Download A World of Chance: Betting on Religion, Games, Wall Street by Reuven Brenner PDF

By Reuven Brenner

ISBN-10: 0511424167

ISBN-13: 9780511424168

ISBN-10: 0521884667

ISBN-13: 9780521884662

Even though monetary markets frequently attempt to distance themselves from playing, the 2 elements have way more in universal than often notion. whilst, traditionally there have been no monetary associations corresponding to banks, lotteries constituted the methods wherein dear goods have been disposed of, and governments raised cash speedy. playing tables fulfilled roles that enterprise capital and banking do this day. "Gamblers" created clearinghouses and sustained liquidity. whilst these gamblers guess on fee distributions in futures markets, they have been redefined as "speculators." this day they're known as "hedge fund managers" or "bankers." notwithstanding the names have replaced, the activities undertaken have basically stayed an identical. This booklet exhibits how dialogue on "chance," "risk," "gambling," "insurance," and "speculation" illuminates the place societies stood, the place we're at the present time, and the place we will be heading.

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Extra resources for A World of Chance: Betting on Religion, Games, Wall Street

Example text

And correcting mistakes quickly is what makes societies richer – and happier. Gamblers and risk-takers, when held accountable, have been very much part of the sequence of events that helped societies leap into the unknown. True, they committed mistakes when doing so. But they also corrected those mistakes and others quickly. There is no science to making decisions in the face of uncertainty – incalculable risks, that is. There cannot be. But there are ways to manage such uncertainty: the best way is to rely on information drawn from the bets of millions of people who put up money to back their ideas and challenge their luck.

Brenner face of incalculable risks, replacing both spheres of decisions that government bureaucrats occupied in the more recent past and rulers’ drawing on astrologers’, priests’, and oracles’ decisions before. Societies recognize that risk-taking makes them natural resources, and gamblers are needed to achieve that. This substitution does not happen richer than smoothly; it happens through trial and error, as in every endeavor. As a brief first example, consider how the junk-bond market, whose legitimacy was questioned by associating it with gambling and Ponzi schemes, transformed into the high-yield-bond market within a span of fifteen years, with few questioning today its benefits.

Abramoff’s manipulations to incite opposition to new gambling businesses so as protect existing ones by dusting off ancient prejudices would make a Machiavellian proud. In 1999 Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist now in jail (OK, so Machiavellians may not be that proud), promised to access three thousand pastors, ninety thousand religious households, the Alabama Christian Coalition, the Alabama Family Alliance, and the Christian Family Association to defeat a bill in the Alabama State Legislature. This bill would have allowed casinostyle games on dog-racing tracks, which would have competed with the Choctaw tribe’s casino.

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A World of Chance: Betting on Religion, Games, Wall Street by Reuven Brenner

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