Terrorism futures market gets second lease on life

Terrorism futures market gets second lease on life

The Policy Analysis Market in terrorism futures that created such a stir that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency dropped it like a hot potato in July is back.

The market, which is intended to be an analysis tool to track and predict events in the Middle East, was developed for DARPA by Net Exchange of San Diego. The storm of congressional and public protest when the program was revealed resulted in its being shut down within 24 hours (see GCN story).

But Net Exchange apparently has decided to launch PAM on its own next spring.

In the months since its initial exposure, 'solid reporting has conveyed that PAM was never intended as a market in terror,' according to an announcement on www.policyanalysismarket.com. 'In addition, many individuals have expressed the wish that PAM be re-established beyond government involvement. PAM will open for trading in March 2004 free of government involvement.'

By giving people a tool for investing in the likelihood of future events, 'PAM will gather the opinions of people from many countries and backgrounds, individuals who are deeply interested in the future of the Middle East,' the announcement noted.

A number of economists have said that futures and other financial markets have proved effective in predicting events, and that a tool such as PAM could be useful in understanding and predicting events in volatile parts of the world.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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