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Financial Meltdown: The Card Game

by JakeS Thu May 13th, 2010 at 10:37:28 PM EST

(C) European Tribune, 2010, all rights reserved, etc.

Setup


  1. Take one set of ordinary playing cards (preferably the Denialists' Deck or the Iraqi Bad Guy deck the Americans put out in 2003, but any deck will do). Aces count as ones (unless the players bribe each other to count them as something else).

  2. Hand each player twenty (20) Greenback tokens and give each player a pile of Debt tokens. Finally, place a pile of Greenbacks, a pile of Debt tokens and a pile of Credit Rating tokens in an easy-to-reach place (the players represent banks, so let's call this the Central Bank). Functionally, Greenbacks can be used as Central Bank Debt tokens (the two kinds will never end up in the same pile unless you're engaging in some seriously shady accounting), but if you have enough different kinds of tokens, it is recommended that you keep them distinct for psychological reasons.

  3. Shuffle the cards and deal each player a hand of three cards

  4. The player most recently convicted of accounting malfeasance goes first. If tied, the player with the highest personal equity goes first.

  5. The turn passes counter-clockwise.


The Turn
During his turn, a player may perform one (1) of the following operations:


  • Create an Asset:

    1. Place a card from his hand face-down in front of him on the table

    2. Place a second card from his hand face-up on top of the first card

    3. Pay the Central Bank at least a number of Greenback tokens equal to the face value of the face-up card (he may pay more if he wishes).

    4. Place a number of Credit Rating tokens on the card equal to the price paid for it.

    5. Draw two new cards from the deck. If there are less than two cards in the deck, the player shuffles any Liquidated Assets back into the deck before drawing.


    Once an asset has been created, nobody (not even the player who created it) may look at the face-down card.

  • Engage in a repo with the Central Bank, by replacing any number of Credit Rating tokens on an Asset with Central Bank Debt tokens, depositing an equal number of the player's Debt tokens in the Central Bank and collecting the same number of Greenback tokens from the Central Bank. There must be at least one Credit Rating token on the Asset for every nine Central Bank Debt tokens at all times. (Loans between players (covered later) are not bound by this restriction.)

  • Purchase an Asset from another player, by paying that player at least one more Greenback than the total number of tokens (of all kinds) on the Asset. Move the Asset to the purchasing player, being careful to not reveal the face-down card, and place a number of Credit Rating tokens on the card so that the total number of tokens on the card matches the selling price.
    Example: Alice has an Asset with a 7 of Clubs face-up. It has three Central Bank Debt tokens, one Credit Rating token and five of Bob's Debt tokens on it. Charlie wants to buy it, and pays Alice (3+1+5)+1 = 10 Greenback tokens. He then places 1 Credit Rating token on the Asset, bringing the total number of tokens to 10.


A player may not refuse to sell an asset if offered a sum of Greenbacks greater than the one he paid to acquire it. [Playtesting will be needed to show whether this rule is essential or can be dropped. But I think it's essential.]

Additionally, during his turn, the player may perform any number of the following operations:


  • Unwind a Central Bank repo by paying the Central Bank a number of Greenback tokens, replacing the same number of Central Bank Debt tokens on one of his cards with a Credit Rating tokens and reclaiming the same number of his Debt tokens from the Central Bank.

  • Take out a loan from another player. The debtor hands the creditor a number of Debt tokens, the creditor hands the debtor the same number of his Debt tokens and a number of Greenback tokens (the number of Greenback tokens does not need to match the number of Debt tokens that changes hands - indeed if the lender is prudent, it never does...). The creditor's Debt tokens are placed on one or more of the debtor's assets. Once a Debt token has been placed on an Asset, it may only be moved with the consent of the creditor, or by paying out the loan.


Debt tokens placed on an Asset displace Credit Rating tokens. If there are no more Credit Rating tokens to displace, the Debt tokens are simply added (obviously The Market believes the asset to be worthwhile collateral for that debt load - who are the rating agencies to say different?).

Example: Alice has an Asset with 6 Credit Rating tokens and three Debt tokens of various origin. For whatever reason, Alice borrows 7 Greenbacks from Bob, but agrees to take on a debt of 8 tokens. Alice hands Bob eight of her Debt tokens. Bob places Alice's Debt tokens in front of him. Bob hands Alice eight Debt tokens and seven Greenbacks. Alice places the Greenbacks in front of her and Bob's Debt tokens on the Asset. The first six Debt tokens displace the six Credit Rating tokens - the last two are simply added. Note that this operation would not be permitted if one or more of the three Debt tokens already on the Asset in the beginning were (a) Central Bank Debt token(s), since it would violate the repo conditions.

