August 3, 2003 | Washington PostFutures markets are everywhere, and have been for a while. In 1995, the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA set up a scheme to let people buy futures with payoffs that depended on whether or not Colin Powell would accept the Republican presidential nomination. A Yes future would pay $1 if he accepted; a No future would pay $1 if he didn't. Once people had a bunch of futures in hand, they could trade them at whatever price they liked. Once Powell started his book tour, the Yeses rose while the Nos fell.
Contact: Robert Forsythe