the shareware version, they
are restricted until the date of expiration, at which time
they will be exercised or sold for cash value, if any.)
There is another major catch, or trade-off, too: The value
of the options when granted is a compensation expense for
the company, which can put a major dent in the company's
earnings, which may cause the stock to fall and your options
to eventually become worthless, unless the company does very
well over the following two years. Thus you will have some
tough decisions to make, whether to elect yourself as CEO of
a company you control, or to instead forego receiving any
salary, bonuses or executive stock options from the company.
- The ability of banks to buy business loans beyond their
cash on hand has been expanded, by also counting the new
cash (deposits) they will obtain from the new loan/deposit
customer if they purchase the loan to such customer from
another bank. This makes it easier for your bank to buy
more or larger loans.
- The program now gives you a warning when an "ethical
scenario" memo is about to be presented, so you won't
accidentally hit the "Enter" key and unintentionally accept
the offered scam transaction.
- The program also gives a player notice in most instances
when he or she has lost control of a company whose stock
he or she directly holds.
- The computer player ("Wally Raider") will now try
to change its bank lender to a bank it controls, if
possible, or else to a large neutral bank, if its loan
is held by a hostile bank (one that is controlled by a
- The "Controlled By:" label in the upperleft corner of
the main W$R screen, part of the "Active Entity Selected"
group of informational labels, is now clickable. Click
on it when a company name or symbol appears there, and
doing so will instantly select that company as the "active
- The "normal" oil price in the simulation has been increased
to $100 U.S., now that it seems unlikely that we will be
seeing $50 oil again any time soon, in the real world.
- Currency conversion rates have been updated to reflect
more recent values, in light of the sharp drop in the
value of the U.S. dollar against the Euro, Yen, Canadian
and Australian dollars, and most other currencies since
our last release.
- A tax loophole in prior versions was closed, where a holding/
trading company could buy new business assets to enter an
industry as an operating company without losing its tax
loss carryovers, despite the change in business.
- This release is file-compatible with saved game
files from versions 3.10 through 4.51, but not
with versions prior to 3.10.
4.51 -- Released: November 3, 2007 (Minor release)
- Plugged options trading loophole, where player who
acts quickly at start of game to buy call options
on various stocks could often reap enormous instant
profits by the time the stock price "normalizes" at
at a more realistic level. In revised version, options
trading is suspended for the first "month" of play
in a newly started game. Also, since buying options
(such as straddles on a given stock) were too often
profitable, because stocks in W$R are too volatile,
we've "damped down" the volatility a bit and also
made options more expensive to buy (or better to
- Stock charts are now available from the beginning of
the game, rather than having to wait until 3 months
of stock price history has been built up. The program
now creates 2 months of "pre-game" stock history for
each company, except for a "startup" company that
you start up during the game, which still must wait
3 months before charts become available.
- Rare but potentially significant bug was fixed, which
probably has existed since we began tying the amount
of a bank's CD customer deposits to cash balances of
its customers (players and corporations that borrow
from that particular bank). Companies hit by huge
losses, resulting in large bank overdrafts could
wipe out their bank, if unable to raise enough cash
from sales of assets to cover the cash deficit,
a result which should not have occurred. Now, if
a customer corporation has an "overdraft" the
negative balance does not reduce the bank's cash
balance. Thus, if XYZ corp has $1,000 million of
cash and is hit by a $20,000 million disaster of
some type, and goes out of existence, unable to
cover the $19,000 cash deficit, the bank's cash
and corresponding deposit liability are each only
reduced by the $1,000 million amount, not by
$20,000 million. (Of course, the bank would also
have a loss on any loan it had made to XYZ, if
any, as well.)
- Minor changes in the rules for tax-free spin-offs
have been made, regarding a company's history
as having been an 80%-owned subsidiary of another
company for 5 or more years, and thus being eligible
for a tax-free spin-off. In this new version,
certain nontaxable transactions, such as dropping
the stock of an 80% subsidiary down into another
100%-owned subsidiary, will no longer require the
transferred sub to have to start a new history as
an 80% sub -- its existing history will "carry
over" in such a transaction. Similarly, if the
stock of C is 80% owned by B, and B is liquidated
(in a tax-free liquidation) into company A, C's
5-year history as an 80% sub of B will carry over,
even though C has now become a sub of Company A.
- This release is file-compatible with saved game
files from versions 3.10 through 4.50, but not
with versions prior to 3.10.
4.50 -- Released: September 1, 2007 (Major release)
- Newly released Wall Street Raider v. 4.50 now includes
stock charts for each of the 1590 corporations in the
simulation. Each stock chart shows up to 60 months
of recent stock price activity for a company (in the
simulation), showing the high, low, and last price of
its stock for each month in the period covered, which
can give you a good sense of how a company is prospering
(or not), at a glance. (Stock charting is not implemented
in the "shareware" version of W$R, only in the registered
- A new "Stock Chart" button has been added on the main
W$R screen, in the "Other" grouping of menu buttons.
To view a stock chart for the currently selected
"Active Entity" (if the selected entity is a corporation,
rather than the individual player), you simply click
on this new button.
- A new "pull-down" menu has been added to the main
W$R screen, the "Settings Menu." A number of menu
items from the formerly lengthy "Game Options Menu"
have simply been moved to this new menu, such as
Ticker Speed, Currency selection, Cheat Mode,
Select Law Firm, Suppress Pop-ups, Suppress Earnings
Reports, AutoSave, and the Exercise Options? item.
In addition, a new menu item, "Stock Chart Size" has
been added to this menu, allowing you to toggle back
and forth between large- or small-sized stock charts,
whichever you prefer to view, when using the new stock
charting feature. (This item is "grayed out" on the
Settings Menu in the "shareware" version.)
- Now that the software keeps track of each company's
stock price history for the most recent 5 years, a
new line item has been added to the Financial Profile
for a company, in the "Stock and Earnings Data" section
of the Profile, showing the 52-week high and low prices
for the company's stock (adjusted for any stock splits
or other equity changes).
- Prior versions of W$R left open a loophole that allowed
users to sell a stock short, then use a controlled company
to directly or indirectly take control of the shorted
company, and then (after stopping the stock ticker)
having the shorted company make several huge restructuring
expenditures, or do various financially damaging actions,
driving its stock through the floor. That made it easy
to pocket a quick profit on the short sale of the stock.
That is no longer possible, as you may no longer maintain
a short position in stock of a company you control, due
to the obvious conflict of interest as an "insider."
- This release also plugs a similar, but smaller loophole,
where a player who owned, for example, 50% of a company could
sell calls against that 50%, then sell 30% of the stock, so he
or she might still control the company, and could then engage
in various losing transactions that would trash the company's
stock, thus potentially making more on the short calls on 50%
of the company than he or she would lose on the 20% of the
stock still owned. In the prior release, this "excess" short
options position would eventually be corrected, by a forced
sale of the excess short calls (and/or long puts), but not
until the company next reported its quarterly earnings. That
is no longer possible, as any "excess" hedges will have to
be covered immediately after the player sells part of the
stock he or she owns (the sale of 30% in the above example),
if more than fully hedged after the sale.
- Currency conversion rates have been updated to reflect
more recent values, in light of the sharp drop in the
value of the U.S. dollar against the Euro, British pound,
Canadian and Australian dollars, and most other currencies
since our last release.
- A new "global warming" news scenario pop-up has been added,
and various fictional company names have been replaced by
names of hot new (real-world) companies, such as Chipotle
Mexican Grill in the restaurant industry.
- A number of refinements have been made to the bankruptcy
procedures, so that banks that fail and are resuscitated
by a government injection of funds now receive enough such
funds to make the revived bank relatively healthy, rather
than barely alive (as before). Also, when a corporation
goes bankrupt, while owing bank loans, the bank will now
usually receive a significant percentage of the stock in
the reorganized company, in exchange for the loan write-off.
In prior versions, the bank only received stock in the
bankrupt company when the old shareholders lost all of
their stock in the reorganization. That is no longer a
- Minor bug fixes, to the pull-down menu items for several
types of settings, such as "Suppress pop-ups," which did
not always correctly show the current setting, and also
to prevent pop-up announcements or earnings reports
regarding stocks controlled by the Computer player, when
it is taking its turn.
- The new version is compatible with saved game data files
from Versions 3.10 through 4.10 (but not with data files
saved by versions earlier than 3.10). However, game data
files saved with this new version will take quite a bit
longer to save (or retrieve), as they are about 10 times
as large as the data files from 4.10 or earlier versions,
due to the huge amount of stock price historical data for
each of the 1590 companies that the program must now save.
4.10 -- Released: February 15, 2007 (Major release)
- Stock options (puts and calls) may now be made
exercisable at expiration date by the player who
owns options or has sold them short. An on/off
"toggle" item on the "Game Options Menu" lets you
prevent all option positions from being exercised
(they are settled at intrinsic value, if any, as
in v. 4.0, in that case), or to choose to have all
options exercised, subject to certain exceptions:
(Note: Options trading features are enabled only in
the registered versions of Wall Street Raider, not
in the shareware version.)
