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

By Reuven Brenner

Even if monetary markets frequently attempt to distance themselves from playing, the 2 components have way more in universal than often inspiration. while, traditionally there have been no monetary associations akin to banks, lotteries constituted the methods during which pricey goods have been disposed of, and governments raised cash fast. playing tables fulfilled roles that enterprise capital and banking do this present day. "Gamblers" created clearinghouses and sustained liquidity. while these gamblers wager on fee distributions in futures markets, they have been redefined as "speculators." this day they're known as "hedge fund managers" or "bankers." although the names have replaced, the activities undertaken have basically stayed a similar. This publication 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 could be heading.

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

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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. Some may bring up the much-publicized bankruptcy of Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) as a counterexample. But that case, just as the present subprime mortgage sequence of events, strengthens rather than weakens the points made previously.

P1: KXF/RZZ P2: KXF/KAA P3: KXF/... QC: 9780521884662c01 CUUS191/Brenner 978 0 521 88466 2 16 June 16, 2008 13:32 Reuven Brenner and Gabrielle A. Brenner Most of the priesthood condemned the use of lots, dice, and gambling for money. The attitude is understandable: If the hoi polloi used the devices and discovered probability distribution, what would happen to the magic, the sacred, the ritual, and the priesthood’s exclusivity in explaining and making decisions? And how could the priesthood then legitimize its role and sustain the stamp of decision-making authority?

Lack of light, heat, furniture, and space did not make the house into a comfortable home. As a commentator then put it: One of the worst features . . is the cheerlessness with which it invests the poor man’s house. On returning from work, instead of finding his house in order, and a meal comfortably prepared for him, his wife accompanies him home, or perhaps arrives after him . . The result is that . . he goes to the nearest alehouse . . A great deal is lost also through the unthrifty habits of his wife.

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