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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 23, 2011/ 19 Adar I, 5771

Why Does Government Suppress Information?

By John Stossel




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sunday night is Oscar night! Think you know who's going to win? Want to make a bet?

The Hollywood Stock Exchange allows people to bet on which movies, actors, directors, etc. will take home Academy Awards. You can also bet on how much money a movie might make. It's called a prediction market ... except unlike other prediction markets, bettors can't use real money.

What fun is that? It's not only less fun, it's also makes the prediction market less accurate. People are more careful when they have real money on the line, and the chance of losing money weeds out the frivolous guessers. Prediction markets are valuable for predicting all kinds of things because the prospect of making money attracts people with knowledge, judgment and a good sense of the future. More information is better than less. The people most confident in their information bet the most. That's why speculation is a sound market institution.

The promoters of the Hollywood Stock Exchange would have preferred the use of real money but — surprise! — government forbids it. The Frank-Dodd financial regulation law killed the real market at the behest of some in the movie industry.

Rich Jacobs, president of the Hollywood Stock Exchange, says that some studios wanted it killed because they didn't want public discussion of their plans.

"I think they were just concerned about bringing financial market transparency to an industry that hasn't had any transparency about finances," he said.

Why would people want a prediction market for movies?

"Thousands of users out there follow movies very closely," Jacobs said. "They have an opinion on how well those films will do, and they'd like to put some of their money (to) work."

And through the betting, knowledge would be revealed. Films more likely to succeed would probably get funded.

Not every studio opposed the prediction market. Lionsgate defended it. Good for them.

"It would give an opportunity for those trying to produce (small) films and get distribution ... by showing that the market thinks those films can make $10 or $20 million," Jacobs said.

The betting would start at the very beginning of the process.

"First, it's a script, an idea. Then, an actor or director signs on, and the value goes up. And by the time the trailer comes out, there's a very good sense of the valuation of the property."

But politicians called that "speculation" and "gambling." Can't have that!

"The Commodity Futures Trading Commission did a three-year review and concluded that there was legitimate economic purpose behind this market," Jacobs added.

But last year, then-Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank said no.

Now I hear Dodd might be appointed head of the movie studios' lobby. Cozy. Maybe sleazy. But that's how politics and regulation work.

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Stock Exchange continues to operate. But with bettors using fake money, it's less accurate.

"It's certainly not as accurate as it would be with the real money market," Jacobs said. "(But the) track record of the Hollywood Stock Exchange in forecasting how well a film will do at the box office has been extraordinary."

That's because prediction markets predict better than pundits and polls. An even better one is Intrade.com — it uses real money. One study found it has just half the margin of error of national polls. Intrade is based in Ireland because cloddish busybodies like Dodd and Sen. Jon Kyl won't allow such gambling sites to operate in the United States. Nevertheless, Americans bet on Intrade anyway, so that prediction market is still a way for Americans to demonstrate their predictive talents.

So let's have fun with the information that the bettors bring us. What does Intrade predict for the Oscars? As of Tuesday, "The King's Speech" had an 81 percent chance to win best picture. Its star, Colin Firth, was a 95.5 percent favorite to win best actor. Natalie Portman had a 90 percent chance of winning best actress for "Black Swan." The best director race was closer. David Fincher was the favorite at 60 percent for "The Social Network"

I dare you to bet against the prediction market.

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