In the previous season of Billions, Taylor leaves the Axe Capital after getting fed up with all the lies, deceptions, corruption, and illicit activities [that Axe was up to] to profit.
Another reason was Axe’s obsession with getting even with Chuck was drastically affecting the former’s judgment, which made Taylor feel that they were far more evolved as a person and do much better than Axe Capital itself.
What did Axe do to Taylor?
After this, Axe deals a serious blow to Taylor by ensuring the Korean company [Taylor had invested in] goes bankrupt.
By virtue of which even Mason capital becomes insolvent. This forced them to come back to Axe Capital as the only way to maintain their reputation and not go bust.
How did it all happen?
Axe has a love interest Rebecca, and they decide to invest in a Korean company together, Taylor has an inkling about this and has a source who discloses this deal to Taylor.
Taylor leaks some damaging information about the company in the public domain, stating it uses “child labor’. This is a huge hit and the deal tanks.
Now to keep Rebecca’s company alive, Axe decides to invest in another similar appliances company as the lead as Rebecca is overleveraged and can’t afford it herself. It’s a 6 billion dollar deal to save Rebeca’s company, Sailors.
Rebeca now tries a safety move by discussing with Taylor to bring them on board. She does so to ensure that her company doesn’t get caught up again between Taylor and Axe’s rivalry, and hence “tying Taylor to any future suffering to prevent it.”
Rebecca tells Axe she cut a deal with Taylor and now doesn’t need him to buy the Korean company to keep the ‘Sailors’ going. Victor, one of Axe’s close aids, brings to him crucial information that Sailors have always had some very toxic debt, which was not known to most people.
It is for Axe to decide how to move on this information. Wagner warns Axe that the collateral damage of acting on this information [just to finally see the blood seeping out of Taylor’s armor on the battlefield] may be fatal to his relationship with Rebecca.
To which Axe replies, “Well if I’m not, then why am I still wearing my armor?” Wags, like a true lieutenant, replies, “Anything I can do to help ?”
Axe’s Plan – Fatal Blow to Taylor
He asks Rebecca for a favor — to take Wendy on a day trip to get her mind off her medical license troubles.
When she returns a day later for the Sailors board meeting, she discovers Axe made a deal behind her back. It was with long-time investing Moghul – Stanford Bensinger that Sailors’ profitable parts will all be chopped off and sold off. All the real estate will be liquidated.
Now the next move hit Taylor’s Achilles heel, all of Sailors debt would be dumped on to Cling’s [the Korean company Taylor had invested in] balance sheet. Then that company would be put into chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Since Taylor is the majority owner of Cling – Taylor Mason Capital would instantly lose 750 million USD. When word of that gets out, all the investors would want to bail on them, and this would end up making Mason Capital insolvent.
Axe asks Chuck to arrest Taylor but not charge them so he can strong-arm Taylor to rejoining Axe capital again. He appreciates Taylors acumen as the best he’s seen in the last two decades.
Billions is an American drama created by Brian Koppelman, David Levien, and Andrew Ross Sorkin. The series is set in financial centres based in America.
The series follows hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), as he accumulates wealth and power in the world of high finance. The series premiered on Showtime on January 17, 2016.