Savers at the Bank of Nook are being driven to speculate on turnips and tarantulas, as the most popular video game of the coronavirus era mimics global central bankers by making steep cuts in interest rates.
"I’m never going to financially recover from this,” one player wrote on an online forum. “Island recession incoming,” said another.
Players could defraud the game’s bank by depositing large sums in saving accounts and then “time travelling” into the future by tweaking the console’s internal clock. The bank duly pays decades of compounded interest, making rapid bell millionaires. People familiar with the situation said the Bank of Nook rate cut was an attempt to curb that practice. Nintendo has made no official comment on the matter.
The much lower interest rate means that the most effective way of making money is now to gamble on the game’s internal “stalk” market — a bourse in which the only commodity is turnips, players can also make money by catching and selling tarantulas, which fetch 8,000 bells apiece. However, the spiders are hard to find, appear only after 7pm local time and are dangerous, as a bite causes players to faint.