By Reuven Brenner

Even if monetary markets usually attempt to distance themselves from playing, the 2 elements have way more in universal than often proposal. while, traditionally there have been no monetary associations comparable to banks, lotteries constituted the methods wherein dear goods have been disposed of, and governments raised funds fast. playing tables fulfilled roles that enterprise capital and banking do this day. "Gamblers" created clearinghouses and sustained liquidity. while these gamblers wager on cost distributions in futures markets, they have been redefined as "speculators." at the present time they're known as "hedge fund managers" or "bankers." although the names have replaced, the activities undertaken have primarily stayed a similar. This publication exhibits how dialogue on "chance," "risk," "gambling," "insurance," and "speculation" illuminates the place societies stood, the place we're this day, and the place we could be heading.

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

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To see if our views were in the ballpark, we had to confront wide-ranging evidence, P1: KXF/RZZ P2: KXF/KAA P3: KXF/... QC: 9780521884662c01 CUUS191/Brenner 978 0 521 88466 2 June 16, 2008 From Religion to Risk Management 13:32 13 some related to gambling and financial markets. The twenty years that have since passed brought about much evidence that only fails to contradict the twenty-year-old analyses – which is always the best way to prove impartiality. After all, we could not have been aware twenty years ago of the new evidence that would unfold.

Many of these ideas may strike readers first as strange, as ideas belonging to distant pasts, ideas that should have long ago been discarded. But it is impossible to reject the view that a variety of selfish, disguised interests, rather than sincere beliefs, have been behind ferocious attacks against gambling and other forms of entertainment. The accusers repeatedly achieved their goals of either eliminating the competition or myopically ensuring government bureaucracies of a tax base (though the alternatives would have been far better, as is discussed in later chapters).

The question is this: When is a society more likely to prevent persistence in mistaken decisions? 31 The answer is simple: with their money at stake, people think harder and correct their mistakes more quickly. Their access to credit is limited. Central authorities, or those backed by them, face such constraints to a lesser degree. They have access to taxpayers’ money, can sell national resources, or can borrow against both. And correcting mistakes quickly is what makes societies richer – and happier.

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