My name is Joe Weisenthal. I am an action junkie.
I like to play chess in Washington Square park for $2 a game.
I play online poker, and I used to bet on politics on InTrade. I’ll take most wagers, either side, if I feel the odds are reasonable.
The problem is, due to regulations, funding online poker sites and InTrade is a pain in the arse. Our government has a silly attitude towards gaming.
As such, I can’t wait for Cantor Fitzgerald to open up its real-money, moving-futures trading platform, the Cantor Exchange.
The Cantor Exchange is the outgrowth of the Hollywood Stock Exchange, a play-money site the firm bought nine years ago. Near the end of April, it’s finally going real money, having experienced various setbacks, including 9/11 (Cantor Fitzgerald was devastated in that attack), as well as the thicket of regulatory bureaucracy.
The basic idea is simple.
Every movie that comes out will have a tradable “share” to to speak, whose value will end based on the four-week opening box-office haul. So, for example, if a movie does $100 million in four weeks, the share will end at $100. The trading begins four months before the movie opens, and from then on, traders buy and sell the shares, based on how they think the film is going to do.
With any luck, the Cantor Exchange will appeal to three groups of folks: Studios (looking to hedge their exposure to films), hedge funds (who want to speculate on films) and normal folks, who want to trade films like they do stock.
Earlier this week, we got a tour of the site from President Richard Jacobs, who picked up the project in 2007.