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Bartholomew Roberts

Market Regulation or Market Manipulation?

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Hello again. Today I'm bringing you some more data, done with a little basic math and too much free time.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QVXITPlUQ9MFm0eMic-3g08vCLcws3LYDzgASWbFSUA/edit?usp=sharing

Explanation: Sheepy has been purchasing resources from the market from players mostly utilizing cash that was not generated naturally (via in-game mechanics). He's purchased somewhere under $3 billion worth of resources. I have calculated the income his nation has generated via the Gross Income Calculator and his nation age, so admittedly there is likely a margin of error for any past trades he's made selling resources but I still feel confident in my numbers given his nation has 2 cities.

 

Biased opinion: Sheepy should not be purchasing resources from cash not generated naturally. It's effectively throwing free money at whoever he purchases from. There are also several other factors that make me feel uneasy about this:

- The amount given to certain alliances, some of which are actively recovering from war.

- The price per unit discrepancy between certain trades made at the same time for the same resource.

- There are certain nations (Verduras from TFP is the extreme offender here) that are massively personally benefiting from these trades, let alone their alliances.

 

I would prefer a more evenly distributed economic stimulus if that is our Overlord's intent.

 

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Printing more money is actually the solution to financial collapses like we are currently experiencing in game, we are essentially experiencing hyper-deflation of the currency. Although I disagree with printing money to trade with specific alliances as it seems unfair

 

If he wants to devalue the currency he could do it a lot more fairly by buffing commerce so then everyone feels the benefit rather than just the select few massive alliances.

 

But then again, it is better to act than to not act.

Edited by Machiavelli
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Just now, Migraine d'al Braskia said:

And the problem is where exactly?

I think the post intention is tell “this current market problem is created by players political sphere” and Alex shouldn’t intervene also as highlighted about TFP, which is unfair. 

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I am in full agreement with you, trying to "fix" perceived (and transient) market failings has only created greater distortions in the market. In fact most of the faults in economy can be traced to the fact that changes with long term effects have been used to "fix" inherently short term problems. By creating a constantly moving target it should be no shock that the economy is subject to wild fluctuations. The best thing that can be done is to wait until a stable market has been reached and then look at potential changes

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Sheepy can trade with me any time 😘

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9 minutes ago, Machiavelli said:

Printing more money is actually the solution to financial collapses like we are currently experiencing in game, we are essentially experiencing hyper-deflation of the currency. Although I disagree with printing money to trade with specific alliances as it seems unfair

 

If he wants to devalue the currency he could do it a lot more fairly by buffing commerce so then everyone feels the benefit rather than just the select few massive alliances.

 

But then again, it is better to act than to not act.

I'm not against what he's done, nor do I think acting is bad. I support Alex's attempts to help.

9 minutes ago, Migraine d'al Braskia said:

And the problem is where exactly?

The problem comes in with the distribution of the money.

Verduras (a single nation in TFP) has made hundreds of millions off of Alex buying his trades. TKR and CoS, both inhabiting the same political sphere currently, had a billion dollar stimulus dropped on them by the game Admin.

In our politicized world, giving large benefits to one side or the other can tip the scales. I'm just arguing for fairness, not necessarily inaction. However, I recognize that's my biased opinion.

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I wouldn't be free money if it's a fair trade. The only problem would be the resources lost if Sheepy doesn't put that res back in the market, so he's basically permanently turning x amount of res into cash. For all we know, that could be his goal.

The nations doing the trades with sheepy don't gain anything more than the market price if I'm not mistaken. 

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I have no issue with this as a temporary solution provided that the following ideas are considered.

1. Alex should always buy/sell at the best going rate

2. Embargoes should be ignored

3. Alex should decide on what his end result looks like prior to starting a purchase program, aka does he want 5,000 Manu for each dollar or cash, or some other ratio/limit. This should not be public. 

