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

By Reuven Brenner

ISBN-10: 0511424167

ISBN-13: 9780511424168

ISBN-10: 0521884667

ISBN-13: 9780521884662

Even if monetary markets frequently attempt to distance themselves from playing, the 2 elements have way more in universal than frequently concept. whilst, traditionally there have been no monetary associations reminiscent of banks, lotteries constituted the methods in which pricey goods have been disposed of, and governments raised cash fast. playing tables fulfilled roles that enterprise capital and banking do this day. "Gamblers" created clearinghouses and sustained liquidity. while these gamblers guess on expense 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 basically stayed an analogous. This booklet 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 will be heading.

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

Example text

A large sum, however, would turn him into a prudent, respectable man – meaning, among other things, settling down and marrying his mistress, but possibly losing contact with his fellows, still mired in poverty. Indeed, when Doolittle unexpectedly gets a large windfall, because of Professor Higgins’s joke of recommending him as a “great moralist,” that’s what he does: he marries his mistress. Historians such as McKibbin (1979) and Dixon (1980a) conclude that gambling made few demands on those who played, and it had no significant material consequences.

It took time – and population growth – for statisticians to discover regularities related to the law of large numbers, upon which insurance companies would later base their calculations and determine premiums. Thus, the teachings of most theologians and moralists until the latter part of the seventeenth century, drawing still on authorities rationalized in a world of a small and relatively immobile population, should not be surprising. Gradually, a new angle appeared in the condemnation of beliefs in chance, namely, that the rich are rich not because of chance, but because they did something good.

58 Today, among western countries, England has the most accommodating legislation toward all facets of gambling. People can bet on virtually anything, from the weather to political events – with winnings tax-free. K.

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


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