Re: Floating Markets Revisited

Scott Turner (
Fri, 26 Aug 1994 08:54:06 -0700

>If [price changes] are large enough as to significantly impact on
>strategy, then they are large enough for manipulation to be

I'm not sure what this means, if anything. It's hard for me to
understand what your point is when you simply make a flat statement
that is clearly false.

The fact that the price for wood can swing from 5-75 gold based on
supply and demand will certainly have a significant impact on the
game, but by no means does that mean that manipulation will be
worthwhile. It may be that manipulating the market takes too long, or
costs too much. Or that the profit margin from market manipulation is
low in comparison to other ways of making money.

Has no one on this list studied economics? Beyond playing Supremacy,
I mean? By no means would I call myself an expert, but I certainly
don't have this unreasoned fear of a floating market. A floating
market doesn't increase the chance of market manipulation, it
decreases it. As the Olympia system stands right now, you can shuttle
12 linen between Aethelarn and Newleaf endlessly, earning 180 gold a
trip. Despite the continuous demand for linen, Aethelarn will
continue to sell it at 35 gold, and despite the constant supply,
Newleaf will buy it at 50 gold. Now *that's* market manipulation.

All a floating market will do will be to slowly drive up the cost of
linen in Aethelarn and slowly bring it down in Newleaf. With upper
and lower limits on the prices, and limits on the number of goods
produced, the profit potential is strictly bounded to whatever the
game designer desires. There's no danger of "manipulation" resulting
in some player becoming ridiculously wealthy. If you doubt this, I
encourage you to play with the model I posted and see for yourself.

If this model can be manipulated, then please point out how. I'm very
interested in that, if it is true.

-- Scott T.

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