[ExI] puzzle for intrade fans

spike spike66 at att.net
Thu Oct 25 04:12:26 UTC 2012


There is something I noticed watching InTrade bets for who will win the
POTUS elections in a couple weeks.  I need to do some math to convince
myself that this is real, but what I noticed is that when the guy from
Chicago has a bull run, it takes about an hour or more, but when he has a
bear run, it can drop as far as it rose in a few minutes.  Examples are seen
below, with a rise of about a point in about an hour, between 644 and about
740, but the bears do their thing right at 921 for about 5 minutes on wacky
high trading volume.




This reminds me of stuff we used to talk about way back in the play-money
Ideas Futures days, when we used to discuss ways to get the bulls to
stampede, or the bears to run for the doors, and make "money" on it either
way.  That was cool because it was the experimentation days in program
trading, and the discussion list was a prototype Reddit group.


If anyone wishes to comment on the above chart, I am not interested in
political commentary, but rather the InTrade angle, and if the notion of
Ideas Futures in general shed any light here.  I might be seeing ghosts in
the data, or some completely random events triggering the well-known
phenomenon of how program trading inherently creates positive feedback
loops.  I don't know why that in itself would cause asymmetrical changes in


The only thing I can think of is that this is somehow related to the fact
that there are fewer short sellers than those who go long: in this sort of
game, people would prefer to hold YES cards for their own guy than NOs for
the other guy.  But even then, that still doesn't explain it because the
other guy's price chart is a mirror image of this one: his bulls are twitchy
and his bears are more leisurely.  So puzzling.
























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