If you have tried to contact Chris Masse thru the Midas Oracle Contact Form, Im terribly sorry to inform you that your message was not delivered to the recipient.

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Folks, I have received 3 messages thru that Midas Oracle Contact Form, lately. They were all empty, so I thought they were spams killed by the Contact Form. But, in fact, the Contact Form was not working properly. (I got rid of it.)

If you have something important to tell me (since I&#8217-m such an important person myself :-D ), please re-send it my way using e-mail.

Contact Chris Masse

You can contact Chris F. Masse (the editor and publisher of Midas Oracle) via:

  • cfm |-at-| midasoracle |.|-com-|
  • chrisfmasse |-at-| gmail |.|-com-| &#8212- GMail Chat, Google Talk, and Shared Items in Google Reader
  • chrisfmasse |-at-| yahoo |.|-com-|

Contact Less &#8220-Important&#8221- Members Of Midas Oracle :-D

Michael Giberson: | michael.giberson |-at-| gmail |.|-com-|

Jason Ruspini: | jruspini |-at-| yahoo |.|-com-|

Tom W. Bell: | tbell |-at-| chapman |.|-edu-|


TOM W. BELL: Thanks, Chris. Thanks, too, for being such an effective gadfly. I might well have blown off the whole exercise if you had not kept blogging about how you were awaiting my comment!

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&#8220-Gadfly&#8221- is a term for people who upset the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or attempt to stimulate innovation by proving an irritant.

The term &#8220-gadfly&#8221- (Gk. muopa) was used by Plato in the Apology to describe Socrates&#8216- relationship of uncomfortable goad to the Athenian political scene, which he compared to a slow and dimwitted horse. The Bible also references the gadfly in terms of political influence- The Book of Jeremiah (46:20, Darby Bible) states &#8220-Egypt is a very fair heifer- the gad-fly cometh, it cometh from the north.&#8221- The term has been used to describe many politicians and social commentators- in modern Hebrew, which knows many more idioms than those used by Jeremiah, gadfly is &#8220-mekhapes pagam&#8221- literally &#8220-fault finder&#8221-.

During his defense when on trial for his life, Socrates, according to Plato&#8217-s writings, pointed out that dissent, like the tiny (relative to the size of a horse) gadfly, was easy to swat, but the cost to society of silencing individuals who were irritating could be very high. &#8220-If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me,&#8221- because his role was that of a gadfly, &#8220-to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth.&#8221-

In modern and local politics, gadfly is a term used to describe someone who persistently challenges people in positions of power, the status quo or a popular position. The word may be uttered in a pejorative sense, while at the same time be accepted as a description of honorable work or civic duty.

I&#8216-m a modern-day Socrates&#8230- !!!&#8230- :-D

Previously: Let’s Tell the CFTC Where to Go. – by Tom W. Bell

Prediction markets = the future of journalism -said, from day one, Emile Servan-Schreiber of NewsFutures. Emile, if you have balls, lets do it -all together.

My yesterday&#8217-s post about the Obama&#8211-Clinton prediction markets was the most popular Midas Oracle story of that Monday. Hummmm&#8230- No idea why&#8230- I was not helped by Google Search or by an external blogger. Sounds like our Midas Oracle web readers and feed subscribers liked it &#8230- for some reasons I have yet to discover fully.


  1. I&#8217-m minding a grand &#8220-Midas Oracle Project&#8220-, and you can join it.
  2. Emile believes that prediction markets represent &#8220-the future of journalism&#8220-. I am trying to mind, specifically, what form could take the &#8220-prediction market journalism&#8220-.
  3. The idea is this: We need to put the charts of prediction markets inside news stories, and those stories should incorporate the meaning of the probability fluctuations (a la Justin Wolfers).
  4. If we stay in our armchairs, nothing will happen, because most of the old-school journalists and bloggers don&#8217-t think much of the prediction markets. The prediction market infiltration in the Mediasphere and the Blogosphere is like a weak stream, right now. I don&#8217-t have the patience to wait until &#8220-2020&#8243-.
  5. I don&#8217-t think that much will come out of the prediction exchanges. The BetFair blog and the InTrade newsletter are 2 pieces of crap &#8212-they compete in content quality with the Mongolian edition of the News Of The World.
  6. If you look at the evolution of the media, you see that the old-school, dead-tree publications are slowly dying, and are replaced by professional blog networks &#8212-look especially in the IT industry, with TechCrunch, etc. What you have is writers who publish only for the Web, and who fill a vertical niche. (And, the Washington Post is now publishing content from&#8230- guess who.)
  7. Needless to say, prediction market journalism is costly. Now, go directly to point #8, because that&#8217-s where the beef is.
  8. Yes, I have &#8220-heard of Christmas&#8221- :-D , and I understand Robin Hanson&#8217-s reasoning. [*] That&#8217-s where my funding idea lays. The idea is to think hard about who &#8220-might actually be willing to pay&#8221-. I am thinking of a class or organizations that &#8220-might actually be willing to pay&#8221-, provided 2 things. Number one, that I operate a certain twist on my form of prediction market journalism. Number two, that this project becomes the project of many prediction market people, or, better, of the whole prediction market industry &#8212-not just Chris Masse&#8217-s one. Those 2 things are essential.
  9. So, Emile, wanna join the &#8220-Midas Oracle Project&#8220-?


