Hollywood Stock Exchange
Roger Friedman reports: Soon, everyone —I mean, everyone — will be able to bet on the boxoffice, and make or lose lots of money on the outcome. Cantor Fitzgerald’s Howard Lutnick is right now beta testing something called The Cantor Exchange. You can find it here. Lutnick already operates the Hollywood Stock Exchange, where players trade “virtual” shares of everything including stars, directors, films, etc. It’s all innocent fun. CX, as it will be known, is a different story. Cantor is awaiting regulatory approval before it launches officially.
The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations By James Surowiecki (Doubleday, 296 pp., $24.95) In the summer of 2003, analysts at the Department of Defense had an unusual idea. To predict important events in the world, including terrorist attacks, they would create a kind of market in which ordinary people could actually place bets.