Live Gamer, the legit Real Money Trading (RMT) company that handles all legal transactions for EverQuest II and other games, has brought on "noted virtual econonomist" Vili Lehdonvirta. Lehdonvirta is a former game designer who now researches virtual consumerism at the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki University of Technology TKK.
The prominence of economists and other financial experts in the MMO and virtual world industries has been steadily growing in recent years. For example, CCP's EVE Online hired a full-time economist to work on its staff and to put together quarterly economic reports, among other things.
Live Gamer's ambition is to transform an RMT black market that's causing the industry to bleed away potential profits and that's sending waves of instability and frustration through various MMO communities into a legitimate business that can be monitored and controlled by developers with their communities' and business' best interests in mind.