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Photo: Nintendo

Nintendo's "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" slashed its in-game interest rates at its Bank of Nook, taking the war on savers virtual, the Financial Times writes.

The state of play: Players 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."

What happened: Players could deposit large sums of the game's bell currency in savings accounts and then "time travel" into the future by tweaking the console’s internal clock.

  • The bank would then pay decades of compounded interest, making them bell millionaires.

The inside scoop: "People familiar with the situation said the Bank of Nook rate cut was an attempt to curb that practice," Lewis and Wigglesworth write. "Nintendo has made no official comment on the matter."

  • Players have now been reduced to earning money through the game’s "stalk" market — "a bourse in which the only commodity is turnips, sold to investors during a single session on Sundays. The root vegetables rot and their value drops to zero after a week."

What's next: "Now that the [Bank of Nook] has cut interest rates to near zero, their next logical step is quantitative easing," Albert Edwards, a strategist at Société Générale, joked.

  • "It’s essential that players try to hook their game up to their printers as it might start churning out money."

Go deeper: Animal Crossing emerges as the game for the coronavirus era

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
13 mins ago - Health

Public health messaging lessons for the next pandemic

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

"Be first, be right, be credible" is the mantra of public health experts in a crisis. It's difficult to argue that the health community has regularly managed to be any of those three during COVID-19.

Why it matters: A pandemic isn't just a medical emergency — it's also a communications emergency. The U.S. public health establishment, hamstrung by bad data and political interference, has struggled with the latter.

How Hertz is fighting to stay relevant

A Hertz car rental counter in the Miami International Airport. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In the span of less than a week, Hertz has made three big strategic moves intended to keep the car rental giant from fading into oblivion.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing and other mobility innovations are rapidly changing the way people get from A to B, posing an existential threat to traditional car rental services.

Facebook is too big to change

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As Facebook faces a sustained wave of critical coverage pushing the company to reform itself, it also confronts a law of corporate physics: Transforming a gargantuan company is nearly impossible.

The big picture: Facebook's critics — and some of its own employees, as internal documents have shown — say it has long prioritized growth and profits over safety. Shifting that kind of mindset in a large organization takes time and will — and the company has to really want it, which Facebook has yet to make clear.