Bottom Drops Out of Hyperlocal Scrip Market

New Fort Knox Dome, Moonbase Alpha, Colonial Lunar Administration Zone -- 5 May 2057:  Despite a concerted effort to prop up values by the Bureau of Market Stabilization, the crisis in virtual currencies continues to spread unabated.  A severe drop in city-, station- and township-backed currencies is sending signals of a full-blown panic.  The situation has been exacerbated by hyperinflation in many city currencies, which local governments are spending madly in an attempt to stave off recession.  Counterweight traders have been deployed, but sources within the bureau who wish to remain anonymous report feeling overwhelmed by the growing scale of the collapse.

"I don't like to get political about this," said Dr. John Jacob Smith, a senior economics professor at Asimov University, "but this really is all at the Saxon Administration's doorstep.  The Libertarians had a vendetta against Market Stabilization from the outset, especially after the heavy-gas-futures debacle.  They did everything they could to put stumbling blocks in the Bureau's way and tie them up in red tape, trying to paralyze them in furtherance of their extreme market-fundamentalist agenda.  After decades of stability, they managed to reintroduce the business cycle.  It's mind-boggling.  Economic reality simply does not support that kind of thinking.  I mean, in a perfect world or purely rational actors, maybe; but we're certainly not there yet."

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