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Forsythe: Futures Reliable Indicators

Though there was an outcry over the Pentagon's terrorism futures market, a similar online exchange is in the works to predict what the U.S. government is up to. The American Action Market will offer various Washington "futures" that can be bet upon and traded. Examples include: Which country will the White House threaten next? Who will be the next foreign leader to move off the CIA payroll and onto the White House's "most wanted" list? Which corporation with close ties to the White House will be the next cloaked in scandal? The AAM will begin registering traders in September and plans to open for business Oct. 1 -- the same launch date proposed for the Pentagon's terrorism market, until it was shelved. BOB FORSYTHE, a University of Iowa professor who helped organize the Iowa Electronic Markets , which speculate on election results, agreed that futures are reliable indicators of what's going to happen next -- if the traders are knowledgeable. "You have to have informed traders or they don't work very well," he said. "Who are the informed traders in an assassination market, for example? The same's true for predicting the White House."

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