Margin Calls
If at any point a player lacks the required Greenbacks to purchase or create an asset, complete an agreed loan with another player or pay out a loan that has been Margin Called by another player, he may issue a Margin Call against a loan.

Hand one Debt token from the pool in front of you over to the player who originated it. That player hands you a Greenback and gives you back one of your Debt tokens on one of his Assets.

Example: Alice wishes to buy one of Bob's Assets for 12 Greenbacks, but only has 4 Greenbacks herself. However, she has 9 of Charlie's Debt tokens in front of her. Alice tells Charlie that she wishes to cash in 8 of his Debts. Charlie pays Alice 8 Greenbacks and hands Alice 8 Debt tokens from his Assets (replacing them with Credit Rating tokens) and Alice hands Charlie 8 of his Debt tokens back.

Optional Rule: If another player wishes to prevent the loan from being Called, he may offer the calling player a new loan at par (that is, where the number of Greenbacks matches the number of Debt tokens exchanged). If this loan is sufficient to cover the calling player's need for Greenbacks to complete the original transaction, the loan must be accepted. The Debt tokens must be placed on the most recently acquired Asset where it is legal to do so.

Example 2: On Bob's turn, Bob wishes to buy the Asset back from Alice for 13 Greenbacks. Bob only has the 12 Greenbacks Alice paid him on her last turn, but he also has one of Charlie's IOUs, which he decides to call in. Charlie does not have any Greenbacks left after Alice called in his debt last turn, but does have one of Alice's IOUs, which he decides to call in.

Alice, however, does not want to pay Charlie just now, so she offers Bob a loan of one Greenback. Bob has to accept this loan, hands Alice twelve Greenbacks and a Debt token, gets the Asset and places Alice's Debt token on the newly acquired Asset.

Liquidating Assets
If a player lacks the required Greenbacks to meet a Margin Call and cannot obtain them elsewhere, he must Liquidate one of his Assets.


  1. Turn the face-down card in the Asset face-up.

  2. The Central Bank pays the owner of the Asset a number of Greenbacks equal to the combined face value of the two cards.

  3. The player redeems all Debt tokens on the Asset, redeeming Central Bank Debt tokens first, and the remaining in any order he wishes.

  4. If the player does not have sufficient Greenbacks to meet all the debt that he must pay, he must Liquidate another Asset. If he has no further Assets and still cannot pay his debt, he is Bankrupt and leaves the game. Any unredeemed Debt tokens from a Bankrupt player are worthless.

Endgame
Endgame begins when one of the following conditions is met:


  • There are at least [number of players]x5 Assets in play.

  • At least [number of players]x2 Assets have been liquidated.

  • At least one player goes Bankrupt.

  • The players agree to enter Endgame.

  • There are less than two cards in the deck after reshuffling Liquidated Assets back into it.


During Endgame, each non-bankrupt player gets one turn, in the normal turn order. During this turn, the player may send out any number of Margin Calls to his fellow players, may engage in any number of repo operations with the Central Bank and may Liquidate any number of his Assets. The player may not originate Assets during his Endgame turn (discard all hands when Endgame begins), but he may buy one Asset from another player per the ordinary rules for buying Assets (although if that player seems a bit too keen on financing the purchase, it should perhaps raise some suspicion...).

After the last player has had his Endgame turn, all non-Bankrupt players embezzle the Greenbacks in their bank's coffers and abscond to Switzerland. The player with the most Greenbacks wins.

Regulatory Arbitrage (Optional Rules)


  • The first player to go Bankrupt is considered Systemically Important, and the Central Bank will make up the shortfall plus 10 % (rounded up) with fresh Greenback tokens. Play may then continue as normal (i.e. his Bankruptcy does not trigger Endgame, although the liquidation spree preceeding it may).

  • Each player may, once per game, get a triple-A rating on one of his assets, at which point the Central Bank will buy it for twice the value of the face card.

  • If an Ace is part of an Asset, the Asset is Subprime, and yields no Greenbacks when Liquidated.

  • If a Jack is part of an Asset, the Asset is Fraudulent, and the player must pay 1 Greenback to the Central Bank in fines and/or bribes when the Asset is liquidated. (No, he does not get any Greenbacks for the other card.)