The &#8220-high IQ&#8221- Robin Hanson:

Chris, you’ve heard of Christmas I presume. Many people circulate lists of items they might like for Christmas. If you did, would you circulate a list of million franc/dollar gift ideas for people to give you? Would you consider that list more honest/logical than a list of gifts of roughly the price you think others might actually be willing to pay?

Google Reader now lets you jot down a note about any feed item that youve just read, before you share it with your acquaintances and friends (so they can sense how you feel about the news of the day). So, now, we know what Googles Bo Cowgill thinks of the CFTC announcement: ITS COOL.

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Bo Cowgill

Here&#8217-s the Google Reader announcement about this new functionality. (My thought: it&#8217-s &#8220-cool&#8221-. :-D )

Robert Scoble thinks it&#8217-s lame.

Feed Icon 3D

To share items with me (Chris Masse) within Google Reader, go to GMail, and under &#8220-Chat&#8221- (on the left pane), click on &#8220-Add Contact&#8221-. Paste my e-mail address there (chrisfmasse +++at&#8212- gmail +dot&#8212- com). Once I receive your invite, I&#8217-ll accept it. You will then see my shared items and I&#8217-ll see yours within Google Reader.

– Advanced tips on how to share items with friends within Google Reader

– Chris Masse&#8217-s Starred Items at Google Reader &#8212- Many things there.

– Chris Masse&#8217-s Shared Items at Google Reader &#8212- Only the most important things.

More info about site feeds and feed readers.

Feed Icon 3D

And, remember:

  1. Life is &#8220-cool&#8221-.
  2. Parachute jumping is &#8220-cool&#8221-.
  3. Prediction markets are &#8220-cool&#8221-.
  4. Google is &#8220-cool&#8221-.
  5. Google Reader is &#8220-cool&#8221-.
  6. Midas Oracle is &#8220-cool&#8221-.
  7. God is &#8220-cool&#8221-.
  8. Robin Hanson is &#8220-cool&#8221-, too. :-D
  9. Let&#8217-s all be &#8220-cool&#8221-.

LinkedIn feed of your network updates

UPDATE: Following my protestation published in the post below, LinkedIn has just fixed the problem I described and its network update feeds do now output both a title and a body (a.k.a. description). The body contains information and links, as I asked in this post. 😀

So, kudos to the LinkedIn engineers for computing that, even lately. However, I remain adamant that the TechCrunch writer (Ducan Riley) is an incompetent bozo.

UPDATE #2: The feed that I’m receiving now beams only titles. So we’re back to square one. 🙁

The information comes as a set of feed item titles… as opposed to full feed items (with each a body and a title). … In that body (a.k.a. “description” in RSS lingo), I would have liked to have each people or organization’s name… with their LinkedIn link embodied into their name… as you’ve got on the LinkedIn website (see the second image, at the bottom of this post).


The LinkedIn engineers didn’t do their work correctly.
The TechCrunch writer rushed to publish his blog post and did not pause to experiment the damn thing —or if he did, that Australian bozo (blogging at night while his Silicon Valley boss sleeps) has nothing to do writing for a premier tech publication.
I would expect a tech blog to be more critical, and not to swallow any P.R. crap sent by corporations —even if that P.R. message is sent as a blog post. Just because a P.R. department is “cool” and uses a blog to communicate does not mean that the tech bloggers should swallow everything those “cool” spin doctors say.

