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11/18/2003 Entry: "The privatization of bad ideas"

"NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A U.S. government plan to create a market allowing traders to bet on the likelihood of terror attacks and other events in the Middle East has been revived by the private firm that helped develop it.

"The market, called the Policy Analysis Market (PAM), will allow traders to buy and sell contracts on political and economic events in the Middle East, including assassinations, the overthrow of regimes and terrorist attacks. The market is scheduled to start trading next spring.

"It originally was developed and funded with the assistance of the Defense Department, where officials cited the uncanny ability of other futures markets to predict election results, weather patterns and other complex events.

"Heated public criticism forced the Pentagon to end its association with the project, but its Web site, which was idle for several months, now has an announcement saying it will be open for business in March 2004.

"The Pentagon's partners in the venture would have been San Diego-based market technology firm Net Exchange and the Economist Intelligence Unit, publisher of the Economist magazine. The Economist is no longer involved, and Net Exchange is pursuing the venture alone, according to its president, Charles Polk."
Terror futures market back in business, Web site says trading will open in March 2004, free of U.S. government influence. By Mark Gonfloff, CNN Money, November 17, 2003

And earlier on this channel:

TIA goes private

It's a trend not a theme. Is this any more legal than the nursing home orderlies betting on which patient would die next, and then smothering a few to collect?

Privatizing bad ideas is not a solution, it's a disease.

Has "The Economist" magazine always been this nutty? I mean, I let my sub lapse, but they shouldn't be going to pieces like this over that, should they?

 

 

 

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