The Grand Heist, announced on July 27th, 2021, contains a rather peculiar addition in the included daily login campaign: the inclusion of a 235 million ISK stimulus package for Omega characters. The login campaign lasts until August 3rd. Each day you apply for the login reward, you receive a small relief check.
Capsuleers may well welcome this economic relief package’s arrival in their wallets. However, there are some concerns regarding the sudden influx of ISK into New Eden. For example, about 2.35 trillion ISK would be added to the economy if only 10,000 capsuleers received these relief checks. While this influx may increase spending, it might also lead to further inflation throughout the empires of New Eden. Coupled with numerous price spikes on ship hulls and modules related to the current war and high production costs, this stimulus program has the potential to create environment not unlike the inflating economy of the United States of the 1970s. If you didn’t live through that time, you don’t want to now via this videogame.
We have historical precedents for inflation running out of control and breaking an economy. Germany in the 1920s provides one such example. Ordinary people were experiencing inflation which doubled the price of goods every few days. Ordinary household goods frequently cost amounts in the millions or higher. This sort of hyperinflation may not be an immediate danger to New Eden, but we should always keep in mind historical precedents when dealing with complex economies, even in EVE Online. For New Eden, I believe this influx of ISK may increase prices by a small amount, at least for now.
The July MER indicates a decrease in money supply. With this package, we should see an increase the total ISK by some trillions in the August MER. This may have some benefits in prompting spending and increasing ISK velocity. Since April, ISK velocity has fallen by roughly 0.1 to around 0.35. This means every 1 ISK in the game trades hands about 0.35 times within a 30-day period. With the velocity being the lowest its been since mid-2018, the idea behind this stimulus package may be to reverse this trend.
Players spending ISK could positively impact the velocity metric. Simply adding money could negatively impact ISK velocity: 235 million ISK could prompt capsuleers to finally purchase a larger ship or another expensive item with the available liquid ISK. Coupled with the increased ISK, there is also the matter of decreased fees by the four empires. Broker’s fees and sales taxes have been reduced by 50%, which further promotes players to actually use of the stimulus money rather than horde it.
Regardless of the intent behind these login rewards, I know I fully intend to accept them come what may. After all, 235 million ISK will come in quite handy.