  • During Endgame the Central Bank engages in Quantitative Easing. Repos carried out during Endgame are not subject to the requirement that at least one Credit Rating token must remain on the Asset.

  • Include any number of Jokers in the deck (the number may be decided in advance or by the person who shuffles the deck, depending on your play style). A Joker in an Asset means that you have bought a Credit Default Swap on the Asset. If the Asset has more debt tokens on it than you will get Greenbacks from the Central Bank during Liquidation, you may hand the Asset over to another player, with all debts intact. It is now his problem. Proceed with Liquidation according to the normal rules.

  • The player who reshuffles the deck when it runs out may stack the deck if he pays 4 Greenback tokens to the Central Bank (one for the Senate majority leader, one for the House majority leader, one for the Treasury Secretary and one for the Chairman of the Fed).

  • Players are permitted to engage in slight-of-hand with the tokens in front of them, but if they are caught in the act, they are summoned to a Congressional Hearing and lose their next turn (if this turn is their Endgame turn, they are still permitted to carry out Central Bank repos and make Margin Calls, but may not purchase assets).

    There is no financial or other penalty beyond the loss of the next turn, but debt that has been "magically" converted into credit must be repaid immediately, possibly triggering Liquidation (although refinancing is permitted if the other players are willing to extend new loans).

    On his own turn, any player who suspects that slight-of-hand has gone unnoticed, he may demand an SEC Audit of another player. If he can prove that there is an accounting irregularity (that is, if the number of Debt tokens on the audited player's Assets does not match the number of Debt tokens he has surrendered to other players, and vice versa), the offending player is summoned to a Congressional Hearing. If the books are sound, however, the accusing player is summoned to a Congressional Hearing.

    This rule also applies if the player messes up his bookkeeping by accident.

[EDIT 14/05/10-1300: Simplified the rules to reduce the number of different kinds of tokens needed. I still have the original version if people think that one's better. Added the CDS and stack-on-reshuffle optional rule and the endgame condition that you run out of cards.]

- Jake

Display:
If other players didn't have the option to buy your assets, the obvious strategy would be to put high value cards face-down under low value cards.

However, since the other players are allowed to buy your assets, this is somewhat risky. Therefore, it may be desirable to "protect" a high-value face-down card by placing a high-value face-up card on it - you pay out more, but you also force other players to pay more if they want to take it over. Of course, this leads to the possibility of bluffing by placing a low-value card face-down under a high-value card and hoping that the other players believe that there is a high-value card under it.

Keeping track of the value of the face-down cards in the assets you originate is not prohibited, but it is unsporting and contrary to the actual conduct of the major banking houses.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 13th, 2010 at 10:45:09 PM EST
Players will quickly run out of money. The way they can create money is to either repo the assets they create, or liquidate them. An asset with a low-valued card on top and a high-valued card face down gives the player the most bang for his buck. Of course, this is vulnerable to other players buying the asset.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 04:08:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is also possible for two or more players to spend a couple of turns flipping an asset to get it to a ridiculously high credit rating (nothing prevents you from overpaying for an asset), and then repoing the asset. If done early in the game, players will have an incentive to not screw each other over by refusing to buy back the overvalued asset (because the other player(s) can then spend the rest of the game making hay for the guy who refused to play along).

Example: Alice has an 8 face value asset with three credit rating tokens and nine IOUs of various origin on it. Bob buys the asset for 16 Greenbacks on his turn. He borrows six of those Greenbacks from Alice. On her turn, Alice buys it back for 20 Greenbacks, borrowing four from Bob and issuing a Margin Call against Bob's six IOUs from the previous turn (which Bob can meet because he's selling the asset at an inflated rate). No net exchange of Greenbacks has taken place.

The net result of this operation is that the asset has the nine original IOUs, the four IOUs Bob got for participating in the operation and seven credit rating tokens, which may be used as collateral against the discount window.

Remember that in the Endgame, non-liquidated assets may be TARPed to the central bank at will. So if Alice can manage to not liquidate the asset, that's four free Greenbacks in Endgame. Meanwhile, Bob got four free Greenbacks too, as long as Alice is solvent - which means that if Bob doesn't believe that Alice is solvent, he has an interest in only calling in the debt when he knows that Alice is liquid (such as when he's buying one of Alice's assets that he believes is not overvalued).

Mark-to-market rules...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 07:07:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Additionally, central bank repos cost your action for the turn, barring you from doing more - uh - productive things that turn. Borrowing from your fellow banksters does not.

