I could operate trains
It turns out that I could have been the operator of the East Coast rail franchise.
What I mean is that the operator of this important rail service is not National Express Group, which is what many of us naively thought, but a so-called special purpose vehicle with only a limited financial connection to the well-known listed transport group.
So if I'd shown a bit of imagination a few years ago, perhaps I could have persuaded a few banks to lend a few tens of millions of pounds to PestieCo - my own special purpose vehicle - and then PestieCo could have offered to pay the government £1.4bn in instalments to operate a major rail service for seven years.
Here's my reason for thinking this idea isn't as absurd as it sounds. It's an extract from National Express's trading statement today.
"Under the DfT's [Department For Transport's] model for franchise bidding, the Group's financial obligations under the East Coast franchise are strictly limited. Like all rail franchises, NXEC [National Express East Coast] is a special purpose vehicle, set up to meet the DfT's requirement as a standalone legal entity, with its own assets, management team and franchise agreement with the DfT. National Express is not a party to, or a guarantor of, NXEC's obligations under the East Coast franchise agreement."
What that means is that the parent company, National Express, has very limited financial exposure to the losses being incurred by NXEC, the holder of the East Coast franchise - and believes it can hand back the franchise to the government with near impunity.
These are the relevant numbers.
National Express has made a £40m subordinated loan to NXEC and has also provided a £32m performance bond to it.
What this means is that once NXEC's losses have reached £72m, that's the end of National Express's financial responsibility for the business.
At that point, the parent company can return the franchise to the government and incur no further losses.
And, according to advice National Express has received from leading counsel, in handing back the franchise National Express as a group would not be in default on the contract with the DfT, even though NXEC would clearly be in default.
Which is highly relevant, because it means - according to legal advice received by the company - that the government would have no right to take back the other two profitable rail franchises operated by National Express (East Anglia and c2c).
So the government doesn't seem to have much of a stick with which to beat National Express.
Although the transport secretary, Lord Adonis, implied on the Today programme that he did think he could get those other franchises back. So maybe there will be a punch up in the courts about all this.
Lord Adonis also said that there would be a new tender for the East Coast line, as and when he has it back - which will be before the end of the year.
And he thinks the market for such franchises is lively and buoyant.
If he doesn't lose hundreds of millions on the new auction, then maybe the UK isn't experiencing its worst recession for decades.
Update, 11:19: I have learned that last night Lord Adonis rejected an offer by National Express to pay "well over £100m" to terminate the east coast franchise on a consensual basis.
This termination agreement was negotiated between National Express and Department for Transport officials and was "ready to sign", according to a source.
However Lord Adonis, the transport secretary, refused to sign as a matter of principle, in that he does not want to be seen to be renegotiating the terms of rail franchise agreements.
What this means is that the government may instead receive no more than £72m from National Express, which - as I explained earlier - is the financial guarantee provided by National Express to the special purpose vehicle that holds the franchise.
Some will wonder why Lord Adonis has apparently reduced the potential compensation for taxpayers from the termination of this important rail deal.