[The feed on the right side of the image below is the one that I’m talking about —not the one on the left site.]


Here are the updates from the Midas Oracle networks (the screen shot was taken 2 weeks ago). On the LinkedIn website, the names of people and organizations are clickable. That makes all the difference between an information that is useful and one that is not.


To be part of the Midas Oracle Network, follow this LinkedIn link and send me an invite from there. [ cfm |-at-| midasoracle |.|-com-| ] I’ll accept it.

Here’s the FaceBook link. Send me an invite from there, if you wish. [ chrisfmasse +++at— gmail +dot— com ]

And if you wish, we may also become friends on Google, and share feed items within Google Reader. I found this to be usable and useful. Try it. (It’s Robert Scoble who showed me the way. I’m sharing feed items with him and two dozens of people.)

To share items with me (Chris Masse) within Google Reader, go to GMail, and under “Chat” (on the left pane), click on “Add Contact”. Paste my e-mail address there (chrisfmasse +++at— gmail +dot— com). Once I receive your invite, I’ll accept it. You will then see my shared items and I’ll see yours within Google Reader.

I can be bombastic sometimes, but I can also be polite and respectful at other times.

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Caveat Bettor,

In my post, I said that I &#8220-respect&#8221- him &#8220-as a Wall Street professional and as a libertarian blogger.&#8221-

How more &#8220-agreeable&#8221- should I have been???&#8230-

On top of that, his name is listed here.

As for responding to him, I will do once he links back to that piece of mine &#8212-and not to an empty Blogger page.

Chris Masse is a total and complete fake -thats what Niall OConnor seems to think.

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Niall, my good Lord,

Firstly, thanks for your constant scrutiny of my web activities. I&#8217-m so honored &#8212-and you should be too, because I&#8217-m one of your feed subscribers.

As you point out, that post was not an instance of &#8220-prediction market journalism&#8221- &#8212-and was never branded as such. I have made a long-time policy on all the Midas Oracle blogs that their content is not about prediction markets only. That post was about US politics, and it consisted in a link to a story explaining why Oprah Winfrey is not able to help Barack Obama, because of demos and else. I thought my readers would like to read that story.

Niall, if you want an instance of &#8220-prediction market journalism&#8221- (not in its richest form, though, as we are just started experimenting and researching it), try that &#8212-and you&#8217-re welcome to criticize it and improve it on your own blog&#8230- if you can. (And if you want material for your next damning critique, try that.)

Your impulse to eviscerate the field of prediction markets (most of the times, with phony arguments, and at other times, with valid arguments) should be kept in check with both science and common sense &#8212-or you risk losing your credibility totally.

Best regards, my good Lord.

Chris Masse

Read the previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Never talk when you can nod, and never nod when you can wink, and never write an e-mail because it’s death. You’re giving prosecutors all the evidence we need.
  • Is Justin Wolfers a libertarian? Probably not.
  • The information technology that caught Eliot Spitzer
  • Eric Zitzewitz’s 10 minutes of fame
  • Fun with conditional probabilities
  • Wrongly Crafted Headlines Of The Day
  • an American, petite, very pretty brunette, 5 feet 5 inches, and 105 pounds

WordPress is a bit like WikiMedia (the software powering Wikipedia), now.

Two weeks ago, I was seeking a WordPress way to have multiple authors for a post or a page. I found 2 interesting plugins.

  1. The CO-AUTHORS plugin, which does what it says. One specific post or page can be assigned two or more co-author(s) by the blog editor. Very interesting. (I don&#8217-t get why the plugin developer forbids the co-authors to &#8220-edit&#8221- the post/page, though. Mystery, which I will try to clear up with the software architect of this plugin.)
  2. The ROLE MANAGER plugin (not listed in the official WordPress plugin directory), which changes the standard WordPress matrix of roles and capabilities. It can redefine the capabilities of one category of users (i.e., one &#8220-role&#8221-), and can change the capabilities of one individual, but won&#8217-t assign common capabilities on a post/page-by-post/page basis (unlike the CO-AUTHORS plugin). To put it in another way, the ROLE MANAGER plugin can be used to extend (or restrict) the capabilities of the blog authors. Right now, they can only publish a post, not a page. In this instance, they would be allowed to write and edit pages &#8212-without the need for the blog administrator to promote these authors as full editors (which would be tricky since those multiple editors could then edit their peers&#8217- posts &#8211-not acceptable in a big group blog with 71 blog posters).

