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Stock Market
Why we don't have one

So, the stock market has come up several times as something people want. I want to explain why we don't have one and hear some feedback on that.

It is a mini-game at best, and a money cheat at worst.

The Stock Market is a complex and intricate system in the real world and we would need one that was almost as complex and volatile to make it usable ICly. Given that people can get huge boons of money and be willing to risk it ALL in the IC world, with very little repercussions if they were to lose it, it just doesn't seem viable at this point.

We're considering some alternatives that still keep it in the realm of 'something that happens ambiently'. Like maybe your Grid 3.0 tools are able to 'mine' stuff like the modern day bitcoin does, and you get some income off of that, but generally speaking, I don't think the stock market is going to happen any time soon.

In 2103 all transactions would be done via AI designed specifically for the purpose and there would be huge barriers to entry for private citizens to get involved. The cost of shares in mega-corps would be prohibitively high and result in a secondary market where you buy pieces of a share, like an index fund-- while I like stocks and funds and all that, I just don't know that the time investment this would take is worth it.

I'm open to hearing arguments to the contrary but at this point we have no plans to bring it into the IC world in a way player characters can interact with.

-- S

I'm just throwing this out there but what about a show (similar to the Deathball channel) that presents weekly stock info, and associated automated SICs that tell whether each corps stock is up or down (with some auto-generated reasoning).

For example: Zircon Matsua Industries shares went up 2 points this week. The increased valuation is due to ongoing conflicts in the CNA leading to an increased demand for heavy munitions.

This still wouldn't create a real system or let players participate, but it might give them something to crow about, and maybe price changes at the PC corps could be related to plots or events, as well. For instance: ViriiSoma Pharmaceutical shares rose 3 points this week. The increased valuation is due to higher-than-expected sales of EbolaNox following an outbreak in Red.

An additional option is that shares of corporate stock are given out to players (either from that corp, or contractors) as a reward, and their value fluctuates slightly based on the fake stock price. You can bring them to a terminal or the bank to cash them out.

Personally I love the idea of a stock market as an incentive to sabotage corps/businesses to manipulate prices, I.E., buying a bunch of stock in ViriiSoma before pulling off a big heist on Saedor Krupp. It would have to be integrated with the game world rather than a closed system that either eats up or spits out a ton of money semi-randomly.

I have no idea how to implement this in a way that's themely, respects the scale of the game world, and isn't massively exploitable though. Maybe employees of a corp have access to very very tiny stock options that can pay out as a bonus stipend depending on how well it's doing compared to its rivals?

It'd be cool if a Stock Market could be tied into actual in-game commerce market as a gross exaggeration of player sales activity based around brands such as NeXuS, ZMI, EcoGear, etc. This seems like a lot of work for a minimal return though.

In the spirit of waddlerafter's comment about incentivization, I would simply suggest quarterly spot bonus' based on Corporate activity against other Corporations. It might give HR and Hiring Manager's some other stuff to do with there in-game jobs as well.

The Stock Exchange could be used as a leaderboard for the different Withmore Corporations. Whenever in game events occur surrounding a corporate entity it will effect their standing positively or negatively depending on the outcome. Players can buy into the market, gambling on what they think the outcome will be, or to manipulate it in their favor. This could open up a whole new level of corporate espionage. Including things like risking corporate status by trading secrets for a personal monetary gain. Of course this would need to be adjusted and balanced for a number of things. As stocks go up, so would the cost of buying in to avoid one dominate entity, the amount you can buy would need to be limited to avoid game breaking profit, etc...

Cerberus mentioned that that he sees the cost of a Mega corporations stock as ridiculously high. This made me think about it a little, and I believe they would probably have split their holdings into many more affordable yet still expensive options.

Echoing some other points, it would be neat to see a stock market implemented as a deathball style flavor thing that could potentially be altered by IC stuff if the gms see fit. Little tickers on Gold at every intersection showing the future dow or whatever.
Johnny mentioned Bitcoin mining. Hacked mining 'terms should increase the ambient temperature of the room and catch things on fire. This will be my sole contribution to this discussion.
It would be funny to start cold calling and pitching stock sales.
@Grizzley666

Wolf of Soma Street style?

I posted this elsewhere since someone opened up their own thread but..

Stock market should not be open to any individual buying stock. It should be a Corporate perk for high level PCs to be granted stock options which allows them to collect on ambiently affected variable payouts such as we have coded for some leased businesses, and we can simulate and display the rise and fall of mega-corp stocks at the bank.

If a collection of stocks like DOW can be valued at 25,034 as a price weighted average of significant stocks, you can expect mega-corporations with full on monopolies over their industries to be super high valued in the potentially millions of chyen per share.

As a matter of theme I expect no player can participate in the stock market directly, but their actions regarding sabotage and subterfuge should be able to be reflected in the stock market values and effect the PCs who collect pay via stock options associated with high level jobs.

I really like the stock options idea.
I don't care for a stock market, just for a corporate use for the trading skill if there isn't any already.
There may not be a coded use for trading (maybe requisitions?) but trading figures in heavily at at least one of the PC corporations. It reflects your ability to sell things (including yourself), negotiate, butter-up, etc. It's listed as one of the recommended skills for the Media Star archetype.