Jack Vance: Sanatoris Short-cut (1948)

Quotes:

Magnus Ridolph often found himself in want for money, for his expenditures were large and he had no regular income. With neither natural diligence nor any liking for routine, he was forced to cope with each ebb of his credit balance as it occurred, a fact which suited him perfectly. In his brain an exact logical mechanism worked side by side with a projective faculty ranging the infinities of time and space, and this natural endowment he used not only to translate fact from and into mathematics, but also to maintain his financial solvency.

In the course of the years he had devised a number of money-making techniques. The first of these was profoundly simple. Surveying the world about him, he would presently observe a lack or an imperfection. A moment's thought would suggest an improvement, and in repairing the universe, Magnus Ridolph usually repaired his credit balance.

Startling Stories, September 1948: contents

Startling Stories, September 1948: pages 112-113

Full story on the Internet Archive:

https://archive.org/details/Startling_Stories_v18n01_1948-09_Gorgon776/page/n113