- Only options that are "in-the-money" at expiration
date will be exercised.
- Long call options will only be exercised to the
extent there is "public" stock available for you
to acquire. The same is true if you are short put
options. But you may not acquire enough stock
through the exercise of long calls/short puts to
acquire all the remaining "public" stock of a
company, or enough stock to give you control of
the company, if you did not previously have
control. (This is to prevent you from using a
back-door scheme to get control of companies in
order to evade anti-trust law restrictions on
acquisitions.) Long calls or short puts will
also not be exercised if you don't have the buying
power to acquire the underlying stock, or if you
already have 15 stocks in your individual stock
portfolio (the limit), and can't add another.
- Shorted call options will only be exercised to the
the extent you are long the stock, which will be
called away. (No short position in the stock will
be created.) The same is is true if you have a
long position in puts. Any short calls or long
puts that are in-the-money and that exceed the
amount of stock you own will be "settled" at their
intrinsic value. Thus, if you have 7% of ABC stock,
and own puts on 10% of the stock, which are
"in-the-money," 7% of the puts will be exercised
to "put" your stock at the exercise price, and
the other 3% of the puts will be "settled" (sold)
at their in-the-money value on expiration date.
- More company name items have been made "clickable"
in the Personal Financial Profile and (corporate)
Financial Profile screens, where company names or
stock symbols appear. Clicking on any such name or
symbol will change the Active Entity to that
- "Mercy sales" of options you own that are worthless
(no bid) are now possible, thanks to the generosity
of your broker, who will now pay you a pittance to
buy such options from you to let you close out your
loss for tax purposes, without having to wait until
the option expires. How nice of your stockbrokers....
- In the Industry Summary screens, we have inserted
markers by the price-to-net worth number for some
companies, as was added in Industry Projections
screen in the prior release: _P by companies you
control, _H to mark companies controlled by hostile
(other) players, and _C to mark companies that are
controlled by another corporation. Now you will
be able to see, at a glance, who controls which
holding companies, banks and insurers (for which
there are no Industry Projection screens).
- To prevent players from making insider profits
by buying large numbers of call options on
stock of a company (or selling puts short on it),
and then forgiving an advance to the company in
order to boost its net worth and stock price,
such conflicts of interest now prohibit you from
doing a forgiveness of an advance if you are long
call options or short put options on the company's
- To prevent players from building up long chains of
controlled companies, all highly leveraged so that
most or all will go bankrupt eventually, and
profiting by selling the stocks short or by buying
puts (or selling calls short) on such stocks, an
obvious conflict of interest, the simulation now
will generally prohibit short-selling of the stock
(or call options) or of buying put options on a
stock you control. An exception is that you can
buy enough puts to protect your long position in
a stock or sell "covered calls" against it, but
cannot sell, for instance, calls on 50% of the
stock if you only own 40% of it directly. These
restrictions do not apply if you don't control
the company whose stock you are shorting or are
selling "naked" calls short against (or buying
- Where a player forgives an advance to a company
when he or she owns 100% of the stock directly,
the forgiveness is no longer a capital loss and
is not income or a taxable event for the company.
Instead, in that case it is treated as just a
contribution to capital, which increases the
player's tax basis in his or her stock in the
- The Computer player has a few new refinements, including
the ability to pay off a "frozen" loan and change
its bank lender to a friendly (controlled) bank.
- A new Drug/BioTech disaster scenario was added.
- Various minor refinements to options trading;
Financial Profile display improvements, including
display of the "call price" for redemption of a
company's bonds and whether or not they are
- New "Quote of the Day" feature added (except in
the shareware version). Each time you start Wall
Street Raider, a "quote of the day" will be
flashed on the screen, from a collection of
"in-your-face" and wryly cynical observations
by everyone from Aesop in 600 B.C. to Napoleon
to Winston Churchill to Woody Allen.
- Compatible with saved game data files from Versions 3.10
4.0 -- Released: October 11, 2006 (Major release)
- Not compatible with saved game files from prior
versions earlier than 3.10.
- Now includes trading of put and call options on
any "publicly-traded" stocks, for periods of one
to 24 months. (NOT ENABLED in shareware version
of Wall Street Raider.) Players can buy options,
sell covered calls or covered puts, or sell
"naked" puts or calls. With the leverage
afforded by options, you can increase your
profits massively if your bet on a big move
in a stock's price turns out to be correct --
or lose your entire investment in an option
purchase if you're wrong! (We also changed
the name of the "Options Menu" at the top
of the main screen to the "Game Options Menu,"
so no one will be confused, thinking there is
something on that menu that pertains to put
and call options -- there isn't. Items on that
menu deal with choices you make such as turning
off Cheat Mode, setting the Ticker Speed from
1 to 100, etc.)
- The W$R strategy manual (electronic) has been
updated fully to reflect the introduction of
options trading, including detailed discussions
of margin rules affecting long and short option
positions, plus extensive analysis of various
types of put, call, and straddle strategies.
- We've plugged a tax loophole with regard to
short-selling. In the prior version (3.10),
it was possible to sell stock short in a
company you control and then have the company
pay out a large dividend. Since, as a short
seller, you would have to pay out the amount
of the "short dividend" on the shorted stock,
you were allowed to deduct that expense. Then,
because the large dividend would greatly
reduce the stock's price, you could cover your
short position and reap a capital gain. Thus,
even if you just broke even, you would have a
large "ordinary" tax deduction, reducing your
regular (high tax rate) taxable income, while
generating an almost automatic capital gain,
taxable at a much lower tax rate than ordinary
income. In this new version, any such "short
dividends" you must pay on a short position
when the stock pays a dividend are now treated
as capital losses, which will offset your
capital gain if you cover your short for a
profit after the dividend is paid out and
reduces the stock's value.
- In the Industry Projection screens, we have
inserted markers by the market share number
for some companies: _P by companies you
control, _H by companies controlled by
hostile (other) players, and _C by companies
that are controlled by another corporation.
- The main screen now displays the Month/Year
of play, rather than the Quarter/Year. In
addition, if you click on the "Financial
Profile" for a corporation, it will tell
you the current (game) date, and also the
date on which that company will next report
3.10 -- Released: December 21, 2005 (Major release)
- Not compatible with saved game files from prior
versions, due to addition of new data arrays.
- We've filled in the other side of the investment equation, by
adding short selling to W$R, for players. We think you will
enjoy being a "bear" and taking advantage of weak and sick
companies, by selling their stocks short, to drive their prices
down even further. There's something really satisfying about
shorting a high-flyer at $80 a share and watching the stock
collapse to $2 a share, at which time you cover your short for
a massive profit. (But it can be very scary when the stock
you've shorted suddenly turns up, since your liability as a
short seller is unlimited, unlike owning a stock, where you
can only lose 100% of your investment.)
- In this new release of Wall Street Raider, a short margin account
is created for each player when the player sells any stocks short,
with the proceeds of the short sale deposited in this restricted
account. This account is regularly "marked to market" -- cash must be
transferred to the short account when the shorted stock goes up, or
is transferred from the short margin account to the player's unrestricted
cash account (bank account) when the shorted stock or stocks decline in
value. A player must maintain a net worth equal to at least 1/3 of the
value of the shorted stocks -- otherwise, the player gets a "short margin
call" and is required to buy back (cover) some of the short positions, to
reduce the short liability. (Which will tend to drive the stock price up
further, sad to say, if you are still short the stock.)
- A player can sell short up to 20% of the total stock of a particular
corporation. However, since stock must be borrowed from "the Public"
in order to sell it short, all the players, in total, cannot short
more than 50% of the publicly traded stock of any one company. For
example, if only 80% of a company's stock is held by "the Public,"
players may only short half that percentage, or 40% of the company's
total outstanding stock. This means that if you are short a stock,
and some company or other player buys up most of the publicly-owned
shares, reducing the "float," you can be "squeezed" and forced to
cover some or all of your short position. Not a nice thing to do
to a friend or spouse. Short-selling is not for the faint of heart,
in the real markets or in W$R.
- The short sale feature, as implemented, allows players to pursue
new strategies, including doing a "short squeeze" to ruin a
competing player who has a large short position in a stock.
