Economics is the management, distribution, and consumption of resources. You would think that Transformers would have other things to worry about (such as the unending warfare) but as they say, the energon must flow.
Marvel Comics continuityEdit
Generation One cartoonEdit
Millions of years ago, the Transformers themselves began their existence as goods and services created by the Quintessons, in what would be described as "market capitalism" (usually with an aggressive attitude). However, the Transformers got fed up with slavery and rebelled.
Here, the Autobots appeared mostly unconcerned with economic matters, what with the war and all. However, the Decepticons appeared to engage in what one might call "capitalism" (after all, it's what God wanted in the 1980s). Swindle in particular engaged in business deals all the time. In one of his more infamous deals, he sold his fellow Combaticons to a human arms dealer. What exactly the arms dealer paid Swindle is unknown.
Before the Great War, the Autobot Bluestreak mentioned that he was once a Cybertronian merchant. Additionally, the Neutral Territories were formed out of a former free trading zone These statements seem to indicate that pre-war Cybertron was something along the lines of a barter/trade economy.
Pre-war Cybertron would also qualify as capitalist, with stock markets, investments, and a wealthy, corrupt Senate with its hands into most of the financial dealings. However, Cybertron was also a class-based society with a large underclass working for the small, wealthy elite. Yeah, that's not going to end badly.
While there is very little evidence of a unified Cybertronian currency, individuals such as Lockdown appear more than willing to indulge their mercenary tendencies in exchange for systems upgrades and new technologies. Such rampant greed has been known to disgust some Autobots.