InTrades sudden and puzzled interest in… alchemy…!!!

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Dr Arata&#8217-s experiment on cold fusion to be replicated in peer-reviewed scientific journal on/before 31 Dec 2009

This contract will settle (expire) at 100 ($10.00) if Dr Yoshiaki Arata&#8217-s Cold Fusion experiment is replicated in a peer-reviewed scientifc journal on/before 31 Dec 2008.

The contract will settle (expire) at 0 ($0.00) if Dr Yoshiaki Arata&#8217-s Cold Fusion experiment is NOT replicated in a peer-reviewed scientifc journal on/before 31 Dec 2008.

Details of the experiment can be found HERE.

Expiry will be based on publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, as reported by three independent and reliable media sources.

Due to the nature of this contract please also see Contract Rule 1.7 Unforeseen Circumstances.

The Exchange reserves the right to invoke Contract Rule 1.8 (Time Protection) if deemed appropriate.

Any changes to the result after the contract has expired will not be taken into account – Exchange Rule 1.4

Please contact the exchange by emailing if you have any questions regarding this contract before you place a trade.

Please contact the Exchange if you have any query or uncertainty (including how it may be settled) about this Contract, the Rule above or the Contract Rules before you trade.


Robin Hanson on recent developments

Robin Hanson created a &#8220-Cold Fusion&#8221- event derivative market in 1990.

Robin Hanson talked up cold fusion in his first prediction market paper.

I&#8217-m skeptical.

Google News is mute.

Price for Dr Yoshiaki Arataa€™s Cold Fusion Experiment at

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • VIDEO: The financial markets hacker who will impress Jason Ruspini
  • VIDEO: WeatherBill caught on tape
  • You, the Midas Oracle readers, are a bunch of lazy bastards…!!!… — Take that, loafers…!!!…
  • Prediction Markets within the Forecasting Community
  • Devoting the whole NBC Nightly News bulletin to Tim Russert’s passing was worst than beaming out porn.
  • COLD FUSION: The purpose of this post is to give you the scientific explainer link I forgot to publish (at inception) in my previous post.
  • Forecasting Election Outcomes

Barack Obama is the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party.

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Cocky HubDub has just expired the contract. InTrade and BetFair did not. InTrade will expire the Democratic candidate contract when the Democratic party declares their nominee at their convention. BetFair does not state anything. Maybe they&#8217-re too shy to tell. :-D

UPDATE: Read Andrew Sulivan&#8217-s analysis of Hillary Clinton&#8217-s speech.

UPDATE: NewsFutures did not expired its Democratic candidate contract either.

UPDATE: Brad Stewart tells us in a comment that Reality Markets did not expire its contract, too.

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • No Trades (other than at the start) —-> Not a reliable predictor, as of today
  • How you should read Midas Oracle
  • The best prediction exchanges
  • “There will be no media consumption left in ten years that is not delivered over an IP network. There will be no newspapers, no magazines that are delivered in paper form. Everything gets delivered in an electronic form.”
  • Hillary Clinton won’t be on the Democratic ticket. — It’s not going to happen. — N-E-V-E-R. — Not a chance. — Period.
  • Suggestion for WordPress — Subscribers’ Capabilities
  • This is why I said that those who believe that Hillary Clinton has a chance to be on the Democratic ticket are “clueless”.

Self-Serving Prediction Market Of The Day – Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006

No GravatarInTrade:

New Market: Amendment to UIGEA

Monday, Apr 14, 2008

We have listed a contract on an amendment to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act being passed before the end of 2010, and that Rep. Barney Frank will be a sponser of the bill. This contract can be found under Legal &#8212- Internet Gaming.

Contract Rules:

This contract will settle (expire) at 100 ($10.00) if a bill amending the provisions of the US code implementing UIGEA will pass by 11:59:59pm ET on the date specified in the contract, AND Rep. Barney Frank is among the bill&#8217-s sponsors

The contract will settle (expire) at 0 ($0.00) if a bill amending the provisions of the US code implementing UIGEA DOES NOT pass by 11:59:59pm ET on the date specified in the contract, or it does pass and Rep. Barney Frank is NOT among the bill&#8217-s sponsors

Expiry will be based on the official passage of any bill, as reported by three independent and reliable media sources. For expiry purposes the Library of Congress? Thomas system will be used as the definitive source of information.

A bill will be considered &#8220-passed&#8221- once it has been passed by congress (House and Senate) and sent to the President for signing. What the President does with the bill will not affect expiry.

The UIGEA is the &#8220-Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act&#8221-.

Due to the nature of this contract please also see Contract Rule 1.7 Unforeseen Circumstances.

The Exchange reserves the right to invoke Contract Rule 1.8 (Time Protection) if deemed appropriate.