For example, if Player A has shorted 20% of the stock of XYZ
corporation, which has only 40% of its stock publicly traded,
you might "squeeze" Player A and force him/her to cover the
short position (running up the price while doing so), by buying
up most or all of the publicly traded shares. Not only will
the forced covering of the short position by Player A drive up
the price he/she has to pay to buy back the stock, but it will
temporarily raise the value of your XYZ stock. In addition, your
purchase of the remaining publicly-traded stock will also drive
up the value of the stock, raising Player A's cost to cover the
short position when you force him/her to do so. Another way of
squeezing a short seller is to acquire the shorted company in
- On the other hand, if a player is short a stock and can find a
way (most W$R players are good at this) to undermine the company
and cause its stock price to drop, the short seller will profit
handsomely. Best of all, if the company goes bankrupt and all
its stockholders are wiped out, the short seller doesn't have
to buy back any stock, and instead pockets a 100% profit on
the proceeds he/she received when shorting the stock. "There's
no ill wind that doesn't blow someone some good...."
- To more realistically reflect current economic conditions, the
"normal" price of oil in this new release is $50 per barrel (vs.
$35 in recent releases, and $20 per barrel for many years in
earlier releases of W$R).
- We've added some new "scenarios," including a major new "Peak
Oil" scenario that can create some very harsh conditions --
unless, of course, you're long on oil and gas stocks, and a
few other types of stocks that benefit from the chaos! (Or
if you've sold short auto companies, airlines, or the like,
which are devastated by the energy crisis.) The Peak Oil
scenario will tend to pop up in about half the games you
play, but will not pop up in the first 2 years of play.
(Sorry, "shareware" version players!) Some times the crisis
will be over almost before it's started, perhaps just after
you've bet the ranch on oil or oil service stocks.... What a
- We've corrected a couple of minor potential bugs that could
cause sudden enrichment or bankruptcy of a newly-formed bank
in certain circumstances, where the selected currency was the
Icelandic Kronur, Indian Rupee, Japanese Yen, or Korean Won.
- Finally, we've added F1 key functionality to access "HELP"
files at any time when the main screen is visible, plus many
small improvements in the user interface and in various
algorithms (too many to count).
3.02 -- Released: May 10, 2005 (Minor release)
3.01 -- Released: January 11, 2005 (Minor release)
- Compatible with saved game files from prior version
- Changed rules, to allow more ruthless tactics by a player
who controls a bank. A bank can now buy up loans of an
opposing player (if the game is played at Difficulty
Level 3, the highest). Or it can buy up loans of a
company controlled by a player, at Difficulty Levels 2
or 3. However, as before, it cannot buy loans that are
currently held by a bank that is controlled by another
player. These rule changes will allow for considerably
more vicious and cutthroat tactics, and makes control
of a bank (and getting your loans from your controlled
bank) even more important than before.
- Added a feature that allows player to have his or her
controlled bank call in a specified percentage of a
loan, from 1% to 50% of the loan balance, rather than
- Various minor bug fixes and minor new features, such
as a warning, when you are about to advance money to
a company you control that has a credit rating of
less than "BB," that you will not be able to recall
the advances until the company's credit rating
3.00 -- Released: January 5, 2005 (Major release)
- Not compatible with saved game files from earlier
versions prior to version 3.00.
- Seriously revised user interface. The main screen
has been greatly increased in size, to make room
for listing up to 15 stocks in a "streaming quotes"
section, and for a number of new controls that have
been added, as discussed below. Clicking on an
"Add/Delete Stock" button lets you either add the
current "active entity" to the streaming quotes
list, or, if it is already on the list, to remove
it, with a single click. As stock prices change,
the new prices of the stocks on the list are
updated, and are shown in blue (if no change),
in green (if up) or in red (if down).
Also, you can quickly select any company whose stock
is on the streaming quotes list by simply clicking on
a "Select" button at the top of the list, and then
double-clicking on the company name, from a pick list
that will be displayed. Doing so selects that company
as the "active entity."
- A "My News" button has been added, as a result of a
suggestion of a user in Spain. Click on it to see all
recent news items on any stock you own directly, or
that you control indirectly, or any news items that
- In the past, it was often annoying, when pulling up
research information on a company you own, and
one that it is about to buy or sell, to have to enter
the stock symbol or pull up a list of companies to
select the other, when going back and forth between
the two companies. Now, the program keeps track
of the current "active entity" and the previously
selected "active entity." For example, if the
current active entity is ABC and the most recent
previous active entity you had selected was XYZ,
a newly added button on the main screen will read
"Select XYZ" -- so you can re-select XYZ as the
current active entity with a single click on that
In addition, the program now "remembers" each
player's last selected "active entity" and second
to last selected active entity, so when your turn
ends, and it later becomes your turn again, to use
the above example, those two entities are again
reflected immediately on the screen, with ABC as
the "active entity" and XYZ shown on the "Select XYZ"
- A number of new button controls have been added to
main screen, both to improve ease of use of the
program, and to add new search features that users
have requested. These eight buttons are as follows:
- Two new buttons in the "Transactions" section of
the main screen: A "Buy Stock" button and a "Sell
Stock" button. These are not new, but simply
duplicate such buttons that are also found in the
Buy/Sell menu. Now, however, you can buy or sell
stock directly from the main screen, without having
to open the Buy/Sell Menu.
- Six new buttons have been added in a "Search Functions"
section of the main screen:
One is simply a direct link to the DataBase
Search feature, which can now be accessed
without first going through the General Research
Menu. A second "Recall" button instantly calls
up an updated list of companies from the
database, using the most recent set of search
parameters you have selected, saving you from
opening the General Research Menu, clicking on
"DataBase Search" and then clicking on "Display
Results." Thus, 1 click now does what took 3
button clicks in prior versions.
Three other search buttons generate ranked lists
of the companies with the largest market shares
in their industries (of at least 20%), companies
with the largest tax loss carryovers (of at
least 10 million or 10 billion, depending on the
currency), and the 50 companies with the most cash.
In addition, a "My Corps" button has been
added in this section, which works in a manner
similar to the "My Corps" buttons on the various
menus, but which can now be accessed directly
from the main screen, with a single mouse click.
- Earnings reports for any company a player
controls now pop up automatically the moment
they are released, during that player's turn.
Also, the most recently selected "active entity"
(before the currently selected "active entity")
will also automatically have its earnings report
pop up when released -- as well as that for the
currently selected "active entity."
See new "suppress" menu item, discussed in the
next paragraph -- which allows you to turn off
this feature, if it becomes annoying.
- New item added to "Options" Menu -- "Suppress
Earnings Reports" item. Toggle this item "ON"
if you control a large number of companies and
are annoyed by the too-frequent pop-up earnings
announcements, each time one of your controlled
companies issues its latest quarterly earnings
report. When this suppress option is turned
"ON," no such reports will pop up, except for
the company that is the currently selected
"active entity" (if any). Clicking on this item
will turn the suppression feature "ON" if it is
currently "OFF," or "OFF" if it is currently "ON."
- Prepayment penalties of 2% of the amount of loan
repayments any of your companies do, using the
"Repay Loan" button, will now apply, if playing at
Difficulty Level 3. However, the penalty is not
imposed if the player who controls the corporation
that is making the prepayment also controls the
lending bank. The penalty also applies when a
company issues corporate bonds, and elects to
apply some or all of the bond issuance proceeds
to pay down bank debt. It also applies when a
company goes through a taxable liquidation and
pays off its bank loan as part of the liquidation
process. (NOTE: The prepayment penalty does
not apply to loan repayments made by the players
themselves, only to corporate borrowers.)
- Spreading false rumors (using the Spread Rumors
button) is still an effective (if dirty) tactic.
However, overuse of this tactic, or engaging in
too many scurrilous activities, may subject you,
the player, to individual liability if the company
you targeted sues you for slander or libel. Thus,
you will need to use that tactic sparingly, in this
and future versions of the program.
- Finally, in addition to numerous small internal
program enhancements, the main screen listing of
indices, crude oil prices, prime rate, etc., has
been augmented by adding displays of the bond
yields (yield to maturity) for the Government
Long Bond and Short Bond.
2.50 -- Released: November 1, 2004 (Major release)
- Saved games from versions earlier than v. 2.45 are
not usable with this version. (Version 2.45 saved
games are compatible, except that dividend payouts
will be unusually large in some cases, due to changes
in the way dividend payout data is stored in the new
- The "normal" price of crude oil has been changed from
$20 per barrel to $35 per barrel, to more accurately
reflect the current real world oil pricing situation.
- Modified percentage of business assets of an industrial
company that must be committed to working capital. In
prior versions, the amount of working capital (inventory
and/or accounts receivable) was a fixed 12% of business
assets. In the new version, 12% is the normal or typical
percentage, but if you increase a company's profitability,
you may be able to reduce the percentage of business
assets that must be committed to working capital, to as
little as 5%. On the other hand, if your company is
poorly managed, it may have as much as 20% of business
assets tied up as working capital. (Business assets are
items such as plant and equipment, airplanes operated by
an airline, etc.)
- Altered "Change Bank" feature in several ways. You no
longer need to pay off a loan in full before you can
change your bank lender -- if the new bank you choose
has enough cash to buy your loan from your current
lender, and if the current lender is not controlled by
an opposing player (who is presumed NOT to want to sell
your loan). Also, if you have a "sick" company with a
large loan it will probably default on, you cannot
have it change its bank to a bank controlled by another
player, "sticking" that player's bank with the bad loan,
unless the loan balance is fairly small.