And you're no allowed to Liquidate at will, only when you cannot meet a Margin Call. You don't sell. You are sold out.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 07:52:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If other players didn't have the option to buy your assets, the obvious strategy would be to put high value cards face-down under low value cards.

However, since the other players are allowed to buy your assets, this is somewhat risky.

But nothing prevents you from buying the asset back.

The extreme case is one where you put a face-up ace on top of a face-down king. You issue it by paying $1, your neighbour buys it for $2, the next player buys it for $3...

This reminds me of that old dice game where you roll in secret and announce a roll higher than the previous player's roll. You can call bullshit on an opponent's call, but if they were being truthful you are penalised.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 10:30:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It costs time. You only get one buy each turn.

I think (but haven't verified through playtesting) that the real money-maker in this game is going to be flipping high-price assets and then sticking the central bank with them in the endgame.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 10:40:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's pretty intriguing, and an interesting set of game mechanics.  If I were teaching a modern society or econ course, I'd try it out with my students.
by Zwackus on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 01:43:01 AM EST
We should produce and publish this game.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 02:19:18 AM EST
This is a great answer to all those who have said "Who could have predicted?"

There is no need to sell a physical game - any deck of cards can be used. It's the rules that are key. The rules could be published and virally distributed as a well-designed pdf, for example. In addition, a video explaining the rules and game play for youtube. The video would be simply the cards laid out and played on a green surface, as seen from above, using a wide shot and possible close ups. Only hands would be seen moving the cards. A voiceover would explain the rules and play.

But of course it is up to Jake what he wants to do with his brilliant creation. I'm ready to contribute.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 03:05:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no need to sell a physical game - any deck of cards can be used.
Yes, but taking Jake's idea
Take one set of ordinary playing cards (preferably the Denialists' Deck or the Iraqi Bad Guy deck the Americans put out in 2003, but any deck will do).
and running with it, it is natural to create a "Financial Meltdown" deck of cards with the people and firms most associated with the current instance, plus some old favourites such as Mr. Ponzi, a tulip, and so on...

You can publish the rules virally and you can, as a side project, create a deck for people who would like to own one. I have a small collection of card decks and it includes the Iraqi Bad Guy deck...

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 03:41:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus, if you have N players you need 2 * (N + 2) different kinds of tokens, in quantity.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 03:58:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
2N + 3, actually - money tokens plus two kinds for each player plus two kinds for the Central Bank. But if you take out the option to issue uncollateralised loans, you can get rid of the 2 in front of the N and one of the Central Bank piles.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 06:43:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funnily enough I am just in the midst of a board game project for a client that includes a deck of special cards. My job is only testing and rewriting the rules where needed, finalizing the card 'texts' and creating the back story for marketing - but I shall shortly know the costs for professional deck production and packaging.

Making tokens is a major cost (tooling for injection moulding). The game production company is investigating (on my advice) a new Finnish recyclable material called Kareline. It's a wood fibre composite with excellent properties. Rather that, than sending off to China from some cheap plastic mouldings.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 05:45:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Use Poker chips?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 02:08:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Too big. You need to be able to place four or five separate piles on a single ordinary playing card.

I've toyed with the idea of using RISK soldiers as stand-in during playtesting. They have about the right size.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 03:02:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
5 cent € coins would work.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 03:42:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We need different colour tokens. One possibility is to use glass beads, another one is to take a bunch of pennies and lacquer then in different colours.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 05:08:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May I suggest obscuring the card with a big pile of "value" is part of the point?

:-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 03:44:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no need to sell a physical game - any deck of cards can be used. It's the rules that are key. The rules could be published and virally distributed as a well-designed pdf, for example.

The original idea was to design and playtest a game using an ordinary deck of cards and some cheap paper tokens, and then look at the possibility of making special cards instead (like Munchkin), to open different sorts of gameplay. Preferably with pithy little quotes on them. But I think it actually works well enough with ordinary cards.

Another point is that the rules when published should include a brief and simple description of the technical financial terms that the game parodies (repo, CDS, collateral, Central Bank, etc.) in the back of the rulebook. Something that you wouldn't need to read to play the game, but could read if the game had piqued your interest in the subject.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 08:01:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
agreed.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 08:46:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the red suits could have quotes from economists who foresaw the meltdown, the black ones greenspan et al.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 09:28:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We should produce and publish this game on Facebook.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 06:17:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even if a special deck was produced, it would be still possible to do an animation of play with the new cards before they were in print.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 06:25:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also as a multiplayer iPhone app?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 07:34:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We should produce and publish this game on Facebook.