Very interesting.

On Midas Oracle, one could have:

  • Authors Mike Giberson and Adam Siegel writing together a post on &#8220-How Great An Exchange Inkling Markets Is&#8220-.
  • Authors Chris Masse, Mike Giberson, David Pennock and Jason Ruspini writing together a page on &#8220-The Ultimate Prediction Market Definition&#8220-.
  • Etc., etc., etc.
  • If plenty of co-authors collaborate on a post/page, then my hope is that Midas Oracle could become more than just a &#8220-blog&#8221-, and be also a vertical encyclopedia on prediction markets. (Of course, participation inequality remains an issue.)

[External Reading: For the life of you, don’t miss this blog post by Tim O’Reilly on Wikipedia.]


UPDATE: The creator of the CO-AUTHORS plugin writes back to me:

Not allowing all of the co-authors the ability to edit a page is not by design- I just have to do more research on WordPress permissions to find out how to do so, if even it is possible.

I wonder whether using the two plugins together is the solution&#8230-


UPDATE: My current thought is to give each Midas Oracle author the capability to create, write up and edit his/her own page(s). And then to assign co-authors to some post(s) and page(s), on a case-by-case basis.

Email Interview: Ken Kittlitz

My responses to a set of questions Chris Masse recently emailed to me:

Chris. F. Masse: Ken Kittlitz, you co-founded the Foresight Exchange (it went by the name &#8220-Idea Futures&#8221- at the time) in 1994. Would you mind telling me two words on your co-founders? Which ones brought the most into the project? Are you still in touch with them? Do you know what they have become?

Ken Kittlitz: David McFadzean got the ball rolling by bringing one of Robin Hanson&#8217-s early prediction market papers to our weekly discussion group. Sean Morgan realized that the WWW, then still in its infancy, would be a great way to create such a market. Mark James, along with Sean, did most of the coding of the initial prototype. Duane Hewitt and myself did most of the work on a paper and presentation that our group presented at a conference the following year.

I&#8217-m still in touch only with David- he&#8217-s currently a software architect at QuIC, a company that creates financial risk analysis/mitigation products.

CFM: What was the spirit of your group at that time (in 1994). Did &#8220-entrepreneurship&#8221- mean something for you, guys? Did you envision a commercial venture, or was it just collegians&#8217- play?

KK: Our weekly discussion group was known as the &#8220-BS Group&#8221- (Biological Simulation, in case you&#8217-re wondering), so I&#8217-d have to admit that &#8220-collegians&#8217- play&#8221- is a fair summary. In 1995, we did try to turn it into a commercial venture, which quickly revealed our lack of business experience. We were all techies of one sort or another, and techies often struggle in the business realm.

CFM: Would you mind telling me two words on GMU professor Robin Hanson? How would you introduce him to some of our readers (I pity them) who have never heard of him?

KK: Robin&#8217-s one of the smartest people I&#8217-ve ever met and, unlike many smart people, not over-specialized. He has deep understanding of a number of fields: artificial intelligence, physics, economics and likely a few others I&#8217-m not aware of. He has a habit of coming up with fascinating, controversial ideas, prediction markets being just one example.

CFM: You co-founded this play-money prediction exchange (Foresight Exchange) in 1994. In 1999/2000, Andrew Black and Edward Wray created and launched BetFair in England. BetFair became one of the most successful British start-ups and its two co-founders are now sitting pretty on a small fortune. In hindsight, don&#8217-t you think that you should have moved to the U.K. and incorporated the Foresight Exchange there, using real money?

KK: In hindsight, I think that I should have done a massively-leveraged short sale of NASDAQ stocks in March, 2000. :-)

The best way forward is always hard to identify, even with tools like prediction markets&#8230-

When we tried to commercialize the original &#8220-Idea Futures&#8221-, starting a real-money market offshore was certainly something we considered &#8212- though at that point, somewhere in the Caribbean seemed the likely venue. Even back then, it seemed likely that prediction markets would be considered a form of gambling, and hence subject to draconian restrictions. The Caribbean can be a nice place to live, but the prospect of never being able to return to North America to visit family and friends was quite a disincentive.

