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Financial Engineer: The Destruction of the Death Stars Would Have Devastated the Imperial Economy


(Image: Disney)

Yes, people will cheer the death of Emperor Palpatine and the destruction of his brutal regime. But what they will remember is that, after the Empire collapsed and the Rebel Alliance assumed the responsibilites of government, they lost their jobs and inflation rose massively.

Dr. Zachary Feinstein, a financial engineer who teaches at Washington University in St. Louis, argues in a paper that the loss of the hugely expensive Death Stars and the fall of Palpatine's political and economic order would have induced a huge financial crisis that the new government would have been hard pressed to manage. Matthew Braga of Motherboard read the paper and discussed it with Feinstein. He writes:

According to Feinstein, the destruction of the Death Star caused a dramatic 12.9 percent drop in the Empire’s Gross Galactic Product overnight, averaged across a thousand simulations.

To come to this conclusion, Feinstein combined bits of information from the Star Wars canon and with historical data about the US economy to calculate the likely cost of the Death Star's construction (believe it or not, there’s a whole episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on deregulating the Galactic Empire’s banks). He then used this cost to calibrate a model of the Galactic Empire's financial system and economic health prior to the Death Star's demise.

"We use these results to deduce the size and composition of a bailout necessary that the new rulers of the galaxy, i.e., the Rebel Alliance, would need to allocate to stave off a galaxy-wide financial crisis and economic depression," Feinstein wrote.

-via The Mary Sue


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