Computerising it would require some adaptation of the gameplay to fit the medium (I think a Facebook app should be MMRTS instead of turn-based, and it would obviate the need for face-up cards, since you could have the computer check that the player who originates an Asset doesn't underpay. On the other hand, it doesn't have all the possibilities for "financial slight-of-hand" that a token-based game does). But yes, it's a great idea.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 08:06:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wouldn't place any IP on Facebook without having first received from the corporation an MOU exempting the IP from Facebook terms of use and proprietary claims. On paper, in original. Signed and dated.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 11:14:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Alternative, the game could have a website. Initially, just with the rules. Eventually, reader feedback and even an online store. Thought we may end up resorting to CafePress...

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 11:17:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The idea is to avoid third-party mediation. Website and domain cost are greater than 0, but less than litigation should a conflict over terms of use or bandwidth quota with third-party arise.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 12:01:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We can probably work out websites and domains.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 12:04:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I completely agree.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 09:26:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How do you keep track of whose the IOU and YOM tokens are?
Example: Alice has an Asset with a 7 of Clubs face-up. It has three Central Bank YOM tokens, one Credit Rating token and five of Bob's YOM tokens on it.
Hand one YOM token over to the player who originated it.
So, do we need to assume tokens have (say) various shapes and colours to represent kinds of tokens and token originator?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 03:50:21 AM EST
Yes, the tokens have a different colour for each player, and a originally the idea was a different shape for different kinds (triangles for YOM and squares for IOUs, but the need should be obviated by merging the two).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 06:44:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I like one colour per player plus central bank and credit rating (IOU = UOM depending on who holds the token). Also, what's the difference between a central bank IOU and a greenback?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 07:36:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, what's the difference between a central bank IOU and a greenback?

Psychological.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 07:49:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the improvised game all you'd need were 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, 1€ and 2 Euro coins representing the players (thus max six players). Coins have two faces to represent IOUs and UOIs.

If more than 6  want to play, you could have chouette or side bets - for real money ,-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 03:51:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What happens if the Euro is devalued or a player is forced out of the Eurozone?

Frank's Home Page and Diary Index
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 06:30:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Endgame

Endgame begins when one of the following conditions is met:

  • There are at least [number of players]x7 Assets in play.
  • At least [number of players]x2 Assets have been liquidated.
  • At least one player goes Bankrupt.
  • The players agree to enter Endgame.
You need an additional endgame condition: the deck runs out (contains fewer than 2 cards - meaning no more assets can be created: when a bubble cannot grow any more it starts contracting).

You also need to return cards from liquidated assets to the deck, meaning that a player can avoid endgame by liquidating one of his assets.


By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 04:03:11 AM EST
Oh, and the player that liquidates an asset is the one who reshuffle the deck after returning the two cards to it. Stacking the deck while shuffling is allowed.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 04:04:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, the rules shouldn't mention shuffling at all, just "stacking the deck".

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 08:29:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't the difference between stacking and shuffling whether you pay the bribe. If you do you can legally stack the deck. (Do you get to draw after stacking the deck?) If you don't pay the bribe and still attempt to stack the deck, perhaps you could be subject to an SEC audit or Congressional Hearing.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 01:42:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stacking the deck when not permitted falls under the slight-of-hand optional rule.

It's quite deliberate that all the unsporting ways (sorry, all the even more unsporting ways) to play the game have been cordoned off in optional rules. Some gamers find "you're allowed to cheat as long as you don't get caught" rules to be gamebreaking, other gamers find them to be entirely in the spirit of a game like this. So people get to pick the rule set they're most comfortable with (we are trying to create a bankster simulation, so malleable rules are certainly in the spirit of the game).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 01:58:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmmm, as long as players know that these rules are in place, i've never run across a gamer who had a problem with a rule like that.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 05:41:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is ill-written rules that are reinterpreted by lawyers.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 05:54:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well I will nee to try it out, now I've finally got round to reading the article.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 06:04:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If an Ace is part of an Asset, the Asset is Subprime, and yields no Greenbacks when Liquidated.

If a Jack is part of an Asset, the Asset is Fradulent, and the player must pay 1 Greenback to the Central Bank in fines and/or bribes when the Asset is liquidated. (No, he does not get any Greenbacks for the other card.)