- Several things were done to plug loopholes in the logic
for insurance companies, to make it harder to become an
"instant trillionaire" by manipulating and creating
gigantic insurance companies.
- Changed the way dividends are set. Rather than pay out
a percentage of the prior year's net income, the dividend
for a company is now set as a fixed dollar amount per
share, even if that means that the dividend exceeds the
company's earnings. You can now set the amount, such as
1.40 per share, that a controlled company will pay (subject
to an upper limit that varies, depending on the company's
creditworthiness). Uncontrolled companies will periodically
raise or lower their dividends, based on various factors,
such as yield, earnings trends, credit rating, industry
and company growth rates, and other complex factors. A
company with a "D" credit rating will cease paying any
dividends almost immediately.
- In the new version, any time a company you control releases
a new quarterly earnings report, the earnings report screen
will immediately pop up. If you control a large number of
companies, and the frequent pop-ups become annoying to you,
you can stop them by turning on the "Suppress Popups"
feature in the "Options" menu.
2.45 -- Released: August 1, 2004
- Not compatible with saved game files from earlier
versions prior to 2.45.
- By popular demand, the new version adds a "spin-offs"
feature to the Financing Submenu. Using this button
function, any corporation you own may be able to
"spin off" stock it holds in another corporation to
its shareholders. This can even be done tax-free, if
80% of the stock of the sub is spun off, if the sub
is not a holding/trading company, and if the sub has
at least a 5-year period of operations under its belt.
You can, if you choose, do a taxable spin-off, though
this will usually prove to be costly. However, other
government agencies might block the spin-off if it
would have too serious an effect on the distributing
corporation's creditworthiness, even if you have
gotten a favorable advance tax ruling from the tax
We have tried to anticipate and close most of the
largest foreseeable loopholes, but we're quite sure that
creative players of W$R will find many ways to use (and
abuse) the spin-off feature in order to avoid taxes,
merger fees, and for other nefarious purposes. The new
version of the W$R strategy manual has a few suggestions
for ways to use spin-offs that may not be obvious to any
but the most devious players.
- In order to increase the limits on the size of public
stock offerings and bond issuances as the game
progresses, the initial $100 billion (or equivalent
in other currencies) limit on the size of stock
offerings is now indexed, by increasing the limit
by just over 6% annually (1.5% each quarter).
Similarly, the initial $150 billion limit on bond
issuances by a company is also indexed, growing
larger throughout each game at the same 6% annual rate.
The "indexing" begins after the year 2010.
- Two new currency choices have been added, the
Egyptian Pound and the Icelandic Krone, bringing
the total number of currencies for which the game
can be configured to 23.
- SLAM! (The sound of another tax loophole closing....)
Changes have been made so that now when you buy stock
from a related entity (such as a company you control),
and the seller has a loss on the sale, the loss will
be disallowed for tax purposes (and not reported as
a loss for financial reporting purposes), since you
were essentially selling the stock to yourself. In
such cases, however, the higher "tax basis" of the
purchased shares carries over to the buying entity,
so that the disallowed loss is added to the cost of
the shares purchased, for the buyer. To recognize a
loss on stock, it must be sold at a loss to "the
public" or to an unrelated buyer (or must become
worthless in bankruptcy).
- Improvements made to the Customizer Utility program,
to save the original set of corporate names/symbols,
with a "Restore Original Set of Names" button added,
if you wish to go back to using the original set
of names/stock symbols that came with W$R.
2.42 -- Released: May 19, 2004 (Minor release)
- Saved game files are compatible only with v. 2.40
and 2.41, but not with saved game files from
earlier releases prior to 2.40.
- Bug fix for some copies of v. 2.41, where the
"AntiTrust Suit" button did not appear.
- Expanded possible types of assets you can contribute
to a wholly-owned bank or insurance company. The
"Capital Contribution" feature now also allows you
to contribute government or corporate bonds to such
a 100%-owned subsidiary. Also, if you own 100%
of a company and also own some of its bonds, you
can contribute some of its own bonds to it (even if
it is not a bank or insurer) and such bonds will
simply be canceled, reducing the amount of the
subsidiary company's bond indebtedness.
2.41 -- Release Date: April 17, 2004 (Minor release):
- Saved game files are compatible only with v. 2.40 and
- Modified so that the stock market index and individual
stock prices react more gradually to changing economic
- A new "Resign As CEO" button has been added to the
Management Menu, and appears when the "active entity"
is the player. This allows you to resign your position
as CEO of any company, which will save the company
from having to pay you a salary. (Since the salary
payment will reduce a company's earnings, taking a
salary from a company you own may cause a decrease
in the value of the company's stock, so you may
decide you prefer to stop serving as CEO, and give
up your salary, rather than depress the price of the
- An "auto save" option has been added to the Options
Menu. Turning this feature on will cause the most
current game data to be saved at the end of each
quarter of play, automatically. This will come in
handy in the event of a power failure (or a dumb
move on your part), as you can always reload the
game and continue play as of the end of the most
- A new dialog (menu) has been added for capital
contributions, so that a company or player can now
contribute either cash or stock to a 100%-owned
subsidiary, or an industrial company can contribute,
in addition to cash or stock, some or all of its
"capital assets" (business assets) to a subsidiary
that is either in the same industry, or that is a
- A corporation's tax net operating loss can still be
carried forward indefinitely, for use in offsetting
taxable income in subsequent years. However, starting
with this release, such unused losses are reduced by
10% of the remaining balance (not reducing the current
year's loss, if any) at the end of each year. This
will put a premium on finding ways to quickly use up
such tax loss carryovers before they expire (shrink).
- Instituted quarterly estimated tax payments for
players, instead of paying an entire year's taxes
at the end of each year. Estimated taxes are
computed each quarter, based on 90% of the tax
on your income to date for the current year. Any
remaining balance is paid at the end of the year;
or, if the estimates result in an overpayment of
the actual tax for the year, the overpayment is
refunded at year-end. All calculations and tax
payments are done automatically for each player.
- A modification has been added so that once there
is only one "surviving" (human) player left in a
game, that player's turn never ends, until the
game ends. The "End Turn" button is grayed out
for the remainder of the game, also.
2.40 -- Released: March 1, 2004 (Major release)
- Game data files saved by prior versions of Wall
Street Raider are not compatible with or usable
by this version of the program.
- Players may now make interest-bearing advances (loans)
to any companies they control. The advances are
"demand loans," which means the player can demand
full repayment at any time (usually). However, the
advances are subordinated to any bank loans or bond
indebtedness owed by the company, so you may not be
able to call in an advance if the corporation would
have a credit rating of less than "BB" after the
repayment is made. Thus, you may find in some cases
that you cannot call in the loan (advance), until
the borrower's credit rating improves adequately.
If the borrower goes bankrupt, bank loans and bond
holders receive repayment first, before or with a
higher priority than, holders of demand loans
The borrowing company must pay the player interest,
at the current Prime Rate charged by banks, at the
time each interest payment is to be made. (If the
borrower's credit rating falls to "D," then the
interest will accrue -- that is, be added to the
loan amount -- rather than be paid in cash.)
- Two new buttons, "Advance to Corp." and "Recall
Advance," have been added to the "Miscellaneous
Functions" menu, one for making advances to
companies you control, the other for calling in
(demanding repayment) of advances you have made,
from any company, including companies you made
advances to but no longer control.
- A new command button, "List Advances," has been
added to the Entity Research Menu (when the
"active entity" is you, the player). Clicking
on it will cause a display of all companies to
which you have made advances, the amount of each
such advance (loan), and the borrowing company's
- Bank deposits and cash balances now reflect all
changes in cash balances of the bank's corporate
customers, or in cash balances of players who are
customers of that bank. Players and corporations
are required to deposit their cash, as CD's, in
the bank from which they borrow, as a condition
of taking out a loan.
- When you click the "My Corps." button on one of
the transactions menus, you will now see a pick
list displayed, of all the companies you control,
plus certain types of information about each
company, such as recent and projected quarterly
earnings, credit rating, and Analysts' Rating
(buy, sell, hold, etc.) on the company's stock.
Click or double-click on any company name to
select it as the "active entity." (A "My Corps."
button has also been added to the Entity Research
Menu, which appears when you, the player, are
the "active entity.")
- Modified the program so that when one makes any
"management changes" (fires the existing management
team), the results will be apparent somewhat more
- The "extraordinary dividend" rules have been changed
(relaxed) somewhat, so that banks or insurers with
"A" or better credit ratings will now sometimes be
allowed to make relatively small payouts of such
extraordinary dividends. Also, distributions of
such dividends, while sometimes fully taxable to
corporate stockholders, are now non-taxable to the
extent paid to an 80% or greater CORPORATE parent,
with which the sub pays taxes on a consolidated
return basis (but in that case will reduce the
recipient corporation's "tax basis" in its shares
of the sub, dollar-for-dollar, yen-for-yen).
