Bond traders Cantor Fitzgerald want to create a marketplace for trading box-office "contracts" — bonds based on the performance of giant goofy Hollywood blockbusters. Max Keiser, founder of the old Hollywood Stock Exchange, has this to say: "HSX futures will actually drive the price of stars and the industry DOWN, just like introducing futures contracts in Japan in 1989 top-ticked that market and it dropped from 40,000 to 8,000 and never recovered… Hollywood studios will be able to 'short' their rivals stocks and thus drive prices lower for everything across the board. This is NOT GOOD for Hollywood. What file sharing leaves behind will get blown apart by studios shorting each other's projects trying to drive 'perception.' Just like in Japan: Cartels and Keiretsu who supported each other for decades turned on each other when annonymous futures gave them an opportuntiy to short each other without 'losing face.'"
Cantor Fitzgerald has filed an application with regulators to launch an exchange that will allow users to hedge and speculate on the financial performance of movies.
Cantor says that subject to approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), its exchange's first traded product will be "Domestic Box Office Receipt" contracts.
The contracts – expected to be listed in the first quarter of 2009 – will offer film finance professionals and traders an opportunity to hedge and speculate on the ticket sales of major film titles.