Fun_People Archive
4 May
Micropayments, Microinsurance, and Macroinsurance

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon,  4 May 98 21:53:50 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: Micropayments, Microinsurance, and Macroinsurance

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
From: Jim Hickstein <>

Apropos of micropayment, I conceived of a new, related thing: microinsurance.
I'll bet you 5 cents it doesn't rain this afternoon as I run to my car.
That sort of thing.

But then it struck me: this is indistinguishable from wagering, which is
probably illegal.  Then it struck me: microinsurance is indistinguishable
from macro-insurance in this regard.  Hmmmm.

Discuss.  :-)

       [If the person who makes the bet with you turns around and sells
	the bet to someone else, it's known as ``securitization''.

	If, instead of this afternoon, your wager is about rainfall in
	September, it's ``options trading''.

	If someone discovers that someone *else* is betting 6 cents that
	they *will* get rained on while running to a car in the same parking
	lot on the same day in September, and can combine these two wagers
	for a guaranteed profit, this is known as ``arbitrage''. --- dm]

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