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: ZOMBIELAND
It’s the saddest season on PredictIt: the end of the year. Dozens of markets that resolve December 31 spend their last month the same way most of us will: on life support, with occasional morose visitors who have nothing to look forward to but the issuance of a death certificate and the distribution of our financial residue.
There are, by my count, 76 PredictIt markets that resolve with the arrival of the New Year. Even before Christmas, almost all of them – Will Matthew Whitaker be impeached by the end of 2019? for example – are dead as dead can be, listed at 99/1 or 98/2. Remarkably, in most of those markets, shares are still trading and threadsters still arguing about what seems, to those of us unfortunately bound by the chains of the Enlightenment’s commitment to provable reality, inevitable.
“So are you people going to be buying 1 cent shares here right up until the apple drops?” asks nostrallamas, aghast at a remarkably active conversation whether James Comey will be charged with a federal crime by year’s end.
And the answer is, apparently, sure, why not?
On the Will Donald Trump Jr. be indicted by December 31? market, there are still more “yes” buyers than sellers. The idea that Bill Barr’s Justice Department would work overtime to indict the President’s barely-smarter-than-Eric namesake by the end of the year seems far-far-fetched. Still, there are dead-enders who, down in the comments, continue to argue that being insufferably smug and/or named “Trump” is (or at least should be) a federal offense, and that stranger things have happened.
So we checked, and even including Vanilla Ice, the Marfa Lights, and Clint Eastwood’s talking to an empty chair in front of a national television audience, no, stranger things have not happened.
So one must wonder if, perhaps, some of the year-end comment chatter and maintenance of reason-defying activity on penny markets is an attempt to pump-and-dump worthless shares. There seem to be commenters throwing dead cat after dead cat off the roof hoping one of them will bounce.
While I’m not one to have a conscience, the last-minute money-grubbing feels to me almost like robbing a corpse. Let the markets die a natural death, I say, and may bad forecasts like Huma Abedin’s imminent arrest or Lindsey Graham’s installation as Attorney General rest in peace.
There’s an interesting discussion going on at Will Mike Pompeo file to run for the Senate by 3/31? It’s an example of two things: the importance of the specific rules of the market and a glimpse at what comment threads would be like if you could eliminate partisan trolls. Together, those two factors add-up to a nerdfest of invective-free calculation that, to paraphrase obstreperous loudmouth Chris Matthews, sends a tingle of excitement up my leg.
The rules resolve the Pompeo market March 31, but candidate registration in far-off Kansas (a state comprised mostly of budget shortfalls and silt from rapidly eroding Colorado) doesn’t close until June 1. That creates a window during which “no” could win even though “yes” is the ultimate answer. This throws a monkey wrench of nuance into what would otherwise be a purely binary decision.
Nuance, in this case, appears to be troll repellent, sending the hard-edge partisans running and leaving the comment thread to the dispassionately greedy. Their solid consensus is that Pompeo will drag his foggy bottom out the back door at State as soon as he no longer needs the legal shield of executive privilege. The betting is more a matter of when rather than if he will run. Nymmyrnyg comments below:
Commenter/nerd-of-the-week JonathanFuller takes a stab at it, constructing a Gantt-chart-worthy timeline of events based on a January 20 acquittal of the President by the Senate. Among Fuller’s milestones is a highly suspicious Valentine’s Day meeting with “evil people” that might indicate a literal deal with the Devil. Assuming Mephistopheles can be brought on-board, one-week later Fuller has Secretary Pompeo announcing his candidacy, resolving the market as a yes a week before deadline.
I love it when a plan comes together.
***The Future Sounds a Lot Like the Past***
What’s the end of a year without predictions? Here’s a selection from the threads, where the former Smartest Woman in the World–
Simply cannot be left to enjoy her time out-to-pasture in peace. There must be speculation!
“Hillary can announce at any time,” says the one, the only Rainbow Jeremy, laying out one of his signature vivid and hopefully market-moving scenarios that I have illustrated here:
Rainbow continues that: “Her rabid supporters will take to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TV, and everywhere else demanding to have their vote heard. They will demand Hillary be placed on the ballot despite missing the deadline, in the name of Democracy. Stacey Abrams will tweet Hillary should be placed on the ballots because to not would be voter suppression.”
Perhaps later we will discuss Rainbow’s confidence in the ability of Stacy Abrams, last elected to serve as a Georgia state representative in a district with about as many voters as national Democrats have presidential candidates, to overrule Democratic primaries. But for now, let’s focus on all those active aspirants who will need to be shoved aside if Clinton is going to achieve final humiliation in a Kamikaze vanity exercise. One after the other, the Bookers and Yangs and whoever that impeachment-obsessed billionaire is are going to have to be eliminated – I’m guessing by invisible Clinton operatives who can, among other things, cause disease.
In the end it will come down to Mike Bloomberg, who has enough money to hang-on until 3020, if that’s what his ego instructs him to do. In 2016, the soda-hating opportunist endorsed Hillary and spent $65 million on various Clintonesque moderates, mostly in states that voted for Trump, achieving zero return on his investment. Would Clinton turn on her friend and loyal supporter? Of course she would, and at her earliest convenience. Threadster BB Yoda predicts that will be in February.
“Bloomberg, after spending 1.3 billion dollars by the end of January, announces he’s dropping out of the race,” Mr. Yoda says. “Hillary announces she’s running the next day.”
Which, betting aside, raises a question: are people ever going to get over Hillary? Isn’t it about time for us to find another conniving, dishonest, self-interested politician to animate our delusional resentments?
It is, indeed, that time, and I’d like to nominate Amy Klobuchar. She has all the proper attributes: she’s moderate so she can be hated by both ends of the political spectrum. She’s smart and well educated, pleasant-looking with being actually attractive. Her husband spends lot of time around college girls. And, most importantly, she has a vagina, which means to Hillary haters that she’s horrible automatically so long as she continues to seek power.
So let me be the first to ask: why is it people around Klobuchar keep dying?