CFM: One thing that strikes me when visiting the Foresight Exchange is that you forbid sports prediction markets, which are very popular on the betting exchanges. Even Bo Cowgill&#8217-s group of Googlers trade on sports, sometimes &#8212-I believe. Sports trading can be fun. Are you a jock hater?

KK: Not really, but the Foresight Exchange was created primarily to focus on science and technology claims. Having it cluttered with a couple of dozen &#8220-tonight&#8217-s game&#8221- claims per day wasn&#8217-t too appealing.

CFM: If I can count, you have more than 12 years of experience in the field of prediction markets. You&#8217-ve seen them all, in all colors and shapes. Do you agree with what Robin Hanson said at the Yahoo! Confab, namely that the DARPA&#8217-s PAM scandal ignited interest in corporate prediction markets? Was the PAM scandal a &#8220-tipping point&#8221-?

KK: No. I think the real tipping point was the publication of James Surowiecki&#8217-s &#8220-The Wisdom of Crowds&#8221-. Those of us interested in prediction markets tend to overestimate the PAM controversy&#8217-s importance- it was a big deal for us, but only an incremental step in the general public&#8217-s awareness of the topic. The interest generated by Surowiecki&#8217-s book showed that prediction markets had &#8220-arrived&#8221- &#8212- they weren&#8217-t just of academic interest, but instead had real-world applicability.

CFM: Note that the DARPA&#8217-s PAM prediction markets was to be public. Which leads to my next question. You and partner David Perry at Consensus Point help Fortune-500 companies setting up and running their own internal prediction markets. Have you ever had the case where one firm opened its corporate prediction markets to contractors and clients?

KK: Some of the firms we deal with are certainly interested in having a fairly wide audience, including customers and contractors, for their markets. I can&#8217-t go into specifics at the moment, however.

CFM: How is Consensus Point doing, so far? Can you draw for us the portrait of the firm that wants to use internal prediction markets? Is it always to forecast sales? Do you sense that the requests come from senior executives or from mid-level prediction markets-enthusiast managers?

KK: Consensus Point is doing very well so far. A lot of inquiries do indeed originate from mid-level managers and researchers, but a fair number also come from the executive level. Sales forecasting is a popular application of the market, but project completion times and commodity price forecasting have also proved to be frequent questions.

CFM: Sorry to ask you this question bluntly. Would TradeSports and Betfair make great competitors of Consensus Point if ever they decided one day to sell prediction market services to organizations?

KK: Quite possibly, but it&#8217-s certainly not a given. Both companies have great trading platforms, but their expertise is in running real-money, public markets. Corporations aren&#8217-t really looking for that sort of domain knowledge when considering how to implement and use a prediction market.

CFM: Would you mind describing in a few words the prediction market services you sell? I guess it&#8217-s web-hosted CDA, but are some firms interested in web-hosted MSR?

KK: We offer both hosted and on-site installations of our software, as well as training, analysis and consulting services. As for MSR versus CDA, see below.

CFM: Speaking of Market Scoring Rules, why did you decide to use this design as the engine for the Washington Stock Exchange? What is its main competitive advantage to CDA? How can MSR best be described: &#8220-betting&#8221- or &#8220-simplified trading&#8221-?

KK: The line between an MSR and a CDA is thinner than you might think! We have a market maker for each stock that provides liquidity by placing bid and ask orders- this is a convenient way of implementing an MSR within a CDA framework. An MSR really helps to start (and keep) the market going, because people always have a price they can buy or sell at. With an unadorned CDA, the bid/ask spread can be enormous, and trading volumes very thin. This alas, is often the case on the Foresight Exchange.

I&#8217-d describe an MSR as allowing for &#8220-simplified trading&#8221- rather than &#8220-betting&#8221-, though I suppose it depends on how much thought the person interacting with it puts in!

CFM: Just curious. When a prediction exchange decides to use MSR, does it have to pay fees or royalties to its inventor, Robin Hanson?

KK: I don&#8217-t believe so, but Robin is in a far better position to answer that question than I am&#8230-

CFM: What is the biggest mistake (if any) you have made since the grand opening of Consensus Point? What did you learn from this big mistake?

KK: No really big mistakes come to mind. Of course, such things are often only obvious in retrospect, so ask me again in a few years.

CFM: What are corporate prediction markets competing against (if any)? Internal polls? Groups of in-house experts? The firm&#8217-s executives? Something else?