- New feature added when doing "capital contributions":
if the parent company is an industrial company (not
a bank, insurer, or holding company) and the sub is
either in the same industry, or is a holding company,
the parent company can "drop down" (transfer) business
assets, as well as cash, to the subsidiary, as a
- New disaster scenarios added.
- Miscellaneous bug fixes. (Stock ownership reductions
when a bank goes bankrupt, repayment of bank debt
in taxable liquidations, and the stock basis and
gain/loss calculations for the seller, where one
entity buys stock from a related entity.)
2.31 -- Released: December 5, 2003 (Major release)
- Game data files saved by prior versions of Wall
Street Raider are not compatible with or usable
by this version of the program.
- While "cheat scenarios" normally only pop up once
each per scenario during any one game, the "strike
scenario" (by angry union employees) may now pop
up more than once, if you do numerous restructurings.
- Junk bond pricing has been refined, so that a minor
change in net worth that changes a bond's rating from
"D" to "C" or from "C" to "D" will no longer have a
major effect on the price of the bonds. As revised,
the worse a "D"-rated company's finances grow, the
lower its bonds will trade, on a gradual basis, until
it becomes clear that the company is almost certain
to have to shed part of its debts in a bankruptcy
reorganization. Previously, a slight decrease in
assets that caused net worth to fall below zero and
the credit rating to fall from "C" to "D" resulted
in a cliff-like drop in the bond price.
- Asset purchase routines have been modified in a
number of ways: A holding company may now enter an
industry by purchasing "new" assets, and not only
by purchasing assets from another company in that
industry. As revised, purchases of highly profitable
capital assets from another (uncontrolled) company
will require the buying company to pay a premium
for the assets purchased, and the more profitable
the assets being purchased (ignoring R&D costs and
market share), the greater the price premium you must
pay. The excess amount, or "goodwill," must be written
off as an expense by the acquiring company, generally
at the rate of 20% of the remaining balance per year.
On the other hand, if buying very UNprofitable assets
(say from a poorly-managed company in a depressed
industry), the buyer may be able to buy capital
assets at a considerable discount. The "discount"
is treated as "negative goodwill" and is recognized
immediately as income (extraordinary income) by
the buyer. The seller will recognize a gain or
loss on the sale, based on the sale price (less a
sales commission paid by the seller).
- In all instances, except where the buying and
selling companies are controlled by the same
player, the company selling capital assets will
incur a "business broker's fee" equal to 10% of
the purchase price. This will reduce the seller's
gain, or increase its loss, on the sale of assets.
- As revised, it will often be impossible to buy
business assets from a company that is earning a
very high rate of return on those assets (ignoring
its R&D or marketing/advertising expenses), as
such companies will usually not be willing to sell.
- The "Sell Business Assets" feature has been refined
to make it possible to sometimes sell business
assets at a net gain, although it will still be
hard to do so if playing at Difficulty Level 3.
- "FILE" menu has been changed, to replace "New Game"
item with "Restart," once a set of new or saved
game data has been loaded into memory.
2.30 -- Released: October 10, 2003 (Major release)
- Not file-compatible with data files saved by any previous versions,
since the program now stores a lot of "tax basis" data for stock
holdings of corporations.
- THE TAX MAN COMETH!! Sorry folks, but no more tax-free
capital gains for corporations, starting with this version.
Your "tax-free" days are over, starting with Version 2.30,
which adopts the "U.S. model" of corporate taxation,
subjecting capital gains from sales of stock investments
by a corporation to tax, at regular corporate tax rates.
Before, W$R followed the "European" or "Asian" model
adopted by most developed countries, of not taxing
corporate capital gains. However, we do still give you
one break the U.S. IRS doesn't allow -- you can deduct
losses on such stock sales fully (unlike the real world
IRS rules, that allow NO deduction at all for corporate
capital losses, except to the extent of offsetting
capital gains -- if there are any).
- For financial reporting purposes, now that the program
keeps track of the cost or other, adjusted, tax basis
of stocks owned by corporations, and computes a gain
or loss upon sale or worthlessness of the stock, the
gains or losses are all treated as "extraordinary
items," which are included in TOTAL earnings, but do
not enter into the calculation of the more significant
figure, "operating earnings." However, starting with
the last release, Version 2.22, you may have already
noted that small "extraordinary gains" (or losses),
if they amount, in total, to 5% or less of "operating
income" (or loss) for the quarter, will be lumped in
as an additional item of operating income or loss, and
will not be shown as a separate item, where the amount
is minimal in relation to the operating income/loss.
- A complex system of adjusting the "tax basis" of stock
of an 80% or greater subsidiary corporation has been
added, very similar to the U.S. "consolidated return
regulations." In short, the parent company gets to
increase its tax basis for taxable income of the 80%
subsidiary, less the payment in lieu of taxes that the
sub makes to the parent company on such taxable income.
But the parent company must reduce its basis for the
80% sub's stock to the extent of any taxable loss of
the sub, offset in part by payments from the parent to
the sub for the tax benefit of using the sub's tax loss.
In addition, any tax-free dividend an 80% sub pays out
to the parent company reduces the parent's tax basis
in the sub's stock, dollar for dollar, yen for yen.
- The above basis adjustments, in some rare situations,
may reduce the tax basis of the sub's stock to a
negative amount, which is referred to in W$R (and in
IRS Consolidated Return Regulations) as an "Excess
Loss Account" ("ELA"). As in the real world, if the
parent's stock ownership in the sub is reduced to less
than 80% for any reason, so that the two companies can
no longer pay taxes on a "consolidated return" basis,
any ELA will be triggered and fully recaptured as
taxable income to the parent, which will bring its
basis for the sub's stock back up from a negative
amount to zero. The new help files give examples of
when and how all or part of an "Excess Loss Account"
may be triggered into taxable income for the parent
company. Triggering an ELA recapture will not show
up in your company's earnings report, but will affect
its cash balance when it pays out the recapture tax.
- Notice that an ELA will be triggered as income to
the parent even when the sub goes bankrupt, and its
stock becomes worthless -- so that if there is an
ELA (negative tax basis), a parent company will
actually recognize taxable INCOME, rather than a
loss, if the sub bellies up. (In effect, the parent
has to pay up for having taken more tax benefits
or write-offs than it had invested in the sub, by
recapturing the "excess losses.") However, the
existence of an ELA should be an extremely rare and
unusual circumstance, a situation you may never see
occur, unless you spend a great deal of time playing
Wall Street Raider.
- The only exception (in W$R) to "recapturing" or
triggering taxable income from an Excess Loss Account
when the parent makes a disposition of the sub's
stock is when the sub is liquidated in a tax-free
liquidation. Any other transaction, including an
otherwise tax-free exchange in a merger, where the
sub being acquired had an Excess Loss Account (negative
tax basis) with respect to its stock in the hands of
its former parent company, will trigger the recapture
- Where an uncontrolled company (not controlled by any
player) seeks to do a merger with a company whose
stock you or one of your controlled companies owns,
the program will now disclose to you the management
rating of the acquiring company (unless it is a holding/
- As suggested by users, the "startup" segment, when you
start up a new corporation, now will display a default
name and stock symbol for the company, but will also ask
you at the time if you wish to change either its name or
- As also suggested by users, after a game ends, the
"File Menu" now includes a "Restart W$R" menu item,
to let you restart the program and either start a
new game, or load and continue playing a saved game.
- This version adds the ability of a bank you control to
sell off individual business loans, or portions of its
consumer loan or mortgage loan portfolio. The "Buy
Loans for Bank" button in the "Other Transactions"
menu has been replaced by a "Buy or Sell Loans" button,
and the same button has also been added to the "Buy/Sell
Transactions" menu. Your bank can now sell mortgage or
consumer loans at face value. Corporate or player loans
can be sold at prices that depend mainly on the borrower's
credit rating, but not exceeding 101 percent of face value.
(And no other bank will buy certain "bad credit" D-rated
loans from your bank, which may soon become worthless.)
- As requested by a number of users, we have added
a "Stock Split" button, to allow you to split a stock
(increase the number of shares by a multiple of more
than 1, up to 10), which decreases the price per share.
It has no more effect than cutting a pizza into 8
slices, rather than 4, but many people think stock
splits are significant. We also have added a "Reverse
Split" button, also to the "MISC." Menu, which allows
you to do a reverse split for any company you control
(reducing the number of shares by a factor of more
than 1, up to 10, which will increase the stock price
per share). A reverse split is the opposite, or mirror
image, of a regular stock split. If you don't like to
see your company's stock trading at 2.50 a share, do
a 1-for-10 reverse split, so it will trade at 25.00.
