Friday, November 21, 2008

Missed Opportunities at Intrade

Politickr, which had been taking a brief break from blogging during the transition, was hoping to spend much of it catching up on political day trading in cabinet posts on Intrade. Unfortunately, the prediction market seems to be taking too much of a breather of its own. 

Just when Intrade should be building on its incredible election momentum and boasting that it predicted the electoral vote exactly right (that lone, pesky Nebraska electoral vote notwithstanding), the site has strangely missed one opportunity after the next to keep politicos hooked.

Sure, there are the requisite contracts about the high-profile cabinet posts. But where is the contract about the next Commerce Secretary? Or Secretary of Health and Human Services? Or Head of the EPA? Why couldn't I invest in Obama's next chief of staff? And why is there a contract on Yahoo's next CEO but not one on who will be America's first CTO? 

When the Democrats met last week behind closed doors to vote on Lieberman's fate, Politickr looked in vain for the Intrade contract on his political future. Where is the contract on who will be named to Obama's Senate seat or Biden's? What about Hillary's replacement if the Secretary of State soap opera plays out the way it's been predicted? The list of potential short-term contracts is endless.

When Tradesports, the sports prediction exchange that was once part of Intrade, closed its doors this week, some nervous traders began to fret that Intrade might be next. But after this banner year for the site, Politickr highly doubted that anything was amiss. Still, the company has done very little to assuage such fears. Instead, by adding a contract about whether Intrade itself will still be in business next year, and removing its big ad for job applicants, a mainstay on the site during election season, the site only seems to be fueling such speculation. Far more disconcerting, however, is the lack of new political contracts on the site at a time when Intrade should be building on its buzz.

    

1 comment:

charityslave said...

I'm the same way. I always seem to be looking for political trades that haven't materialized.