ABC News/AP reports what may be the strangest story of the year:
The Pentagon is setting up a stock-market style system in which investors would bet on terror attacks, assassinations and other events in the Middle East. Defense officials hope to gain intelligence and useful predictions while investors who guessed right would win profits.
Two Democratic senators demanded Monday the project be stopped before investors begin registering this week. “The idea of a federal betting parlor on atrocities and terrorism is ridiculous and it’s grotesque,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said.
The Pentagon office overseeing the program, called the Policy Analysis Market, said it was part of a research effort “to investigate the broadest possible set of new ways to prevent terrorist attacks.” It said there would be a re-evaluation before more money was committed.
The market would work this way. Investors would buy and sell futures contracts essentially a series of predictions about what they believe might happen in the Mideast. Holder of a futures contract that came true would collect the proceeds of investors who put money into the market but predicted wrong.
Has Laurence Simon been put in charge of the Pentagon?!