SIRC Media Watch Archive
Comment and Opinion – April 2004

Policy Analysis Market and the Political Yuck Factorwhy Americans shied away from a geopolitical futures market.The Pentagon unit DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Unit), almost immediately after the WTC attack, formulated a plan for an on-line market in Middle-East futures, hoping that the lure of massive financial rewards for correct bets on, say, the likelihood of a biochemical attack on Israel, would attract investors with genuine inside information.The market, known as the Policy Analysis Market, or PAM, never got off the ground. Democrat politicians in the Senate uncovered the plan in July 2003 and it was dropped amid public outcry...So what is it about the Policy Analysis Market that could raise so much ethical condemnation in a country where holding non-American citizens without trial in Guantanamo Bay is seen as a realistic and justified response to the threat of terrorist attacks? Full article