[ExI] libertarian might win for a change

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue Oct 23 18:12:09 UTC 2012



>… On Behalf Of Tom Nowell
Subject: Re: [ExI] libertarian might win for a change


>…Spike, while your predictions are interesting it appears the bookmakers here in the UK say the money is betting a different way - William Hill are offering 2/5 on Barak Obama and 15/8 on Mitt Romney…Tom




Ja, I see the Obama shares on InTrade going for about 58 cents this morning, about half a cent less than yesterday.  I find this interesting because the existence of the various ideas futures games allows the patient investor to play the betting agencies against each other.  For instance, if an odds-maker is offering Obama shares at 60 cents (or 2/5 if translated to odds) then you can buy shares on InTrade for 58 cents and sell them short at 60, insuring yourself of a 2 cent profit, irregardful.


I notice the odds-makers are insuring themselves a profit by the spread you mentioned above 2/5 for the one guy and 15/8 for the other, when there is a near certainty one or the other will win this contest.


I noticed way back during the play-money ideas futures days that in major elections (US presidential elections are a great example of this) the investors are likely to let their own preferences spill over into their investment decisions.  Instead of betting on who they think will win, they tend to bet on who they want to win.  Consequently the price of the two major candidates add up to slightly more than a dollar, when in reality they should add up to slightly less than a dollar, for both candidates cannot win, but they can both lose, in some far-fetched scenarios.  So regardless of how this election turns out, there are opportunities to make a penny or two on each dollar invested.  Cool!


If you really want to make money, the trick is to be an odds-maker who really understands that she can make odds in such a way as to cover one’s own bets using InTrade and the related spinoffs as a hedge.  If one mis-estimates the odds in such a way that may investors jump on the bet rather than balance them, one can cover one’s ass with InTrade and still make money either way.


Last note: I thought of another way the libertarians might win: suppose we have not necessarily a 269-269 tie, but rather a cliff-hanger in two or even three different states (this could happen) similar to the Florida cliff-hanger in 2000, so we don’t know who won right away.  Then suppose that all three recounts go the same way, especially if the initial leader is overtaken in recount after recount, and we once again call attention to, and ignore, the fact that we have no way to insure the veracity of an election by direct vote-to-voter traceability after the fact.  We cannot audit elections, and we are intentionally keeping it that way.  Then suppose further investigation reveals a number of voting irregularities (they always do.)  And further suppose the number of irregularities could have tipped the election the other way (they sometimes do.)  The winner would then be considered to have won an illegitimate victory, as Bush was widely thought in 2000.  


This very plausible outcome weakens the office of the presidency and in this way the libertarians win.  Of course we get spent ever deeper into a hole anyway, so in that way we all lose, but the libertarian is at least the moral victor.



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