July 19, 2005 | Charlotte ObserverStorm watchers, listen up. If you think you have the weather knowledge and financial fortitude, you'll soon have the chance to bet for -- or against -- the coastline nearest you. A trio of professors at the University of Miami is launching an electronic futures market to forecast where a hurricane will make landfall in the United States. Traders who buy or sell the right spot at the right time can cash in, maybe clearing enough profit to buy a small generator. Here's how the market is designed to work: Investors can open accounts by sending any amount from $5 to $500 to the Iowa Electronic Markets, or IEM, which is operated by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, a University of Miami partner. All IEM transactions are made electronically and posted in real time. As soon as a tropical storm earns a name, the market will open, and online trading will begin. Depending where the storm is at the time, it will be declared an Atlantic or a Gulf storm, and only contracts, or shares, for that U.S. coastline will be sold. The same story appeared on the Web sites of the LEXINGTON HERLAD LEADER, ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, MYRTLE BEACH (S.C.) SUN NEWS, MONTEREY (Calif.) HERALD, BRADENTON (Fla.) HERALD, BILOXI (Miss.) SUN HERALD, SAN LUIS OBISPO (Calif.) TRIBUNE, CENTRE DAILY TIMES (Pa.), GRAND FORKS HEALD, MACON (Ga.) TELEGRAPH, KANSAS CITY STAR, DULUTH NEWS TRIBUNE and numerous other news organizations.
Contact: Forrest Nelson