- An additional limit has been placed on the ability of
a bank to call in corporate loans. In the new version,
you cannot call in 50% of a corporate loan if the
borrower, after selling off all readily saleable
assets (bonds and stocks) has a negative bank account
(i.e., cash) balance at the moment, since there are
no liquid assets to "grab." This feature is designed
to prevent a bank from buying a loan at 90% of face
value, and then quickly doing a series of many 50%
loan "calls," until it has pulled in 99.9% of the
loan, for an easy profit. (One less "loophole.")
- The "Freeze Loans" feature has been modified in
several ways. You can now choose from a list of
your bank's loans, by clicking on the name of the
borrower and either freezing or unfreezing lending
to that particular borrower. Once a loan is frozen,
the notation "Froz." will appear by that loan any
time you click on the "Freeze Loans," "Call in
Bank Loan" or "List Loans" buttons.
- When using the "Freeze Loans" feature, if you don't
click on any specific loan to freeze or unfreeze,
you will then be asked (as in prior versions) if your
bank wants to freeze/unfreeze loans to all competing
players and their companies.
- The "Call in Bank Loan" function has been modified in
several ways. Clicking on this button now brings up a
list of all your bank's loans, and you can click on
any borrower's name to call in 50% of the loan to that
particular borrower. Additional limits have been placed
on the ability to call a company's loan -- you can no
longer do so if the company already has a negative cash
balance and has sold all its liquid assets (stocks and
bonds). This may prevent you from doing repetitive
"calls" of 50% a particular company's loan, over and
over and over....
- When you click on the "Freeze Loans" or "Call in Bank
Loan" buttons, the list of loans will now place an
asterisk (*) after the loan information for any loan
that is owed by a competing player, or by a company
controlled by a competing player, so you can instantly
see if you are "lending to the enemy," in case you want
your bank to freeze or call in loans to competitors or
- In prior versions, it was sometimes impossible to sell
off stock of a wholly-owned company. Now, when you
attempt such a sale, you will usually be given the
option of selling 51% of the stock, at a bargain price,
to a "neutral company," if you are really desparate to
sell. Or you may receive an even lower offer, but for
only 20% of the company. If you receive a margin call and
are thus forced to sell off stock in a company when you own
100% of that stock, your shares will be sold at a steep
discount at an impromptu auction. (It will be better, usually,
if you are able to, and aren't in a forced sale situation,
to have the 100%-owned company do a public or private
stock offering, making the stock more readily saleable
afterwards, for your remaining 80% or more of the stock.
But you won't have that chance if you wait until you
receive a margin call from your bank -- you have to sell
stock immediately, at whatever price you can get for it.)
2.22 -- Released: August 6, 2003 (Major release)
- Not file-compatible with data files from any previous
versions, due to some major changes in the way game
data is stored in the new version.
- New Korean Peninsula disaster scenario, and Japanese
disaster scenario added.
- Banks with strong reserves will now be able to grow
faster, as they will automatically expand their
deposit base if their reserves (net worth plus bad
debt reserves) exceed certain percentages (8% to 12%,
in various circumstances) of their total deposits.
This also will help healthy banks maintain their
liquidity, and make it less likely that they will be
forced to sell off bonds or loans to raise cash, since
they will now be able to attract more deposits.
- As an underpaid CEO, you'll be happy to learn that
this release of W$R now provides for a "performance
bonus" at the end of each year, in addition to your
base salary as CEO of a company. If the company's
operating earnings for the year are negative, or are
no greater than in the previous year, you receive
no bonus; or, you receive a bonus equal to 150% of
your base salary if you boosted earnings for the
year. However, if you control 51% of the stock of
the company, your board of directors will be more
generous (since you have absolute control), and you
will receive a bonus at least equal to 100% of base
salary, no matter how badly the company performed;
or a bonus equal to 300% of base salary, if you have
managed to increase your company's earnings, compared
to the previous year.
- Added a further refinement to the way earnings are
reported: "Extraordinary items" of income or loss,
if they amount (after-tax) to less than 5% of net
operating income, are now re-classified as part of
operating income or loss, and are no longer reported
as separate items. Larger amounts of extraordinary
items continue to be reported as a separate item,
apart from "operating earnings," as before.
- The program now scans through the list of "busted"
holding companies (those not controlled by any
player, and with no assets remaining other than
cash) and occasionally liquidates some of them,
in taxable liquidations. So, if you have a small
ownership position, under 20%, in such a company,
you may find that it is suddenly being liquidated
and you will receive cash for your stock as the
net assets are distributed. In prior versions, no
such "taxable" liquidations occurred except those
that were initiated by a (human) player.
- When you sell stocks or bonds, the program now
tells you the amount of the taxable gain or loss
on the sale, as well as your percentage gain or
loss on the investment (where the seller is you,
the individual, rather than a corporation).
- When you need to borrow to complete various
transactions, the program tells you how much you
need to borrow, and how that will change your
(or your company's) credit rating and debt-to-equity
ratios, and asks if you want to go through with
the transaction. This new feature applies to stock
purchases, corporate or government bond purchases,
greenmail/LBO stock buybacks, bond buybacks or early
redemptions, and capital asset purchases, and should
be helpful to you in deciding whether a particular
transaction is worth doing, in light of its effect
on your debt-to-equity ratio and credit rating.
- The costs of doing a merger remain the same as in
prior versions, and no fees are incurred if the merger
has to be canceled because one of the two companies
(acquirer or target) already owns 100% of the other.
However, your company no longer will incur the full
costs if the merger is aborted, for any other reasons.
Only 20% of the full cost is incurred if two banks are
refused permission to merge, by bank regulators; only
40% of the full cost is incurred if shareholders
vote down the merger proposal; only 60% of the full
merger cost is incurred if a favorable shareholder
vote is obtained, but the merger is blocked on
anti-trust grounds; only 70% of the full cost is
incurred if other government agencies intervene at a
late stage to block the merger; and only 80% of the
full cost is incurred if divestment of a subsidiary is
required as a final condition to complete the merger,
but you refuse to agree to that condition. All merger
costs are paid by the company that proposed the merger.
- Banks, when buying loans, now have a choice of picking
corporate loans you wish to buy from a list of all bank
loans that are offered for sale. Not listed are loans
owed by any players, by companies that are controlled
by opposing players, loans held by banks controlled by
opposing players, loans held by certain small banks
(with business loan portfolios of $5 billion U.S. or
smaller, or equivalent in other currency, or which
hold only 5 or fewer loans). Also not shown are loans
that are available for purchase, but which are too
large for your bank to buy with its current cash
- More disclosures added, when an uncontrolled company
offers to merge with a company you own stock in, and
you are asked to vote on the merger: Included now, in
addition to the identity of the acquirer and its credit
rating, are its size (market cap) relative to that of
the target company, and the % of net worth at which its
stock is currently valued and, in some cases, disclosure
that the acquirer has large net operating loss (tax loss)
carryovers that might enable it to shelter the taxable
income of the target company, after a merger takeover.
2.21 -- Released: July 9, 2003 (Minor release)
- Added new protections for the "Computer" player, to
reduce its exposure to anti-trust suits, by divesting
itself of some of its companies in industries dominated
by companies controlled by the Computer player, in order
to reduce its dominance.
- Minor bug fixes, to refine "accrued tax" liability that
appears on corporations' balance sheets where groups of
corporations pay tax on a consolidated return basis, and
to correct a tax miscalculation that could occur in rare
situations, where a bank owned 80% or more of a profitable
- Added new (rare) economic scenarios, that can appear if
certain unusual econonic situations occur.
2.20 -- Released: June 30, 2003 (Major release)
- New version is compatible with versions 2.10 and 2.11
only, but not with game files saved by versions prior
to version 2.10.
- While the main screen user interface looks the same
as version 2.11, this is a major new release, with
a number of profound changes in the simulation. Some
you will like, others you may hate, if they plug up
your favorite "loophole" for making instant megabucks.
- Financial reporting has been significantly modified --
reported earnings (on which stock pricing is partly
based) now reflect a "provision for income taxes,"
rather than actual tax paid, as in real-world financial
accounting for tax expense. In addition, "extraordinary"
or "non-recurring" income or loss items, net of tax
effect, are not included in earnings -- stock prices,
to the extent based on earnings, are now based on a
company's "operating earnings" (although earnings
reports also will separately show the "extraordinary"
items, and the total earnings if extraordinary items
are added in). These changes will make it more difficult
to manipulate a company's stock price by incurring
one-time gains or losses (such as restructuring
expenses, or gains or losses when a company buys
back its own bonds below or above par, or when it
wins an antitrust lawsuit).
- The "computer" player has been completely revamped,
and made more active, smarter, and considerably
- The "Database Search" function has been improved,
thanks to a user suggestion, by no longer listing
and displaying a particular corporate bond issuer,
if there are none of that company's bonds in "public"
hands that you can buy. However, when stocks to buy
are listed, all that meet your search criteria will
be shown, even if none of the stock is held by the
public, since this new release now allows you to do
mergers with any company, even if it is 100% owned
by another corporation that no player controls.
