Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » DUMB IDEA OF THE DAY

    Filed at 6:22 am under by dcobranchi

    DARPA, the Pentagon subset under John Poindexter that brought us the Total Information Awareness project, has done it again. They are now (with $8M of your tax dollars) setting up a futures market where you can bet on future terrorist attacks and assassinations, among other things.

    “For instance,” Mr. Wyden said, “you may think early on that Prime Minister X is going to be assassinated. So you buy the futures contracts for 5 cents each. As more people begin to think the person’s going to be assassinated, the cost of the contract could go up, to 50 cents.

    “The payoff if he’s assassinated is $1 per future. So if it comes to pass, and those who bought at 5 cents make 95 cents. Those who bought at 50 cents make 50 cents.”

    The market will allow anonymous bids, so terrorists could conceivably profit from their attacks. I wonder if there’s a contract on John Poindexter losing his job? It should be selling for 99 cents right about now.

    One Response to “DUMB IDEA OF THE DAY”

    Comment by
    July 29th, 2003
    at 9:54 am

    I don’t know…the predictive abilities of the masses probably won’t be any worse than the abilities of the experts at thd NSA, CIA etc. It’s an interesting experiment in applying market dynamics in an unusual way. I doubt it will produce much useful info, but it’s an interesting idea.

    And what if the terorists drive up the price on, say, Tony Blair. Aren’t they essentially telling us what they plan to do?