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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Money's on Obama. Literally.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2008 at 11:25 AM

click to enlarge OBAMATRADE_thumb.jpg
The Wall Street Journal reports today that not only is Hillary Clinton trailing in the primaries, but she isn't a safe bet on the "prediction market" either. Web sites such as Intrade.com take bets on the outcome of various contests, from the Super Bowl to the presidential contest and even the Academy Awards. Yesterday Obama was trading at $7.12 a share while Clinton was garnering a measly $2.91, and this does not bode well for her. (No word on volume of shares traded in the story, though.) Robin Hanson, an economics professor at Virginia's George Mason University points out that prediction markets are different from opinion polls because betters stand to win something. They are "self selecting" and "willing to bet money they are right." Intrade claims to have accurately predicted the outcome of the 2004 election in every state but Alaska. FYI, the Journal hosts a political market of its own, run by none other than Intrade.com. A "Prediction Market Primer" at the bottom of the WSJ political market page says "A Wharton economist argues political markets may be the best bet for predicting the next president, by cutting through the clutter of polls and pundits." A "Wharton economist"?!?! Best get to placin' yer bets! -Andy Wright (Thank TradingSynergy.com for the pic)

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David Downs

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