Mark Esper Isn’t Going Anywhere

Which member of Trump’s Cabinet will leave next?

Here are 5 reasons why it’s a safe bet to short Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. 

(1) He Doesn’t Want to Resign. Esper probably did not intend to embarrass the president with his public statements opposing the use of military force to quell the riots. But even on the off-chance that he did, he has given little indication that he wants to resign as a matter of principle and go on a book tour just yet. Nor does he have a confrontational or polarizing personality that is likely to get him into hot water again. 

(2) Trump Is Unlikely to Call in the Troops. Trump appears to have backed off on using the military to end the looting, which likely gives Esper some breathing room even if he remains disinclined to go full Tom Cotton.

(3) Esper Has Nowhere Else to Go. There is no higher job waiting for Esper either in government or in the private sector—at least none that he is likely to get. He is young and healthy enough to remain Secretary of Defense as long as possible.

(4) Firing Esper would not fit the typical Trump pattern. Trump usually lets the process drag, publicly humiliates his Cabinet members, and waits for them to become relatively unpopular before axing them. See how long it took for the Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions sagas to unfold. None of this has happened with Esper.

(5) Esper enjoys strong bipartisan support in Congress. Given that Senators McConnell and Graham, as well as several Democrats, have voiced their support for Esper, Trump would need to spend a lot of political capital to get rid of him—capital he doesn’t want to spend going into the elections.

There could be some fluctuation in the markets as Congress and the Pentagon fight over Esper’s possible testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.

Another challenge with this market is that there isn’t much volume. If you’re looking to flip large orders quickly, it might not be possible.

Overall though, 74% is a bargain.

(Before placing a bet, I’d suggest watching the latest Mailbag Monday episode, where Keendawg and Zoltar explain why they’re much less enthusiastic about this bet than I am.)

Pratik Chougule is a contributor to Star Spangled Gamblers and author of the book How to Make Money from Political Predictions: A Guide to Generating High, Steady Returns from PredictIt.

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