4. Purchases should be at random times for random amounts as not to gamify or encourage market abuse.

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Or maybe we can just kind of accept the resources market for what it is: a good time to invest in commerce. And buy resources. With money generated by said commerce. The market is 100% a creation of the players, our actions and our decisions, Anyone that doesn't adapt to the market has no-one to blame but themselves, while anyone that does can and should reap the rewards of their diligence and competence. There's no such thing as homelessness, unemployment, malnutrition or any of the other catastrophic symptoms of a failing market or poverty, so there's no humanitarian reason to engage in artificial market corrections. IRL is a very different matter but this game is very simple and the mechanics will easily self-correct. Just go commerce, and ride the money train until everyone's done that and the market stabilizes. Join now, the later you adapt the less you gain

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9 minutes ago, Frawley said:

I have no issue with this as a temporary solution provided that the following ideas are considered.

1. Alex should always buy/sell at the best going rate

2. Embargoes should be ignored

3. Alex should decide on what his end result looks like prior to starting a purchase program, aka does he want 5,000 Manu for each dollar or cash, or some other ratio/limit. This should not be public. 

4. Purchases should be at random times for random amounts as not to gamify or encourage market abuse.

My concern is that any such market manipulation (though the above rules do improve the situation marginally) can cause even more distortion in the market, and when such programs end, the correction would be worse than if nothing was done. The way I see it is that such programs will start to create a bubble that Sheepy will have to keep pumping up to keep the market from crashing back to reality. The other thing that we have to consider is that changes to nations can basically be put into place instantly meaning that trying to force an artificial market equilibrium mandates, in effect a vicious cycle until the bubble that was created bursts. If Sheepy really wants to rationalize the economy, the best thing he can do is to keep his hands off it and allow it to seek equilibrium. Only when that happens can rational long-term economic decisions be made   

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@Alex Please explain this in your own view *with no lies and more being true to what were all seeing*

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16 minutes ago, Madden8021 said:

@Alex Please explain this in your own view *with no lies and more being true to what were all seeing*

See you in the ban appeals.

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Others have tried to run up the markets too (remember global manipulator, still got embargoes from it, lol).  It's common and $3b isn't *that much*.  Plus I applaud his active admin'ing, it's better to try and fail than just let things get worse.

The market over-supply issue is a game mechanic problem though, not a political problem.  It was inevitable.  In the early days people would still sell goods below the actual cost to make them (upkeep/raw).  This isn't a new problem.  But we certainly have a much more complex system with 10,000+ nations.

Most likely to late to late to fix it and the warchests are too large now.  It doesn't end the game - it changes it.  It remains to be seen how alliances adapt to this as some of the conventions for not letting warchests get out of control are very frowned upon in PW it seems.

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3 hours ago, Sir Scarfalot said:

Or maybe we can just kind of accept the resources market for what it is: a good time to invest in commerce. And buy resources. With money generated by said commerce. The market is 100% a creation of the players, our actions and our decisions, Anyone that doesn't adapt to the market has no-one to blame but themselves, while anyone that does can and should reap the rewards of their diligence and competence. There's no such thing as homelessness, unemployment, malnutrition or any of the other catastrophic symptoms of a failing market or poverty, so there's no humanitarian reason to engage in artificial market corrections. IRL is a very different matter but this game is very simple and the mechanics will easily self-correct. Just go commerce, and ride the money train until everyone's done that and the market stabilizes. Join now, the later you adapt the less you gain

Agreed, not to mention if we focused on commerce, that would cause less production, and therefore an increase in value of said resources. 

Edited by Gatorcock
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3 hours ago, Alex said:

I didn't have too specific of any intent here; I was just seeing how the market would react to large reductions in total resources available.

Ah, sorry for bothering you about that then.

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9 hours ago, Alex said:

I didn't have too specific of any intent here; I was just seeing how the market would react to large reductions in total resources available.

My method more or less did follow the rules @Frawley laid out above, and I don't believe that I've done anything unfair here. A few times now I've just thrown ~$1b into my nation, picked a few random resources, bought as many of the trade offers available as I could in a very short period of time (without notifying anyone ahead of time) and then remove the resources from my nation.