KK: Generally, the firm&#8217-s executives. We haven&#8217-t encountered too many cases where firms have been trying to use internal polls as part of their forecasting efforts.

CFM: Are you positive that corporate prediction markets will show something for it? Will the economics literature soon be filled with business cases on how firms can clearly benefit from using internal prediction markets?

KK: Based on my experiences in the field thus far, I&#8217-m confident that prediction markets will prove to compare favorably with the other forecasting methods companies use. This isn&#8217-t to say that they&#8217-ll always yield good information, or be the best thing to use in all situations, but I think they will turn out to be valuable.

Am I positive of this? Not absolutely. But then, I try not to be absolutely positive of anything!

CFM: Now, the question that kills. Tell me frankly. Are corporate prediction markets a &#8220-fad&#8221- or are they just started?

KK: Great question! I think it largely depends on how the prediction market community presents the ideas. There&#8217-s a very real danger that the topic will be over-hyped and, consequently, ultimately dismissed, just as so many other trendy business ideas have been in the past. Today&#8217-s darling is often tomorrow&#8217-s pariah. That would be a shame, since (obviously) I think the markets have a lot of merit.

Note by &#8220-prediction market community&#8221-, I&#8217-m referring not only to those who create and sell prediction markets and associated services, but also people who blog about the topic, create vortals, etc. Not mentioning any names here --) .

CFM: Are prediction markets just one forecasting tool, or do they have a bigger function, in your view?

KK: The pragmatist in me says they&#8217-re just one tool, albeit a great one. The idealist finds something profoundly appealing in their ability to democratize how information is gathered and, ultimately, how decisions are made. The idealist thinks they&#8217-re something more.

The TradeSportss NKM scandal vs. the BetFairs 2006-Senate case

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JC Kommer was prompt to comment on my 2006-Senate piece:

Double standard Mr Masse.
Betfair is doing exactly the same thing that Tradesports in the NKM “scandal”, going for the literal reading of the rules as they should.

My Answer To JC Kommer:

I disagree.

NKM Scandal: TradeSports made two grave errors. Number one, they engraved in marble that they would rely ON A SINGLE SOURCE OF INFORMATION (the US DOD) for the expiry of the contract. This is totally crazy. The truth should be established using as many reliable sources as possible or appropriate (including second-hand but reliable sources like the White House, which is fed by the DOD on military issues). What matters is the truth, gathered from multiple sources, not one particular source that could have an irrational or secretive behavior at some specific times. Number two, while establishing this one-single-source-for-expiry contract, TradeSports was not aware of the well known and public fact that the US DOD never issues detailed statements on North Korea matters. Information about North Korea is &#8220-classified&#8221-. Logically, the US DOD did not confirm directly and in a very formal way that North Korea fired missiles. (Note that a case can be made that the US DOD did indeed confirm the North Korea firing of missiles, directly and in an elliptic way, which many observers found it satisfying enough for expiry purpose). So, in my view, as I have described above, TradeSports made two grave errors. They apologized to their traders, but they did not take action to compensate the victims of their two errors. The victims here are the &#8220-yes&#8221- speculators on the NKM prediction market. They were correct in their prediction, but they lost their shirt in the end. Note that the &#8220-yes&#8221- bettors and virtual speculators at BoDog and NewsFutures were justly gratified for their accurate prediction on the NKM topic. Which shows once again that the problems originated from TradeSports, and not from the &#8220-yes&#8221- speculators. TEN CEO John Delaney (managing TradeSports) should have compensated the victims. Instead of that, the first action he took on the Monday when the scandal broke was to retaliate against Chris Masse, who gave airtime to the screwed-up &#8220-yes&#8221- speculators.

2006-Senate Case: There are no &#8220-victims&#8221- here, since BetFair sticks with the ORIGINAL contract &#8212-as CLEARLY written ON DAY ONE on their &#8220-RULES&#8221- tab, and as understood correctly by everybody who can read plain English. NO SURPRISE, NO CONTROVERSY. “Which of these parties will have MORE SEATS in the US Senate following the 2006 US Senate Elections?” is a very different question than &#8220-Which of these parties will CONTROL the US Senate?&#8220-. There is no ambiguity in the first question. In the second question, it&#8217-s understood that you could control the US Senate with your allies (the Independents).