Free Money Thursday: Dem Shutdown Vote Guaranteed to Bring out GOP Squish Squad

If you are like me, then you are starting to think that the government shutdown is basically just a spin-off of All My Children— a boring, endless soap opera, where nothing ever happens.

However, in today’s episode, the Senate is going to vote on two proposals to re-open the government, both of which are going to fail. With this as backdrop, I noticed my money line ringing this morning. As usual, it was SSG’s best friend, Zoltar-the-All-Knowing, smelling some alpha. He was dead-on.

“K-dawg, what do you think about this Democratic shutdown vote?” Is what the old wizard asked, and as I answered his question, it became clear that there is a free-money trade available for one day only. It’s the bad boy right here:

How many cloture votes for the Democratic plan on 1/24?

Dem cloture 124

First of all, beware. The savage inside of me usually loves to bet these “how many votes” markets because they pay out like a slot if you hit them. But this one is a big nasty that I would avoid like a squad of 8th graders hopped-up on Mountain Dew. That’s because it’s way over-priced. By my count, there are at least six Republican Senators who might vote for this package, but who’s to say which ones will break with their own party and which ones won’t. By the way, the GOP Senators to watch are: Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, Rob Portman, and Cory Gardner.

Here are the lines to buy all the possible combinations to cover those defections:

lines cloture

Yeah, not interested. Add those up and we’re in the 60-70 cents range per share, and that still leaves your cash exposed to some weird fluke, like the time Sen. Tim Daines (R-ND) missed the Brett Kavanaugh vote, or the time that Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-MA) got high on pills and crashed his car into a storefront on Pennsylvania Avenue. The point is, these things happen all the time, and I don’t want to be on the hook for them as long as there is a free money option at 49 or fewer, which was trading in the 80s as recently as lunch EST.

Anyway, I am 100-percent positive that all-in, there will be more than 49 votes for the Dem package’s cloture motion– which means a minimum of three GOP defections. We already have our first one, which is Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) who is not a squish at all. This not-so-squeaky wheel needed zero grease to vote for Betsy DeVos, Brett Kavanaugh, and the GOP tax cuts, all of which were highly controversial at the time. So I am pretty comfortable betting that the real softies on the Republican side, Lisa Murkowski (NO on Kavanaugh) and Susan Collins (YES on Dodd-Frank), will definitely be joining him in supporting the Dem package, as well as at least one of the “I wish I was President and that’s why I do things that are vaguely bipartisan” Senators, which includes Mitt Romney and Rob Portman.

So no, I don’t know how many votes this package gets, but I am pretty darn sure it’ll be 50 or more when it’s done.

Dem cloture 124

Boom. Free money. NO at 89 cents or less.


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