More funny money: Sports "stocks"

With the stock market bouncing up and down like a four year old with a bellyful of espresso, a lot of investors are wondering if there is another place where they can bet the farm on financial instruments that are only tenuously related to reality.

Luckily, a fresh market has entered the breach. OneSeason is an online exchange that lets its users buy, sell, and trade "stock" in sports stars. For example, a share of Kobe Bryant (KOBE) is currently going for $0.88, while a share of Allen Iverson (IVER) is holding steady at $1. The value of these shares is based on the on-field performance, off-field drama, and overall prospects of the players.

Admittedly, the stocks do not actually reflect any tangible commodity, which means that they do not pay dividends, and cannot be cashed in for, say, Eli Manning's little finger. However, they perform in much the same way as traditional stocks, splitting when they are doing well, and falling when their players fail.

Moreover, with the absence of a regulatory body like the SEC, this market is ripe for some serious manipulation. So, if you have a sports fan in your house, or a mild sociopath with an encyclopedic knowledge of pre-Roosevelt stock market scandals, this might be the perfect Christmas present!

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. He's been nervous about sports trading ever since the Great John Riggins Debacle of 1986.

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