Anno 1404 Wiki
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Bankruptcy happens when you reach -10,000 gold, at which point you immediately lose and are presented with a game-over screen. Before going bankrupt, Lord Richard Northburgh will warn you and an info box will appear warning you about bankruptcy.

If you ever find yourself approaching -10,000 gold, it's helpful to use the slowdown mode and immediately start to prevent going into bankruptcy by:

  1. Passively sell excess goods via your all your ports.
  2. Actively sell excess goods to neutral ports using your trade ships.
  3. Complete quests that offer gold.
  4. Demand tribute from all the AI players.
  5. Eject beggars for gold.
  6. Set halted production buildings to idle via the ZzZ button to lower their maintenance cost. Also find out why production is halted and fix it so you get back into production to generate income.
  7. Strategically adjust the Taxation on all your settlements. Use light green if you need to fill houses, yellow if houses are full. Avoid orange and red as they will cause you to lose population and downgrade your houses and therefore lose significant income, however this could be strategically used if you realize you don't have the higher tier of goods to provide your population anyways.
  8. Ensure your Orient is colonized and that essential goods such as Spices are flowing smoothly into your Occident.
  9. Double-check your population's access to goods. Providing goods will increase your population and tax income.
  10. Fix any Production chain mistakes.
  11. Ask for loans from all available in the diplomacy menu (loans never have to be repaid, just an upfront Honor cost.)
  12. If you have more honor leftover, go for attainments that boost economy such as Merchant Fleet.
  13. As a last resort, start to delete non-essential ships and military units until you are showing green income.
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