Building a Social Market?

Following on from my first pledgebank thought, another occurs... I pick up a copy of Fortune and turn, as so often to G...

November 26, 2004

Following on from my first pledgebank thought, another occurs…

I pick up a copy of Fortune and turn, as so often to Geoffrey Colvin’s column. He’s so hardcore.

As a counter-point to recent pollster idiocy, he points out that the political betting markets correctly predicted the outcome of the American election, in every state. I let that lodge in the marshmallow for a second. Every single state!!!



He also reminds me that Admiral Poindexter famously wanted to create an international policy betting market. Believing that markets are the better predictors of the future than any single pundit, he wanted to use betting exchanges to predict terrorist atrocities and thereby shape foreign policy. It seemed like genius in the U.S., until the public realised that terrorists would potentially reap huge financial rewards by carrying out atrocities and then betting on their outcomes! Heads we win; tails you lose.

This wierd, pseudo-collectivist ‘wisdom of crowds’ explanation of markets triggers another PledgeBank analogy.

Maybe PledgeBank is a marketplace for social energy!

Mutual trust is the currency, triggering a promise to act upon demand. Underwritten by….er….human nature, and the threat of on-line-finger pointing. Not so different from E-Bay.

Ker-ching 2.0!

But who drives this market? Who trades in it? How do we create liquidity of promises?Mind goes blank.

We, the people, that’s who.

To paraphrase Arthur O’Shaughnessy.

“We are the market-makers, we are the dreamers of dreams.”

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