Terrorism Futures: Good Concept, Bad P.R.

Just a day after its disclosure, a Pentagon proposal to run a terrorism futures--trading market was shut down after it met with bipartisan derision. A letter sent by Democrats to John Poindexter, the program's architect, said such a market, which would have allowed people to speculate on terrorist strikes, assassinations and coups, was "wasteful and absurd." Poindexter is expected to leave his Pentagon post in the wake of the controversy, but we may not have heard the last of the plan. "The p.r. has been bad," says George Neumann, a University of Iowa economics professor. "But people are going to want...

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