Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Consols in Eve Online

Wilhelm at The Ancient Gaming Noob mentions that the Imperium (Goons, etc) have started issuing war bonds in Eve Online:

Then there was the fact that the Imperium began issuing war bonds to support the fight.  This has been viewed by PAPI as a sign of weakness, a last desperate attempt to stay in the fight, a sign that we were on the brink.  But it raised more than a trillion ISK in the first hours of issue, so it will sustain us for a bit.  One billion ISK will buy you one bond with a return rate of 10% per year, with payments due on the first of the month.  That one bond will earn you about 8.4 million ISK every time the first rolls around.

Spreadsheets in Space comes full circle!

These types of perpetual bonds are traditionally called Consols, famously issued by the British government from the 1700s to the early 1900s. An important financial mainstay of the Regency genre.

What's interesting to me is that the Imperium issued bonds at 10%, which is quite high. The British issued consols at 3-4%. Is the extra premium because it's a game? I confess I would have offered it at 6%, just to make the math easier (0.5% payment each month).

Also, if bondholders stop playing, then it's free money for the Imperium.

Of course, Eve being Eve, there's a reasonably large possibility that this is all a scam and the Imperium will default a year or two down the line.

I wonder if the Imperium will allow people to trade these bonds. Put it on the blockchain, Goons!


  1. I put the terms from the forum post in response to your last comment over on my site.

    As for scams, EVE Online is certainly known for them, like the EVE Bank scam (Google that), and Goons themselves are know to have scammed as a matter of course. They tried the recruitment scam on me long before I ended up with them and The Mittani famously scammed somebody out of the price of a titan while he was chairman of the CSM.

    But Goons, and the Imperium by extension, have a pretty strict policy about not screwing blues, scamming their own. That is one way to get yourself blackballed from the organization. So it seems unlikely that this is a scam up front, if for no other reason than it would destroy the coalition if the leadership was found to be doing that deliberately.

    As for trading the bonds, their manifestation in the game is via shares, which corporations (the New Eden guild equivalent) can issue in whatever number they need and which can be bought and sold by players. The shares also make paying the dividends easier, as doing so is part of the corp management UI.

    We'll see how it works out.

    1. Oh, I never actually realized corporations could issue shares and pay dividends to people who are not in the corp.

      Makes sense that they could, but I always mentally substituted "guild" for "corporation", so seeing actual corporate structure surprised me.