Any changes to the result after the contract has expired will not be taken into account – Exchange Rule 1.4

Please contact the exchange by emailing if you have any questions regarding this contract before you place a trade.

Why is Barney Frank&#8217-s footprint so important, in that contract? Makes no sense at all to personalize the issue. John Delaney is the most illogical man I have ever met.

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • “Is Clinton’s Pennsylvania Lead Really 20 Points?”
  • The Most Surprising Piece Of News I’ve Heard Today
  • My first prediction market plugin for WordPress
  • Prediction markets tend to be so illiquid, though, that mere activity looks like volatility.
  • Decision Markets and Futarchy are solutions in desperate search for a problem to solve and for their early adopters… and that may stay that way well after Robin Hanson’s head gets cryogenized.

The Prime Minister of Ireland has just said he will resign, but neither InTrade nor BetFair would give the first fig.

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  1. InTrade do not have any open &#8220-Bertie Ahern&#8221- prediction markets. InTrade do not have any closed &#8220-Bertie Ahern&#8221- either.
  2. BetFair do have a series of &#8220-Bye Bye Bertie&#8221- prediction markets &#8212-still open at the time of writing. So I deduce that they would want to close the contracts just after the Irish Prime Minister&#8217-s effective resignation (in early May 2008). Which makes sense to me. (InTrade fell on Larry Craig&#8217-s false resignation, as you may remember.) The BetFair event derivative contract only states:
  • When will Bertie Ahern officially cease to be Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland? Unmatched bets will not be cancelled at any time. Users are responsible for their own positions. Users should be aware that they are NOT allowed to bet on this event if they are physically present in Austria or Germany.

BetFair static chart (resignation to happen before January 2009):

PM Ireland 2009

As a matter of experiment, I am going to try to paste just below a hot-linked BetFair chart&#8230- to see if that works (that is, if BetFair accepts that bloggers do hot-link to their live charts). If you don&#8217-t see the &#8220-Bye Bye Bertie&#8221- chart appearing in the line just below, don&#8217-t mind.

UPDATE: The experiment is successful. BetFair do accept that bloggers hot-link to their live charts. Great news. (My readers may remember that I did that same experiment with InTrade&#8217-s advanced charts, some weeks ago, and that the experiment failed. But I&#8217-ll re-do that InTrade experiment, a bit later.)

Via HubDub, The Independent

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Thanks to enterprise prediction markets, senior management can move faster to deal with problems or exploit opportunities.
  • NOTE TO SELF: Set up customized e-mail alerts for brand-new, hot Midas Oracle stuff.
  • DAYS OF RECKONING, PART TWO: Matt Drudge features the prediction markets. + Reuters has the right terminology (“traders”, “prediction exchanges”) but ignores BetFair.
  • DAYS OF RECKONING: The New York Times is telling the business world that enterprise prediction markets are an essential management tool.
  • HubDub will soon distribute a continuously-updating chart widget displaying the state of their prediction markets.

The Harry Potter litmus test

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I propose the following test to check whether &#8220-Harry Potter is alive at the end of the novel&#8220-.

Is J.K. Rowling able to write an 8th installment of the series (a sequel) without resurrecting Harry Potter?

1. If &#8220-yes&#8221-, that means that &#8220-Harry Potter is alive at the end of the novel&#8221-.

2. If &#8220-no&#8221-, that means that &#8220-Harry Potter is not alive at the end of the novel&#8221-.

NOTE: Prequels are of course allowed in both cases. (Thanks to Deep Throat for the tip)


1. If J.K. Rowling writes in an epilogue that Harry Potter will die after a life well lived (that is, from natural cause, after a long and happy life), then an 8th book is possible.

2. If J.K. Rowling writes that Harry Potter dies in the hands of his &#8220-old nemesis&#8221-, then an 8th book is not possible (unless J.K. Rowling resurrects her hero).


Note that, in the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes case, we are in the configuration #2.


Harry Potter will survive The Deathly Hallows. (15,813 contracts held.)

© NewsFutures

Static chart:

Harry Potter NewsFutures


Previous: The contract of the Harry Potter event derivative at NewsFutures may be flawed.




Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • The FaceBook profiles of the 2 most important men of the field of prediction markets
  • Google now considers Midas Oracle as a major blog.
  • Horizon 2015: A long-term strategic perspective for the real-money prediction markets
  • Join our group at LinkedIn to have your “Prediction Markets” badge on your profile. It’s ‘chic’. (“Groups” info should be set as “visible”, in your profile options.) We are 63 this early Saturday morning —keeps growing.
  • If you have been using PayPal to fund your InTrade, TradeSports or BetFair account, please, check that horror story.
  • 48 hours after the launch of the “Prediction Markets” group at LinkedIn, we have already 52 members —both prediction market luminaries and simple people (trading the event derivatives or collecting the market-generated probabilities).

