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Defense Department plans for terrorist futures market iced

Even though the etoy.CORPORATION is a firm advocate of experimental investments and twisted capitalism we must question the US Defense Department's unbelievable plan to create a Terrorists Futures Market. The program's goal was to use market instincts to predict and somehow prevent terrorist attacks.

...[the program] would have encouraged investors to forecast terrorist attacks, coups, and assassinations - apparently in the belief that market instincts could predict such events - was abruptly canceled yesterday after it came under withering criticism from lawmakers. boston globe


This fantasy investment game was the brain child of the Information Awareness Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The office's latest plan would have created an Internet site that functioned as a futures market for predicting terrorist attacks, allowing anonymous individuals to, in effect, place bets on calamitous events....Those who predicted correctly would profit over those who guessed wrong. [boston globe]

It certainly would have been... interesting. The logical implications of such a market: terrorists could fund themselves by buying futures in the market and then carrying out an attack, similarly investors could commission attacks in order to capitalize on investments and of course rewarding people for predicting human atrocities is generally not a smart move.

more articles: LA Times (registration), NY Times (registration), Telegraph

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