Editor’s note: There is nothing we love more at SSG than hearing from you. The following submission, from trader John5157, is what we are hoping will be a recurring piece — a rundown of the week in PredictIt’s comment board threads. If you have an idea for a piece or a trade you are excited about, send me a message here.
The Week In Threads: Jumping Carp
A lot of gamblers are confused about the purpose of political wagering. Itâ€™s not to advance a party or express devotion to a favored gasbag. Thatâ€™s why thereâ€™s Reddit. On predictive markets, loyalists and ideologues are like Asian carp jumping right into a fishermanâ€™s boat. Good form, lots of excitement, and soon to be dead.
It is in the comment threads where carp can be found.
President Trump is, of course, the irresistible force driving the two most important forms of irrationality: love and hate. When you find a comment thread where one side or the other has become dominant, itâ€™s a safe assumption thereâ€™s value to be had betting against them. When values settle-in around 90, there are only two kinds of people left in the market: the happy group waiting to cash out and the carp.
A great example of this was the issue â€œWill Donald Trump be impeached in his first term?â€, which sat at 91 cents a week before Nancy Pelosi banged her gavel.
Trumpâ€™s fans couldnâ€™t recognize their man was going down any more than Asian carp can recognize that boats arenâ€™t something to jump into. Their loyalty financed a nearly 10% ROI in only a few days â€“ an annualized return rate of nearly 500%. It would be rude to refuse that kind of generosity.
This is not to say the comment threads are without valid advice. In the â€œWho will win the 2020 Democratic primary in New Hampshire?â€ thread, Salty Gary offers what seems to be useful information. Maybe heâ€™s sandbagging, but he is apparently from New Hampshire offering on-the-ground impressions of the viability of the various campaigns. He’s been chirping a lot about Mayor Pete Buttigieg (“he”) lately:
Now compare that with the betting. Biden, at the time of this writing, is trading at 14 cents, which is nearly three Yang units. (A Yang Unit is whatever sub-candidate Andrew Yang is trading for in the relevant betting pool, in this case 5.) Mayor Pete is at 24 â€“ which is 4 Yangs and a Klobuchar. In the most recent poll, Pete leads Joe 18%-17%. They are both ahead of Bernie Sanders, whoâ€™s at only 15% but nonetheless trading at an astounding 44 cents, nearly 9 Yangs.
I am suspicious of Sandersâ€™ value in exactly the same way I am suspicious of Trumpâ€™s. Bernieâ€™s supporters, like Trumpâ€™s, are wildly attached to their candidate. If Bernieâ€™s bros are overpaying it creates an opportunity for the rest of us. Hedge Pete and Joe for 7 Yangs and get an aggregate 35% in the polls or show your devotion to Bernie and pay 9 Yangs for 15%. Thatâ€™s five percent per Yang as opposed to less than two percent. You make the call.
In the thread for, “Will Hillary run in 2020?”, the liveliest debate is whether Clinton has had recent cosmetic surgery. The theory is if she has had plastic surgery it indicates sheâ€™s going to run. Maybe thereâ€™s money to be made based on the idea that Hill is trying to look younger for the cameras. Iâ€™ve got an alternate theory: Bill just hired a new secretary, and sheâ€™s built.
In the Next Supreme Court Justice discussion, Ben79596 points out the obvious:
Thatâ€™s as good a bet as I can think of.