Archive for Economics

China bans gold farming

Posted in Government, Piracy with tags , , , , on June 30, 2009 by Bradley Hall

Gold, gil, republic credits, whatever the currency is in your Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, odds are you’ve come across gold farmers.

Gold farmers are typically those characters who have a “board smash” name like “XXyyzzz” and do nothing but fish, or fight rare monsters, or something else that generates a ton of in-game currency. These people then sell the gold they obtain via their playing to other players. Of course, people often sell their gold to the gold farmers as well.

In ever MMO I’ve ever played, this was against the terms of service as it made the game unfair to those who did not have buckets of real world money to use to buy in-game money so they could purchase things like the Lizard Harness Set +1.

The majority of the farmers are in Asia, mostly Korea. However, according to Information Week, China has banned gold farming.

“Since 2007, virtual money trading has drawn official attention, with the government demanding tighter controls as such trading became an avenue for gambling and illicit trade.

Under the new rules, using virtual money for gambling will be punished by public security authorities, and minors may not buy virtual money.

The Ministry of Culture also vowed to step up supervision on money laundering via virtual credits and other illegal online activities.” – From the press release issued by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

Information week article

Ministry of Commerce press release.


The new Neuroeconomists

Posted in Economy with tags , on October 29, 2008 by Bradley Hall

The BBC reported yesterday of a new, growing field: Neuroeconomy.

Neuroeconomists are, according to the BBC, “researchers who study the brain, hormones and nervous system in search of an explanation of our behaviour as investors and shoppers.”

One of the earliest neuroeconomists was former New York floor manager Dr. John Coates. “They [traders] were displaying classic symptoms of mania,” he says.”They were overconfident, they had racing thoughts, they had diminished need for sleep and heightened sexual appetite.”

Steven Levitt Lecture

Posted in Commentary, Economy with tags on October 29, 2008 by Bradley Hall

*None of the photos I took of the event turned out good enough to be included on this site, this is his file photo from his official website*

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing famed economist Steven Levitt at the UNF Arena.

He spoke about his book, Freakonomics, a little about what drove him to become an economist, and about his next book, tentatively titled Superfreakonomics.

He related the story of how at his 20 year high school reunion, he sought out his old AP Calculus teacher to see if he would remember him. Upon finding him, it took a few minutes to place Mr. Levitt. “You’re the guy who got a 2 on an AP Calculus exam!” the old teacher exclaimed.

And he was right.

Mr. Levitt wasn’t good at math, but fought hard to make it through MIT. His father imparted these words of wisdom which would guide the younger Levitt along his path of finding the link between abortion and crime rates, as well as corruption in sumo wrestling:

“If you have no talent, try to be good at what everyone else is ashamed of.”

His father, a world-renowned expert in intestinal gasses, clearly used that motto in his professional life.

That’s not to say that either of them are without talent, for it took immense talent to get where they are in life.

I was hoping though, that Mr. Levitt would speak a little about the current economic situation in the United States, but, as I should have remembered, that’s not his field. He is more concerned with what everyone else ignores.

As always, the link to the Freakonomics blog is at the right, and his official website is here.

A note

Posted in Economy with tags on October 28, 2008 by Bradley Hall

This evening I will be attending a lecture by Steven Levitt, the economist who was part of the Freakonomics team. I hope to post highlights of the lecture here on this blog.

Details of the bailout package

Posted in Economy with tags on October 4, 2008 by Bradley Hall

Now, shortly after the bailout package has been approved, certain truths have been popping out about it. It contains an insane number of earmarks, money set aside for projects that have nothing to do with a bailout of Wall Street. What do children’s wooden arrows have to do with this?

House passes bailout bill this time

Posted in Economy with tags on October 3, 2008 by Bradley Hall

The House passed the new and improved bailout bill by a vote of 263-171.

America is now $700 billion poorer.

House to start voting on the new bailout bill

Posted in Economy with tags on October 3, 2008 by Bradley Hall

After the Senate pass the newest version of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill, it’s now the House’s turn to vote.

Earlier, the House voted 228-205 against the $700 billion dollar bailout of AIG and several other investment firms by buying “troubled assets.”

Either way this goes, the losers are the people.