Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Only Poll That Matters ...

... is a poll where you have to put your money where your mouth is:  "Intrade is an online trading exchange website. The website's members speculate on the outcomes of non-sports-related future events. Intrade is a prediction market which allows individuals to take positions (trade 'contracts') on whether future events will or will not occur. An example event is a political election, which is almost always settled in a well-defined and easily verifiable manner. The contract might be "Barack Obama to win 2012 U.S. presidential election." Other events include financial predictions, such as "NASDAQ average to close higher today." Intrade facilitates trades between members, charging varying commissions and fees on trades, but does not participate in trading itself. Trading positions are provided in the common nomenclature of long (will happen) and short (will not happen). The trading unit is a contract with a notional settlement value, typically $10, and the contract may trade in range of 0-100 where 1 point equals US$0.10 in value. If the event specified in a given contract occurs, the contract settles at 100 points or $10; otherwise, the contract settles at 0 or $0 in value. Thus, the current price of the contract can be imputed as the market's global opinion of the probability that the specified event will occur. Because most events take place over a well-defined time span, traders can trade both before and during an event.  Intrade provides both real money (Intrade.com) and play money (Intrade.net) prediction market trading. Intrade allows bets on a wide range of future outcomes, but does not predict stocks or sports competitions. In the 2004 presidential election, the market favorite won the electoral vote in every state. Intrade offers its market data to prediction market researchers. At one time it assisted the U.S. Department of Defense in a controversial scheme (ultimately canceled) to assess probabilities of future terrorist attacks. Intrade supplies market data at significantly discounted fees or free to academics. While Intrade operates legally from the Republic of Ireland, it does not comment on the legality of trading for customers in other countries." (Wikipedia)

The Good News:  Operation successful!