- Now, if you receive a margin call, and will have to
sell stock(s) to raise cash, you are given a choice
of selecting which stock to sell, or else letting
the bank decide on which ones will be sold, randomly.
This courtesy is extended only if the margin call
comes when it is your turn -- otherwise, if it is
another player's turn at the time, the bank will
sell your stocks for you, without bothering to ask
which ones are to be sold.
- A new feature has been added, where companies with
poor credit ratings (D, C, or CC) may occasionally
seek to improve their balance sheets and avoid filing
bankruptcy, by attempting to swap 2 new bonds for
each 3 old bonds (or 1 for 2, in some cases), offering
a higher interest rate, in order to reduce the amount
of outstanding debt. Where you (the player) or a
company you control own some of the company's bonds,
you will be asked if you want to accept the tender
offer of the reduced amount of new bonds. Refusing
will cause the tender offer to be canceled.
- You can now determine, within limits, the percentage
premium you want to offer shareholders of the target
company when your acquiring company proposes a stock-
for-stock merger, generally anywhere from 5% to 100%
over the target company's current price per share. In
all previous versions, the program simply assumed you
were offering 20% over market price for the target. As
you might guess, the higher the premium you offer, the
more likely the public (and corporate) shareholders
will vote to approve the merger, unless your company
is nearly bankrupt, or is a minnow trying to merge
with a whale. However, if you already control the
target company, there is a conflict of interest, so
the underwriters do a "fairness" valuation study,
giving you a range of fair values, such as 6 to 10%
over market value, that you can offer to pay (in
stock) for the target company's stock.
- As in prior versions, all shares of the target in
a merger, if owned by an opposing player or his/her
companies, will be voted AGAINST a merger you propose
with a target company. Also, "neutral" corporate
shareholders (not controlled by any player) will
generally vote AGAINST, if the offer is at a market
premium of less than 20%, as in prior W$R versions.
However, if you offer 20% or more (the higher, the
better your chances), it is possible that some of
the target company's corporate shareholders, if it
has any, will vote their entire bloc of shares FOR
the merger. In fact, if you offer a 75% or greater
premium over current market price, ALL such
corporate shareholders will vote FOR the merger
(unless, of course, your acquiring company is
too small, or is nearly bankrupt). This means
that now, even if XYZ Bank is 100% owned by XYZ
Holding Company, you may be able to acquire
XYZ Bank in a merger, if you offer a high enough
price (at least 20%, more likely 40% or 50%)
to the corporate shareholder (XYZ Holding Company)
in the merger.
- More banking loopholes have been closed, making
it tough to almost instantly create a gigantic
bank that borrows gazillions in cheap interbank
loans and uses the cash to buy up gazillions of
corporate and other loans and bonds, with no limit.
In this new version, a bank that has a negative cash
balance can only borrow up to 2000 million (in
whatever currency) as interbank loans to cover its
deficit cash balance, generally.
If it still has a negative cash balance, it will
next automatically sell most of its government
bonds, and, if necessary, some of its mortgages
and consumer loans. If it still has a cash
deficit, it will then be forced to float an issue
of bonds to shore up its capital, if that is
possible (unless you control the bank). If doing a
bond offering isn't possible, or if the bank still
has a cash deficit after issuing bonds, it will
then take one or more other possible actions,
such as doing a public stock offering (unless a
player controls the bank), selling off shares of
any stocks it owns, and calling in up to 10% of
all its business loans to players and corporations.
If, after all that, it still has a cash deficit,
the bank will then be forced to sell off randomly
selected business loans, one at a time, to other
banks, if it can find buyers.
- Thus, if you set up a small new bank, make yourself
a loan customer, then borrow a large sum from it,
and it has negative cash after making the loan
to you (which can be as much as 25% of its loan
portfolio), it will find the cash somehow, by going
through all the steps described in the above
paragraph, after first borrowing up to 2000 M. from
another bank as an interbank loan. And if it can't
find the cash by any of the above (legitimate) means,
and still has a negative cash balance, it will pay
interest at 8% over the LIBOR rate on the negative
balance (borrowing from the Mob). In short, you will
no longer be able to instantly grow a bank to a vast
size by simply borrowing infinite amounts as interbank
loans. It's getting tougher and tougher to make an
- Plugged another major loophole: Gains or losses on
bond buy-backs by corporations are now treated as
"extraordinary" income or loss, rather than operating
income items. Thus, manipulating the market price of
a company's bonds can still be profitable, but will
no longer affect "operating income" and will not have
nearly as much effect on the stock price of the company
that earns the gain.
- Added new "Suppress Popups" item to "Options Menu."
Toggle this setting on or off, as you prefer, to
suppress or not suppress little popup news items about
companies you control or the current "active entity."
This can be handy, if you own a large number of companies,
and are annoyed by too-frequent news items about your
companies popping up. (Does not suppress major news
announcements, such as bank failures, economic news,
or a new earnings release for the current "active
2.11 -- Released: April 28, 2003 (Minor release)
- New version is file compatible with version 2.10 only,
but not with game files saved by versions prior to
- HTML files for strategy manual in "full package" version
have been replaced with new .CHM type (searchable) files.
- Minor bug fix, regarding treatment of interbank loans,
when one bank is liquidated into another.
2.10 -- Released: March 6, 2003 (Major release)
- Note: New version is NOT file-compatible with data
files of games saved by prior versions, due to the
expansion of the simulation and of its database
that must be saved to disk when saving a game in
- (Bottom line: You won't be able to replay those
old games where you made a quadrillion $$ by
exploiting some loophole in W$R that is now closed.
This new version closes a lot of those "loopholes.")
- Major new feature: Earnings projections are now
available for the coming quarter for all corporations
(but are not always accurate, as in the real world,
especially for complex companies with many
subsidiary holdings). Projections are updated 2
or 3 times each quarter, or after major corporate
transactions, disasters, and after each quarterly
- Bank lending practices have been curbed. Banks may
now no longer extend credit to a company (even if
you control both bank and borrower) in an amount in
excess of the greater of $10,000 million U.S. or 25%
of the bank's total loan portfolio. A loan that
comes to exceed those two limits will be frozen, and
a bank will begin calling in part of its largest
such loan, as required by government "bank examiners."
Thus, if you have plans to borrow huge sums, you
may want to change your banking relationship to
a very large bank, one that can lend you up to 25% of
its loan portfolio total, where that amount is much
more than $10 billion U.S. (or equivalent in other
currency you may have selected for W$R). Otherwise
(for large corporations), you may need to rely more
on bond market financing, instead of bank loans.
- The size (capitalization) of banks at the start of the
game has been considerably enlarged, to more closely
reflect real world market conditions.
- As requested by users, the Database Search (DB Search)
routine has been beefed up to provide detailed info
on corporate bond issues, to make it easier to do
bond research. Bond issues displayed by the search
screen now show issuer's name, date due, interest
rate (coupon rate), yield to maturity, credit rating,
the total size of each bond issue, and the amount of
each issue that is available for purchase from the
"public" bondholders (i.e., not held by players or
banks or insurance companies).
- Numerous new product liability scenarios have
been added, for companies in 16 industry groups.
- If a company seeks to merge with a company in which
you (or a company you control) owns any stock, during
your turn, you will be asked if you want to vote the
shares you control for or against the merger/takeover.
- New feature attempts to "read your mind" and anticipate
what company's stock or bonds you intend to buy, or
which company you intend to take over in a merger,
file suit against, buy assets from, or so on. The
program will "guess" the identity of the targeted
company (based on whichever company you have just
finished researching) and will insert its stock
symbol in the input area of the stock selection
dialog, so that you only have to click on "OK" if
the program has "guessed" your intentions correctly.
- When a new bank is created, it automatically tries
to buy loans from other banks with a good portion of
its injected capital. In this new release, where a
new bank acquires any "D"-rated loans, it will do so
at a discount of 30% to 80% below the face value of
the loan (depending on how "sick" the borrower is).
The seller will get the bad loan off its books, but
will incur a charge to its bad debt reserve. The new
bank that is buying the "D"-rated loans at a discount
will set up a bad debt reserve for 30% to 50% of the
newly acquired (troubled) loans.
- Added new "ethical choice" scenarios that may pop up
(if you are playing with "Cheat Mode" on) when you
try to do certain transactions, such as mergers or
2.03 -- Released: January 12, 2003 (Major release)
- File-compatible with games saved from versions 1.13
- New button command, "Tax Basis Info," has been added
to the "ENTITY INFO" submenu. Appears when the current
"active entity" is you, the player. Click on it to see
the tax basis (cost, with certain adjustments) of all
the stocks and bonds you own directly.