Are we assuming the card contains jokers, or not?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 04:05:34 AM EST
for absolute realism, i vote yes...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 06:27:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing but.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 06:42:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The rules should be as simple as possible, not a too detailed 'simulation'. The point is, imo, to point out how the scam works, in terms that are easy for an average audience to understand. That is its value as a political tool.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 07:08:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is why the scammiest tricks and more amusing complications have been relegated to optional rules (the fact that it also makes playtesting easier is not entirely coincidental...).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 08:28:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The game should be Bonk™ branded, with Jokers on the back side of the cards.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 07:40:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UOM might be a better polar opposite to IOU?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 06:18:43 AM EST
Or even, ungrammatically - but using the same vocalization rules as the original, UOI.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 07:01:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For inspiration: McDonald's video game

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 08:10:53 AM EST
I would suggest that you make clear in the diary, at the top, that you own the copyright to this game (simply by dated publication hereon ET). What you do with that copyright is your business, but it would offer some protection against an outside party steaming in via a link and using it for gain.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 08:50:41 AM EST
Done, credited to ET.

If we manage to make money off it, I think the money should go to defray the server costs and/or to fund our think tank.

Seems most fair, seeing as the ideas in the game are the product of several years of immersion in the ET Hive Mind.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 08:57:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed - we've talked about this situation before, and for me (and I think others agree) ET should at least be a partner in any project developed here. It's the least we can do.

In this case, it is your ready concept that might be improved by input, but the main contribution of others might be in how to design it, how to make it, how to 'market' and distribute it, etc etc i.e. make it an acceptable reality for the specified audience.

I still think this below is a good example of kick-starting a meme.



You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 09:12:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed.

I'll try to shanghai some of my friends into playtesting it next time we gather for drinks, but the graphic design, marketing and the logistics of distributing it are all above my pay grade.

I know a print works that we could use, though...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 09:42:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My guess would be that the first step would be publishing the game as a description, to be played with an ordinary deck of cards and some handy household items used for 'counters'. This description would be used for a simple top down view of the board via an entertaining but instructive animation/movie - to be placed on youtube or other video storage/display site.

Then send the link personally to all our contacts (combined, possibly tens of thousands) with a personal message and request to post it further. Meanwhile design a specially designed deck and/or game package. I'd guess 4 weeks for production by a printer/packager that is used to this kind of thing (it's not easy to get a nice tactile feel to cards without experience), once the contractor gets all the files. This step only gets switched on if the demand is proven. Which demand can be tested at a pre-order custom website, aka 'kite-flying'.

This is the 'Star Wreck - In The Perkinning model'. Release it free to a wide audience virally in 'lo-res', and pick up a % of users who like it so  much they want to 'own it' in 'hi-res'. I imagine this could be something that would work as a gift in business circles ;-)

Various ways to go:

  • Pre-packed mailorder via simple owned website with Google Checkout attached (They get around 2% for the service), unemployed ETer gets the job of sticking an address label (printed out from Checkout info) and getting them to post OR hand the job over to UPS, who keep the stock and do everything else - that is the most painless way, you can even have the printer ship direct to UPS.

  • Make a deal with a national game publisher. They pay a royalty for the copyright in the rules and designs, and otherwise bear all production costs. Most of these companies are in an international network: if they have a break-out game, they then sublet the rights for other territories.


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 10:15:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
re: various ways to go

You've led the ET Collective from (1) online gaming to (2) mass marketed unit sales. Having given passing fancy to market testing... and OpEx thresholds of pain.

If (1), there's sufficient talent here to code the game and perhaps sufficient bank to manage (fixed or variable) bandwidth and dedicated rack costs.

If (2), supplier --premium manufacturer with custom expertise-- minimum quantity will immediately contrain design and distribution. Shopping the business idea to publisher is a fine solution, so long as everyone understands fabrication and marketing costs will come out of revenue share. Anyway, I wouldn't think a deluxe package is necessary to launch: just the rule book and the chips. Recycled plastic or paper would be nice, no?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 11:46:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, are we asking Chris Cook to make an LLP as a wrapper for this project?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 10:47:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Every game should have one....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 07:37:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To make an LLP, you put down a King face down, a Joker face up on top of it, and you pay £20 to the central bank, innit?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 02:28:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
£20.00 and two Jokers as Designated Members.

I nominate Sven and ceebs as the jokers.....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 05:26:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, hivemindgames.com is taken. Hive-mindgames.com is not ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 09:15:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thread can be flipped to another place should that be felt necessary.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 10:54:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My entirely un-businesslike gut feeling is that it is more valuable as viral agit-prop than as a proprietary publication.

