Bet on the future with the Pentagon

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The first paragraph of the article pretty well sums it up:

The U.S. military plans a worldwide on-line futures market to help it predict events in the Middle East. Traders could bet on the likelihood of events ranging from the overthrow of a government to the collapse of an economy or the assassination of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

As William Gibson comments, "If I'd made this up in a work of fiction, I'd expect to hear the suspension groaning, under your disbelief."

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Things move quickly. After some bad press, the program's been cancelled. PDF press release: http://www.arpa.gov/body/NewsItems/pdf/FutureMappressrelease2.pdf

As a couple of people pointed out on the UHCL futures list, the idea was very reminiscent of John Brunner's 'Shockwave Rider'.

By the way - "overmorgen" also means "the day after tomorrow" in Danish :)