August 14, 2005 | Orlando SentinelJust in time for the beginning of peak hurricane season, the University of Miami's controversial hurricane-futures market is open for trading but with a new name and new rules limiting who can bet on where a storm will strike. Originally known as MAHEM, the Miami Hurricane Event Market, the Hurricane Futures Market debuted Friday for Tropical Storm Irene but only for up to 100 meteorologists who have been invited to participate. As of early Friday night, six had signed up and were authorized to begin gambling away a $100 incentive provided through a UM grant. That's how much the UM professors who launched the market as a research venture will place in the account of every trader who accepts the invitation. They say they hope to persuade the commission not to regulate their market. If they prevail, the market could one day open to the general public. In the meantime, UM and collaborators, which include the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, say they hope the market will lead to improvements in hurricane forecasting by providing a window on how people, in this case experts, react to and interpret available forecast resources. The newspaper is based in South Carolina. A version of this article also appeared Aug. 12 and 13 on the websites of the MYRTLE BEACH (S.C.) SUN, COLUMBUS (Ga.) LEDGER-ENQUIRER, BILOXI (Miss.) SUN HERALD, KANSAS CITY STAR, MONTEREY COUNTY (Calif.) HERALD, ST. PAUL (Minn.) PIONEER PRESS, MACON (Ga.) TELEGRAPH, BRADENTON (Fla.) HERALD, CENTRE DAILY TIMES in Pennsylvania, GRAND FORKS (N.D.) HERALD, SAN LUIS OBISPO (Calif.) TRIBUNE, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, and DULUTH (Minn.) NEWS TRIBUNE.
Contact: Forrest Nelson