But if the people who have actual experience with publishing games think otherwise, then experience trumps instinct.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 11:21:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The trick, as always, is to not build on debt.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 11:55:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree. The political value should come first: to expose what Serious people say is very very difficult to understand, but is, in fact, a simple scam that can be understood by all when analogized to the familiar.

My suggestions on commercialization have been 'in case'.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 12:03:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well you never know what might happen. Monopoly was originally a Quaker designed game to teach about the evils of capitalism...

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 06:06:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I read somewhere that it was a Georgist game designed to teach about the evils of real estate speculation.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 06:08:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Monopoly (game) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
According to the BBC, Monopoly is a redesign of an earlier game "The Landlord's Game" first published by the Quaker and political activist Elizabeth Magie. The purpose of that game was to teach people how monopolies end up bankrupting the many whilst giving extraordinary wealth to one or few individuals.[2]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 06:12:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've had people say pejoritatively that one of the forms of currency I advocate - 'units' of land rental value - is 'Monopoly Money'.

I use the origins of the game of 'Monopoly' to tell them that they are absolutely right - we must monetise the value generated by monopoly of the commons of land/location and distribute it fairly.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun May 16th, 2010 at 07:16:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What, because bank-created money is not Monopoly money?

As JakeS so aptly put it, one of the key tenets of the dominant economic ideology is that Monopoly money becomes real money after (and only after) it is sanitised by going through the bid-ask spread of a major investment bank.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 16th, 2010 at 07:20:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After you replaced both IOU and UOM tokens with Debt tokens, does the loan rule still make sense?
Take out a loan from another player. The debtor hands the creditor a number of Debt tokens, the creditor hands the debtor the same number of his Debt tokens and a number of Greenback tokens (the number of Greenback tokens does not need to match the number of Debt tokens that changes hands - indeed if the lender is prudent, it never does...). The creditor's Debt tokens are placed on one or more of the debtor's assets. Once a Debt token has been placed on an Asset, it may only be moved with the consent of the creditor, or by paying out the loan.


By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 09:24:45 AM EST
Yes.

It wasn't an accident that I preserved the double-entry bookkeeping when I merged the two kinds of tokens. The Debt tokens and Greenbacks in front of you, plus the credit rating tokens on your assets, represent your equity. The debt tokens on your cards represent the liabilities side of your balance sheet. The total number of tokens on your cards and in front of you represent the size of your balance sheet.

A brief explanation of double-entry bookkeeping should probably be in the appendix on the terms used in the game.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 09:36:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A possible optional rule: the winner of the game gets one turn at a parallel-running game of Nomic.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 10:11:10 AM EST
It's a cute idea, but the mechanics are IMO too complicated for a successful Nomic adaptation. There are too many ways to change the rules in small and subtle ways that will completely break the game (including possibly making it unending or unwinnable).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 10:22:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How did I miss that one? Good.

One of my favourite group no-game-parts-needed games is 'Albuquerque'. The first  player announces "When I go to Albuquerque, I'm going to take X". X can be anything created by a rule. The rule might be that the word or phrase has to start with a 'P', or it is something made of metal, it is more than 50 years old, or you have to cough before delivering the word. The rule can be as complex as the players like.

The next player says any word or phrase that might follow an imagined rule deduced from the first word - or then just random. The first player says whether the next player's conforms to the rule or not - without explanation. Other than saying "You may (or may not) go to Albuquerque". Play then moves to the next player - same process. When the turn comes back to the first player, he/she gives another example of the same rule, and so it goes on until everyone has 'got' the rule.

It can be quite frustrating when everyone else seems to have got it and is greatly enjoying proceedings because the rule is that whatever Sven says will not conform to the rule. Bastards...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 10:29:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find it hilarious Albuquerque, given its total unimportance in the general scheme of things and it's generally acknowledged low score in the redeeming civilizing influence scale (I've been there.  A Lot.) is the central organizing Attractor of a game in Finland.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 03:52:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where does the phrase "I took the wrong turn at Albuquerque" come from?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 05:10:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 05:20:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, there you go. I bet they had Bugs Bunny in Finland, too.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 02:26:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 06:50:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking about the angle we should take to promote the game in any channel. IOW how do we talk to potential users? What is the 50 word pitch that will get people interested?

I had in mind, as audience for the introductory words below, any who are smart enough to progress in business (the majority), are aware that their bosses don't know what they are doing half the time, but don't really get the big picture - though they like to think they do....

