GROOF – The Ferengi Commerce Authority has dissolved the local administration on Groof after the colony’s experiment with currency substitutes nearly destroyed its economy.
FCA Liquidator Brector presented the Governor of Groof with a writ of accountability yesterday, effectively suspending the planet’s political and economic autonomy. The FCA is now investigating the colony’s alleged adoption of silver-pressed caesium latnide as a substitute for gold-pressed latinum, the standard legal tender throughout the Ferengi Alliance.
Currency substitutes are illegal under Ferengi law.
“Groof is far from Ferenginar, not along any major trade routes,” said Brector. “Late last year, they experienced a shortage of gold-pressed latinum, placing a strain on the local economy.”
The writ alleges that Groof’s business leaders attempted to increase the money supply by converting the planet’s dwindling stockpiles of latinum into caesium latinide, then pressing the metal into silver instead of gold. The quantity of latinum in one gold-pressed bar can create twelve bars of the silver-pressed substitute. Despite initial success, the vast increase in the money supply quickly resulted in hyperinflation.
“The experiment was an unmitigated failure,” said Brector, “and it has brought the once thriving economy of Groof to its knees.”
Over the past six months, Groof has experienced increasing shortages of both durable and perishable goods, and as the value of the substitute currency plummeted, colonists’ life savings became worthless.
“This is quite common in currency-based economies,” said Dr. Xemba of the Faculty of Historical Economics at the University of Budapest. “Creating more money doesn’t change the amount of goods. With more money in people’s pockets available to buy the same amount of goods, prices will inevitably go up.”
According to Brector, Groof responded by creating even more of the substitute currency, allowing the inflation problem to spiral out of control. In the month prior to the FCA’s intervention, unemployment on Groof had risen to over 60%.
“Groof isn’t the first economy to have suffered from hyperinflation,” said Xemba. “But Ferengi society lacks the safeguards and controls that have historically allowed other economies to fix the problem.”
There may be political as well as economic fallout to come. The FCA has the power to revoke the business license and freeze the assets of any Ferengi business owner found to have violated the Rules of Acquisition or broken a contract.
“Groof is small,” said Xemba. “If the FCA intends to prosecute everyone involved in the currency scheme, there may not be enough people left for the colony to remain viable.”
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