The bull and the bear: a swindler's guide to the economics of Grand Theft Auto 5

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Sep 19, 2013 10:52 PM EDT
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Trying to pay back a Mexican mafioso is no easy task, and as anyone in the early stages of the game knows, pulling off a heist requires a fair amount of work, research, picking the right crew, skill, luck, and most importantly, patience, something for which gamers are not known.

However, there's more than one way to make a financial killing in GTA V, thanks to the new stock exchange system in place. Fairly early on in the game, you're able to make investments in a wide range of local and international businesses, from a fast food franchise to a strip club. Add in the fact that said businesses can also be knocked off, which will result in a bit of financial fallout for said company, and...see where I'm going with this?

Here's the thing. If one business is faltering, consumers will flock to another, because consumers will go to where they can get a product. If the KFC's out of business and you want fried chicken, Popeye's is there, ready and waiting. To put aside an argument about biscuits and gravy, it's a similar case for GTA V, in that there's a competitive business for just about every company in the game. What you'll find below is essentially a very brief way of applying and exploiting Adam Smith's invisible hand concept to the virtual marketplace of modern day Los Santos.

To sum up, if you steal from business X, make sure to invest in business Y first, and vice versa. This will also come into play in some of the game's scripted missions as well, as well as free-play. Make with the right Martha Stewart shenanigans, and you'll make a mint with no worry about having to carve a toothbrush into a shank, and set to author your own rendition of "The Wealth of Nations."

- CoolBeans - BeanMachine
- Burgershot - Up-An-Atom
- Clucking Bell - TacoBomb
- FlyUS - AirEmu
- GoPostal - PostOP
- Bilkington - DollarPills
- Pisswasser - Logger
- MazeBank - BankOfLiberty
- Redwood - Debonaire
- Slaughter, Slaughter & Slaughter - Bullhead
- RadioLosSantos - WorldwideFM
- eCola - Raine

They're not cheats per se, but if that's what you're looking for, check out a few of 'em here. Grand Theft Auto V is out now for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 now. Cheers to Redditor YankeeTango for supplying the list in this Reddit thread.

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