July 29, 2003 | San Diego Union TribuneA San Diego company is working with the Pentagon on a futures market that would allow anonymous speculators to bet on assassinations and terrorist attacks. The online market, which is set for a trial launch on Friday, is meant to help the government predict political and economic events in eight Middle East countries. Traders would buy contracts that would pay off if, for example, the Jordanian government were overthrown in the fourth quarter of 2004. The idea of using an online futures market to predict political events is not new. Professors at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA have run an electronic futures market since 1988 that aims to predict the popular vote in presidential elections.
Contact: Robert Forsythe