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Obama ‘shares’ trade red hot on election eve

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Tuesday, Nov 4, 2008

Wall Street may be a mess, but in the final hours before Tuesday’s US election one share just keeps rising: Barack Obama.

Stock market-style betting systems are trading Obama and his Republican rival John McCain like any other commodity — minus all the turbulence.

Intrade.com, one of the world’s biggest prediction markets, quotes Obama at 91.2 percent likely to win and McCain at 9.4 percent, with the spread widening by the hour.

That means a profit of less than nine cents per dollar invested on an Obama win and a whopping 90.6 cents in case of a McCain upset.

(Article continues below)

Another, the Iowa Electronic Markets, predicts Obama 91.5 percent likely to get in and McCain 8.6 percent.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Political futures trading doesn’t get the attention given to opinion polls.

Yet bookies say their predictions, based on cold money instead of heated politics, are often more accurate.

“When someone bets, they are backing it up with what’s coming out of their wallets. So it’s not only an emotional investment, but a financial investment,” said Ken Robertson at Paddy Power, Ireland’s biggest bookmaker.

“That’s better than basically standing in the street and asking people questions,” he told AFP.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 5:48 am

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