CME – Hurricane futures markets 101

No GravatarSouth Florida Sun-Sentinel:

[&#8230-] After a storm begins forming off the coast of Africa, for example, a buyer can obtain a contract covering the first storm to make landfall in Florida. The risk level of the storm will be determined by a sliding scale – the CME Carvill Hurricane Index – that takes into account the size of the hurricane, maximum wind velocity and damage potential. The scale starts at zero and rises as the storm becomes larger and more powerful.

If the storm approaches any part of Florida and becomes a higher category hurricane, the index rises. Thus, a contract purchased when the index was at 2, for example, at $2,000, would be worth $10,000 when the index rises to 10. The futures owner can hold onto the contract at $10,000, or sell it for a higher price if the risk increases.

If the contract is worth $10,000 and the hurricane strikes Florida, the holder can obtain $10,000 cash within a few days. This compares to traditional insurance policies where claims may not be settled for months.

However, if a hurricane does not strike land in Florida during the 2007 season, a contract – whether it cost $2,000 or $10,000 or more – is worthless. The hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. [&#8230-]

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • “I’m very concerned with the international situation and what’s happening in Tibet.”
  • How to win $100 in play money at HubDub, regardless of any political outcome
  • Problem 17: Prediction Markets — USMA D/Math Problem of the Week — Submission Deadline: April 3, 2008 at 1600
  • Midas Oracle is now powered by WordPress 2.5 —and you should be too.
  • Would be fun to have the equivalent for event derivatives.

Contract on US Economy going into Recession – REDUX

Last time, when I said that there was a problem with the TradeSports chart, nobody believed me and Caveat Bettor treated me like a decerebrated idiot. See the problem??? The TradeSports chart spans on one day, only.

Let&#8217-s try again the TradeSports code lines (pasted here in order to generate a dynamic chart &#8211-i.e., a chart that will update itself in the future):


There is OBVIOUSLY a technical problem.


James Hamilton has managed to better the TradeSports-InTrade US recession contract:

Given the concerns expressed by Stephen Kirchner about the original details of the Tradesports contract, I suggested to Tradesports a tighter definition of what it means for the U.S. to go into a recession, which they&#8217-ve now adopted. The current contract declares that the U.S. will be said to have experienced a recession in 2007 if the Commerce Department numbers as reported on February 15, 2008 show 2 consecutive quarters of negative real GDP growth between 2006:Q4 and 2007:Q4.

Here&#8217-s what Stephen Kirchner had written:

As is often the case with prediction markets, the contract specification raises more questions than it answers. There is no reference to whether the contract expires with the advance, preliminary or final GDP releases. The potential expiry with the Q3 release still leaves open the possibility of a recession in 2007 as a result of revisions to historical data. You could be right about a recession in 2007 and still lose money with this contract specification. And why do we need the media to confirm data released by the BEA? Perhaps Intrade are trying to avoid the problems that arose with their North Korean missile launch contract.

TradeSports-InTrade John Delaney should take advice from economists BEFORE setting up any economics-related prediction markets. He&#8217-s probably not humble enough to do that. I have always said that creating prediction markets requires a dual competency, which prediction exchange managers are unlikely to possess &#8212-they are managers, not thinkers, I will tell you. Thus, the need for experts advising prediction exchanges &#8212-that&#8217-s how the &#8220-humility&#8221- factor comes in.

Addendum: Professor James Hamilton of Econ Browser tells me that he has slightly modified the TradeSports code line to read now:

Price for US Economy in Recession at

Finally!!!!!! It works.

Addendum: Professor James Hamilton says, in a comment:

CEO John Delaney has been extremely gracious in all his dealings with me, and responded very quickly to my suggestions on the recession contract. He’s also invited me to consult with them prior to launching future economic contracts. So I think he’s on board for your message.


Author Profile&nbsp-Editor and Publisher of Midas Oracle .ORG .NET .COM &#8212- Chris Masse&#8217-s mugshot &#8212- Contact Chris Masse &#8212- Chris Masse&#8217-s LinkedIn profile &#8212- Chris Masse&#8217-s FaceBook profile &#8212- Chris Masse&#8217-s Google profile &#8212- Sophia-Antipolis, France, E.U. Read more from this author&#8230-

Read the previous blog posts by Chris. F. Masse:

  • Are David Pennock’s search engine prediction markets the worst marketing disaster since the New Coke?
  • Midas Oracle is incontestably [*] the best vertical portal to prediction markets.
  • Comment spam paid by Emile Servan-Schreiber of NewsFutures-Bet2Give
  • BetFair Games needs a Swedish provider to develop its gambling offerings.
  • When Markets Beat the Polls – Scientific American Magazine
  • Robin Hanson has some fanboy in India. Great. Tiny caveat: The parroting Indian writer does not acknowledge Robin Hanson by name.
  • Molecular Nanotechnology