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"CFTC approves box office futures."

They approved the exchange, not its markets. Big nuance.

"Why the CFTC won’t approve the Cantor Exchange and the Trend Exchange’s prediction markets on movie box office"
midasoracle.org/2010/04/17/cftc-cantor-exchange-trend-exchange-movie-box-office/

@LemmusLemmus:

Given that their business depends on it, who do you figure speaks with more knowledge and authority about whether conditions are safe for flying than airline representatives?

Well, that was a clever idea for the train that never stops, at least until the embarking cart is rearended by the disembarking one.

> I see no huge externality if a plane does crash.

I'm sure you won't see one either once it falls on your head.

Interesting article from the CS Monitor saying that the damage/danger to planes may not be immediately apparent

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0418/Should-planes-fly-in-Iceland-volcano-ash-Be-careful-study-says.

Prediction: some planes will start flying, one or two will drop out of the sky, planes will stop flying again. then panic.

@Bernard Yomotov

If a insurer prohibited flight that is different. Maybe some other insurer will step in with a higher risk premium. I believe crews will be willing to fly when compensated appropriately.

As far the risk of a flight crashing on my head; I'll live with that!

I see no huge externality if a plane does crash. Well sir, see this :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viasa_Flight_742

I was 4 yo when it happens but i still remember the horror stories . By the way ,the damages to third parties have a cap by an international treaty applied to favor american airlines but not applied if the fly depart from or go to the USA

There is only one precedent. All fours engine halted. But there were no casualties
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_Flight_9
The ashes will polish the outside and can cut through

If the airlines are afraid of lawsuits if a plane does crash can't a suitable hold harmless clause be designed by their armies of lawyers?

Bernard is right. You would need agreements from the pilots and flight attendants, their union representatives, the airline's insurer (which might in turn need an agreement with the re-insurer) and, if applicable, the lessor or owner of the aircraft (many airlines do not legally own "their" airplanes).

That's quite a nightmare of paperwork and it is doubtful such a deal could ever be reached successfully, especially in Europe. This episode shows the wisdom of having an extensive rail network, though.

Most air routes are safe because the hazardous ash is only in limited air streams.

Special radars can spot the hazardous ash.

Commercial aircraft do not have the special radar, nor are weather forecasters setup to predict the ash streams.

With the lack of information, it is unknown whether 1 out of 100, 1 out of 1000, or 1 out of 10,000 flights will unknowingly travel in an ash stream.

What are the ethics of testing air routes for ash hazard using paying customers?

But let's use air crash swaps to eliminate the risks. That Paulson hedge fund would pick the air routes it would sponsor and sell tickets on, buying multiple life insurance policies on all the passengers. That way the market will determine the most profitable air routes.

Favorite books of famous authors: I have read everything in the
first section, all but two in the second, and half of the books
in the third. The only book I know in the last section is "Jean
Brodie," although I have seen "The Homecoming" (play) and
"Women in the Dunes" (movie). The latter was much admired fifty
years ago. My reading may just mean that I was born in 1937.
I have seen Faulkner's "Bear" cited as the best short
(longish) story in the language. It has unquestionable power.

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