Betting on the Box Office
March 16, 2010, 10:20 PM
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From my new column at Taki's Magazine:
I certainly don’t know much about investing, but I can give you one solid tip: don’t bet in the movie box office futures market.

Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald expects to get federal regulatory approval to begin trading movie pseudo-shares in April (and a start-up called Veriana Networks also hopes to get into the business). The rationalization is that movie-makers could unload some of the risk of a flop on investors, but the appeal is that it’s more fun than gambling on pork bellies.

What could be a more perfect embodiment of our post-modern economy? While the Asians manufacture everything, Americans will try to get rich by selling each other cinematic synthetic financial instruments.

Betting on box office numbers isn’t a new idea. For a decade, hobbyists with too much time on their hands have been competing on the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX) for pretend money by predicting how well new movies will perform.

Read why betting real money on how well upcoming movies will perform is a bad idea there, and comment upon it here.