- The "Sell Stock" feature has been modified so that if
you (the player) are the seller, the list of your stocks
that will be displayed for you to select from when you
click on the "Sell Stock" button will show the cost
("tax basis") of each stock in your portfolio.
- The "Sell Corporate Bonds" feature (on the "BUY/SELL"
Transactions submenu) has been modified so that if a
player or a bank or insurer controlled by the player
wishes to sell corporate bonds, the list of bonds to
select from that will be displayed will now show the
cost (adjusted "tax basis") of each bond holding in
the bond portfolio of the selling player, bank or
- The W$R "help" files text, and the W$R strategy manual
HTML files have been updated to reflect all updates in
W$R through the date of this release.
- Stock pricing for bank stocks has been modified to
make it more difficult to drastically manipulate the
stock price of a controlled bank.
- Banks with credit ratings of BB or worse now pay more
than the LIBOR rate on interbank borrowings, up to 3.25%
above LIBOR rate for banks with worst credit ratings.
- Added feature to "Startup" function, to immediately split
the stock price to less than 125.00, when starting up a
new company with a very large capitalization.
- Rules changed for non-taxable liquidations: If the
parent company is a bank or insurance company, and the
subsidiary to be liquidated owns stock of the parent
company, it will be required to divest (sell) the parent
company stock before the liquidation can go forward.
The same rule now applies even if the parent company is
not a bank or insurance company, if the liquidating
company owns 20% or more of the parent company's stock.
2.02 -- Released: December 26, 2002 (Minor release)
- File-compatible with games saved from versions 1.13
- Registered version now captures name of licensed
owner, and registration number, storing it for you
for future reference, when you request updates
during the 12 months after purchase. (Click on
"Help/About" menu item to see your registration
info, any time after you have entered it.)
- "Industry Summary" and "Industry Projection" screens
have been expanded to show more information, per user
requests, and to also show, in Industry Summary and
Portfolio Listing screens, the current Buy/Sell
advice from "analysts."
- Numerous minor changes include a pop-up message
any time anything significant is announced in the
news that affects any company you control, or the
current "active entity" company.
- New disaster scenario added: government defaults
on treasury bonds, in certain dire economic
2.01 -- Released: December 18, 2002 (Minor release)
- File-compatible with games saved from versions 1.13
- Tax rules tightened up on liquidations, to close a
"loophole," where a holding / trading company with tax
losses could change its business by acquiring a subsidiary
(which is not also a holding / trading company) and
liquidating it, in order to enter the subsidiary company's
industry group. Now, such a change of business will cause
the parent company to lose its tax loss carryovers, due to
the "change of business."
- Added another level of Analyst's Ratings: "Strong Sell"
- Added more "advisories" to pop-up transaction submenus,
suggesting stocks or specific bonds to sell, or
recommending stocks to buy.
- Minor bug fixes.
2.00 -- Released: November 26, 2002 (VERY major release)
- File-compatible with games saved from versions 1.13
and 1.14 (only).
- Major overhaul of the main screen's user interface.
- Greatly sped up operation of the program, by
combining all the main elements of the program
into a single program file. Previous versions
required a second or so to load the "Transactions
Menu" program, with large amounts of data written
back and forth to disk, which slowed performance
on computers with older, slower hard disks. We've
obtained an upgraded language compiler now that
allowed us to combine the transactions segment with
the rest of W$R, to make one large .EXE file now,
with no delays on accessing or returning from
doing transactions, a major improvement.
- Added a new research feature, a diagram screen for
any selected player or company, which shows in
graphic format all the stocks owned by the player
or company, and, for companies, all of its
shareholders, with the percentage ownership of
each holding or holder. You can quickly skim
through a chain of ownership just by clicking
on any companies shown on the diagram screen.
- New popup menus are available, for General Research
functions and Entity Research (about the currently
selected active entity), as well as for various
groupings of transactions -- Trading, Management,
Financing, and Other. Each contains text displays
with useful information, such as earnings trends
for the active entity if it is a corporation, or
estimated income tax information for the player.
The General Research popup menu contains a text
box with a discussion of "Industry Outlook" trends
for the currently selected industry, as well as a
discussion of the general economic trend and
central bank monetary policy.
- Added occasional "Advisory" suggestions in the text
boxes that appear on each of the pop-up transactions
menus, such as warnings when bonds held are in default,
or when a stock holding is near bankruptcy.
- Updated currency conversion rate of Euro to 1:1
with U.S. dollar, as the Euro has risen substantially
against the dollar since W$R was introduced a year ago.
- New "ethics" scenario added for Biotech Industry.
- Added restraints on government bond purchases, to
raise/lower purchase price in the event of massive
purchases or sales. (And limit purchases to the
amount of existing government debt available.)
- Bank or insurance company that is bankrupted by
asbestos litigation is now (usually) freed of any
further asbestos liability after the bankruptcy.
- Made changes in announced GDP (economic) growth rate
less frequent, announced only once a month, usually.
- Modified company "Research Reports" by adding a
disclosure where the company's union employees
are currently on strike.
- Modified "Database Search" screen to replace the
SmallCap/MidCap/BigCap search parameter. Now,
instead of accepting the 3 size categories, you
are able to enter a minimum and a maximum size
of capitalization. For example, you can search
for only those companies with a minimum market
cap of $600 million and a maximum cap of $900
million, by entering those search parameters.
- Made major changes in the corporate "Liquidation" feature
of the program, including:
- Instead of having a parent company, as the
"active entity," select a 100%-owned subsidiary
to liquidate, now you simply click either of two
"Liquidation" buttons to begin the procedure of
liquidating the currently selected active entity.
If it can't be liquidated into a parent company
that owns all of its stock (a nontaxable
liquidation), you will be asked if you want to
do a taxable liquidation. Or, you can choose to
do a taxable liquidation, by clicking on "Taxable
Liquidation," rather than "Tax-Free Liquidation."
- Under new rules, a bank or insurance company
can now be liquidated, but only in a nontaxable
liquidation by another bank or insurance company
(in the same industry) that owns all of its stock.
- A holding company can now be liquidated, in a
nontaxable liquidation, into ANY corporation that
owns 100% of its stock (even if the parent is a
bank or insurance company). But tax loss carryovers,
if any, of the holding company will be lost on the
- The program now allows for a "TAXABLE" liquidation
of any corporation except a bank or insurance
company, if you control the company (even if there
is no 100% shareholder). In a "taxable" liquidation,
the industrial or holding company must sell off any
stocks or capital assets it owns, and pay off any
bonds it has issued, before the liquidation can be
completed, reducing all its assets to cash, which is
then used to pay off any bank loans or accrued income
taxes, before the cash is distributed to all its
stockholders in proportion to their ownership
percentage. Any tax loss carryovers of the company
that is liquidated will be lost. In addition, any
individual shareholders (players) will recognize a
capital gain or loss when they receive cash for their
stock, so it is a taxable event for them. (But no
gain or loss is recognized by corporate owners of
the stock of the company being liquidated, as there
is no capital gains tax on corporations in W$R.)
- A new "Updates" menu item has been added to the
"OPTIONS" menu on the main W$R screen. Simply
click on this menu item to load your browser and
go to this page on the Web to see if there is a
newer version of W$R than the one you are using,
with a link to download the latest shareware version,
or to order the latest registered version.
1.14 -- Released: August 24, 2002.
- (Details of this and all prior releases are available upon request.)
1.13 -- Released: July 22, 2002.
1.12 -- Released: July 15, 2002.
1.11 -- Released: July 1, 2002.
1.10 -- Released: June 18, 2002.
1.01P -- Released: May 22, 2002.
1.01O -- Released: April 18, 2002.
1.01N -- Released: March 15, 2002.
1.01M -- Released: February 20, 2002.
1.01L -- Released: February 07, 2002.
1.01K -- Released: January 19, 2002.
1.01J -- Released: January 9, 2002.
1.01I -- Released: January 2, 2002.
1.01H -- Released: December 20, 2001.
1.01G -- Released: December 11, 2001.
1.01F -- Released: December 4, 2001.
1.01E -- Released: November 30, 2001.
1.01D -- Released: Noveember 25, 2001.
1.01C -- Released: November 21, 2001.
1.01B -- Released: November 12, 2001.
1.01A -- Released: November 1, 2001 -- Initial Windows version
ANNOUNCING.... The electronic book, "WALL STREET RAIDER --
THE BOOK," a strategy manual in the form of HTML files,
which can be viewed directly from Wall Street Raider's
"Options" menu, is now available for purchase online,
for $15.00 (U.S.) at:
(Note: You must have a web browser installed, and the
registered version of Wall Street Raider software, to
view the electronic book, which consists of HTML and
graphics image files. ALSO INCLUDED in this package
is the "Customizer" utility program, that lets you customize
W$R company names, symbols, and country where a corporation
is based, for all companies in the simulation.)