Financial Meltdown

A gambling card game that shows you how to misuse other people's money. The Banks do it all the time. What they do is so complex that only they know how to use it.  Bullshit. In fact, what they do is very simple, like Financial Meltdown.

We guarantee that after playing this game you'll see how easy it is to get richer by making other people poorer.

This is just a doodle to get reactions. We have to get the essence of the game in 50 words - or better still 30 words or, with lots of work, the ideal Ogilvie 20 words. The viral value of 'anything' is much improved by giving a short memorable narrative which viral people can then use to explain the game or concept to their friends.


You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 04:21:26 PM EST
Financial Meltdown

A card game about misusing other people's money. The Banks do it all the time; now it's your turn. Fast-paced and simple to learn, Financial Meltdown will teach you how to get richer by making other people poorer.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 05:30:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
done.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 14th, 2010 at 06:15:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@ jake:  I have to focus on some other work, but it is my intention to write a script for a short movie that explains the game and how it is played. The script will include the voiceover and the associated actions seen on screen. A voiceover makes to easier to translate to other languages.

When the script has been commented on and revised, I'd be happy to do the voiceover and shoot and edit the movie action.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 06:41:17 AM EST
being able to play online with faraway people would be a good net, i think.

imagine michael hudson, paul krugman etc all playing in tournaments, with all our favourite economic bloggers.

will there be teamwork, or is it every shark for himself?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 07:16:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You should get in touch via e-mail. The one in my sig works.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 07:28:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will do - but the script needs to be commented at ET.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 07:57:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It does. But at least one other ET'er has contacted me by e-mail about development and launch of this project, and I would like to have you in that loop without disclosing private correspondence to the general public.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 08:00:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 09:16:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a brilliant idea.

Once the final version is done I will translate it and try to post it everywhere I can.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat May 15th, 2010 at 09:31:30 AM EST
Trading firms put their money on poker experts

A new breed of Wall Street recruit gets ahead not through connections or business experience, but through demonstrating a head for numbers, quick thinking and risk-taking - skills from the card table.

YHIHF = you heard it here first

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun May 16th, 2010 at 03:07:50 AM EST
So who do we put on the cards?

I'd suggest making Spades banks and bankers, Clubs economists, Diamonds politicians and Hearts reporters.

  • 'Bubbles' Greenspan as the Ace of Spades? His "mistake" quote would do, but I'd prefer to have one that shows how totally clueless he was even after he had made it. His picture should be of Greenspan, in a congressional hearing, with a ghostly, faded image of Ayn Rand looming over him like a halo.

  • Should Baby Bush be included? I'm inclined to think not - he seems too clueless, and anyway he gets enough bad press without us having to spend a card on him.

  • Ronnie Raygun should be the Ace of Diamonds. Preferably with a good quote about the magic of the market.

  • Larry Summers as the Jack of Diamonds, with a quote from back when he did the same thing to Russia that his successors are doing to America right now.

  • Goldman Sachs as the King of Spades, with Taibbi's vampire squid comment.

  • Charles Ponzi as the Ten of Spades, with Krugman's "Charles Ponzi wasn't the first to try it, but he has joined Dr. Bowdler and Captain Boycott among those whose names will forever be terms of abuse," if a good first-person quote cannot be found.

  • Milton Friedman as the Ace of Clubs, with the text "I Want To Believe" and a stock ticker over his head. Possibly a shadow of Pinochet in the background.

  • The Ten of Clubs should be the Invisible Hand ("The reason the invisible hand often seems invisible is that it is not there." - Stiglitz)

Maybe the jokers could be people who saw it coming; Keen, the younger Galbraith ("The prevailing theory [of free markets] is also the source of the [economics] profession's problem in getting almost anything important right") and European Tribune ("European Tribune: Get your news three months early" - nothing wrong with a little self-promotion).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 16th, 2010 at 07:34:02 AM EST
the [economics] profession's problem in getting almost anything important rightwrong

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 16th, 2010 at 07:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is an ambiguity in the word "problem" - it can either mean "X happens, and that is not good" or it can mean "X is supposed to happen, but we are having some difficulty getting it to actually happen."

But it probably means that it's a bad quote to use...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 16th, 2010 at 07:49:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hearts reporters

Thomas Friedman as the Ace of Hearts, with We're not in Kansas Anymore as quote. Maybe the picture could be the bottom-left frame of this:



By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 16th, 2010 at 07:46:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or maybe a frame from here:



By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 16th, 2010 at 07:48:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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