The Collapse of the Galactic Economy and How the Empire Actually Won

The emperor may have had the last (evil) laugh.

It’s generally believed the original Star Wars trilogy ends on a positive note. The Rebel Alliance destroys the second Death Star, in what's most likely a death-blow for Emperor Palpatine's evil galactic empire. Fireworks are set off across the galaxy in celebration as the Rebels and Ewoks dance around a fire on the forest moon of Endor. Even the spirits of the deceased Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin Skywalker smile lovingly at our hero, Luke. Happy ending, right? Not so fast.

According to Zachary Feinstein, an assistant professor at Washington University of St. Louis, that may have been the beginning of a new dark financial crisis. You can’t just go around blowing up Death Stars left and right. Moonsize space stations cost money, and when the dust settles, the lenders of that money need to be paid back.

Professor Feinstein talks with Bloomberg Businessweek Economics Editor Peter Coy about his paper, "It's a Trap: Emperor Palpatine's Poison Pill," and they discuss exactly what happens if you blow up two Death Stars in a row. Spoiler alert: It’s really, really, really bad.


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