Alliance report paints mixed picture is one of the retrospective articles prepared by CDN members to illustrate the events and changes that occurred during the year following the Reaper War.
Alliance report paints mixed picture
Today the Office for Economic Recovery (OER) released its first-ever annual report. The OER, a group of notable economists and chaired by Admiral Carver, was founded shortly after the end of the Reaper Wars and destruction of the Relays. Its mission was to direct and facilitate the economic recovery of the Systems Alliance.
The report - over 750 pages long - gives a day-by-day account of the economic recovery of the Alliance. Published after an outcry by the galactic markets to the Systems Alliance, it covers a comprehensive overview of its economic situation and policy. It should be noted, however, that both Admiral Hackett and Admiral Carver have insisted that it was always the intention of the OER to publish such a report and that they were not swayed by outside pressure.
Three-fifths of the report itself is dedicated solely to Earth, as noted in the introduction by Admiral Carver: "... while it is the intent of the OER to give a comprehensive overview of the economic situation and policy of the entire Systems Alliance it is just unavoidable for it to do so without spending enough time on the Local System and Earth, if only because the Citadel orbits around it."
The report is split in multiple parts; the first part is relatively small containing the introduction and an overview of both the economy pre-invasion and during the invasion. The last two chapters describe the bleak situation the Alliance found itself it just before the Liberation of Earth; economic output had fallen 93%, with any remaining resources used for building up the military and the construction of the Crucible.
"All accounts were emptied, all debts were collected, and all resource reserves were consumed."
On the occupied planets any major industrial facility were either destroyed or repurposed by the Reaper forces, with the notable exception of agricultural facilities that were kept operational, no doubt to feed the prisoners before they were processed. This modus operandi was followed by Reapers on the other homeworlds and colonies that were occupied.
The second part focused on the first seven months while the relays were being reconstructed. This is also noted to be focused on Earth as there was no tenable way for command to relay its instruction to the Colonies.
Many have noted the often aggressive (but rarely violent) way the Alliance conducted its economic agenda; after one month it had already decided to adopt a trade currency (The Alliance Credit) and by the end of month two of Earth’s major settlements were already using it in parallel with their own currency. Even now, some parts of Earth and the Alliance still insist on using their own currency, or still use a bartering system.
A surprising amount of detail is also given to the influence (often positive,) by non-humans on Earth's economy. Some speculate this is yet another attempt by the Alliance to mitigate the rising xenophobic feelings by some groups on Earth towards non-humans.
Some choice excerpts:
"We cannot understate the benefit and importance of the geth presence for the early recovery of the Earth economy; they kept the farms running while we got organized, helped with clean-up and salvage operations, helped to get the primary industries started again, get the electricity and water going, established the needed hydro farms to help feed the dextro members stuck in Sol, and so on. As the projection in figure 7b shows, we are well ahead of even the most positive estimate by months. Once power, water and food were assured we got an even greater influx of help, in the form of aliens who wanted to help us while waiting for the relay to rebuild."
"The sheer number of non-native [to Earth] individuals both human and alien in orbit around Earth caused a flourishing 'tourist' industry to spring up overnight; Earth was at the time the only inhabitable planet that was readily available to visit, the existence of the Alliance Credit encouraged even more visits as its guest could visit different areas of the planet without need to worry about yet another local currency."
"The use of (patched up) heavily damaged ships as 'tech centers' in or near of populated areas were all the more proof that humans and non-humans alike stood together and utilized the resources as best as we could. A weaponless, shot-up frigate with half a core missing is not much use to anyone but placing it near a devastated zone gives the inhabitants of that zone access to energy, communications and gives hope that things will get better and that they are not forgotten."
And finally (on the importance of the Citadel):
"The Citadel gave Earth a great leg-up over other recovery efforts; its industrial and transportation infrastructure where unscathed for the most part allowing it to be used as a mid-way station between the fleets and Earth; we could provide food and it could provide some high level industrial goods."
Critics are quick to respond that this is pure pandering of the Alliances social agenda and such a remarks are have no place in an economic report. As the Earth for Humans spokesman said, "there is so little information in it that the Vice-Admiral feels the need to pad the report with complement after complement for the aliens."
The next part focuses on what happens after the Relay reopened, and the major economic shift this brought with it.
"Once the relays opened we suddenly found ourselves in a very interesting position, where in the first 7 months we had a lot of hands but little for them to do, especially near the end. We now found ourselves suddenly at center (or as near to it as any planet can be,) of the galactic stage with a lot of trade potential but not we did not have the immediate possibility to have the right people at the right place."
Still, the influx of resources from the colonies that kept the economy from completely collapsing, of course there were complications as not all colonies (especially the larger ones,) were as happy to return to the old system where all their resources were transferred to the homeworld. Nor was anyone happy when earthlings started to immigrate to the new colonies. As Eden Prime's governor Stetson stated shortly before being replaced by Director General Miskatovich;
"We are prepared to help Earth anyway we can but it is not acceptable for us to give them all our resources and only get ill equipped people in return; are we yet again to be invaded, this time by disenfranchised Earthlings?"
These tensions and their negative economic influence are still present today, and even now some volus and turian analyst are warning for a 'human unification war' equivalent. But not everything is doom-and-gloom as the report is quick to point out, being a planet and having a moon near the crippled galactic Center gives a lot opportunity to act as midway point between the galaxy and the station, a parallel to earlier where the station was used as midway point between the fleets and Earth.
The final section deals with the economic prognoses; while most of the projection were cautiously optimistic, mostly thanks to the notes on the use of salvaged technology from the few reapers that were destroyed. There were some surprising remarks; first and foremost there was the remark for markedly increased spending to healthcare to deal with a future ‘biotic boom’ on Earth. It notes that the battle above Earth resulted in more than one ship exploding in or near the planet's atmosphere, causing the spread of element zero in the atmosphere.
"It would be foolish not to take into account a possibility of a biotic boom if you consider the amount of Element Zero that was vented into the atmosphere." Other notes are about the economic result (and potential) of the inevitable increase of an alien population that permanently reside on Earth, thoughts on the economic outcome of the defensive Alliance between turians, humans and krogan.
The markets have reacted generally positively to the report, although most are quick to point out that the reason for Earth’s rapid recovery (the fleet in orbit, and the willingness of the geth to help,) are gone now. Others were concerned with the lack of clarification on whether or not the Systems Alliance is planning to ‘annex’ corporate systems like Noveria.