The people selling the resources got a fair price (whatever they were asking) and some resources were removed from the game. There were temporary fluctuations in the going-rates of resource prices, but the overall quantity of resources I bought was very small relative to the total quantities in the game, and prices rebounded pretty quickly (8-24 hours?)

I was having a bit of fun and experimenting with the market; now that everyone more-or-less knows about what I was up to, I'll stop.

 

While you may not feel what you did is unfair, that doesn't necessarily make it right.

By buying those resources at their asking price, essentially you have compensated the sellers more than they might actually get, as someone else may have put more stuff on the market at a lower price, had you not bought it.

Only players should have had an effect on the market and the LIVE game is not your place to have fun and experiment. In addition, certain alliances have benefited significantly more than others.

You made a mistake, own up, and fix it instead of stopping just because "everyone knows about it".

The way to fix it would be either to:

1) Reverse the purchases that you made

2) Put the resources you bought back on the market

The first proposal reverses the benefit the sellers may have had, although they got to enjoy some excess spending cash for some time.

The second, while not affecting the people who benefited will put the market essentially in the condition it would have been, had you not interfered.

 

Let the market and war-build cycles drive the market, and work on some game mechanics to fix the market long term, as opposed to cosmetic changes to maps and graphs.

 

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11 hours ago, Alex said:

I didn't have too specific of any intent here; I was just seeing how the market would react to large reductions in total resources available.

My method more or less did follow the rules @Frawley laid out above, and I don't believe that I've done anything unfair here. A few times now I've just thrown ~$1b into my nation, picked a few random resources, bought as many of the trade offers available as I could in a very short period of time (without notifying anyone ahead of time) and then remove the resources from my nation.

The people selling the resources got a fair price (whatever they were asking) and some resources were removed from the game. There were temporary fluctuations in the going-rates of resource prices, but the overall quantity of resources I bought was very small relative to the total quantities in the game, and prices rebounded pretty quickly (8-24 hours?)

I was having a bit of fun and experimenting with the market; now that everyone more-or-less knows about what I was up to, I'll stop.

If it’s a one-time experiment, that seems fine. The amounts aren’t drastic and the resources lost obviously aren’t going to be missed. I just wanted to provide transparency with the data and help fully visualize the distribution of money.

I tend to agree with the majority here that active administration of the game is highly preferred to the alternatives.

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Alex buy my food at above market value too please. Had I known you would create money that didn't exist to give to people who couldn't sell I would have participated instead of waiting and saving for the cycles in price war inevitably brings like everyone else except a select few. Why participate in game economics when I can have Alex make them up for me?

Edited by James II
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18 hours ago, Bartholomew Roberts said:

[...]

Verduras (a single nation in TFP) has made hundreds of millions off of Alex buying his trades. TKR and CoS, both inhabiting the same political sphere currently, had a billion dollar stimulus dropped on them by the game Admin.

 

Yes, we are blessed.

327c86821a20db40.png

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Either that or certain unknown reasons could have influenced people to post trades magically in response to higher than usual buying activity, while Alex may think he was making a fair random purchase.

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3 hours ago, James II said:

Alex buy my food at above market value too please. Had I known you would create money that didn't exist to give to people who couldn't sell I would have participated instead of waiting and saving for the cycles in price war inevitably brings like everyone else except a select few. Why participate in game economics when I can have Alex make them up for me?

That's the thing, no one knew, no one willingly participated.

6 minutes ago, Soxirella said:

Either that or certain unknown reasons could have influenced people to post trades magically in response to higher than usual buying activity, while Alex may think he was making a fair random purchase.

The whole thing took about 1-2 minutes to go to the trade page and spam click accept on trade offers until I was out of money. At any given time, there are 100-200 people online in-game, and I don't think they spent their time watching my trading activity during that 120 second period.

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