The Corner

High-Stakes Gambling

From a reader:

Dear Jonah,   Long-time listener, first-time caller.   I’ve seen you mention the tradesports.com (TS) predictive markets commodities exchange on The Corner.  I thought you might be interested in a little dispute brewing there.  TS has a current event contract on whether North Korea will launch any test missiles before the end of July.  One might think, given that 7 such missiles were launched on July 4, that the contract would have already expired at 100.  Think again.  The rules of the contract state that the missile(s) must leave North Korean airspace and that ” the source used to confirm a test missile being launched and leaving North Korean airspace will be the US Department of Defence [sic].” 

The DOD has acknowledged the missile launches and stated that all the test missiles landed in “the Sea of Japan” but not stated explicitly that any of the missiles left North Korean airspace.  Even though NSC head Stephen Hadley said as much in his on-the-record press briefing on the 4th.  So, while virtually all interested parties know that there were 7 test missiles launched on the 4th, in the minds of the managers of TS in Dublin the issue remains unresolved and there is an excellent chance the it will expire at 0.  The last trade for the contract was at 33.5.  So much for the power of predictive markets, eh?   The above is something I thought you might be interested in mentioning on The Corner or passing on to other devotees of the tradesports.com markets.  I also have a personal request.  Do you know any national security type correspondents who might be more successful (and amenable) at getting an on-the-record reply from the DOD on this matter than would a humble citizen-taxpayer such as myself?  I have a small financial interest in the outcome of this contract and I would also like to see tradesports.com get the “proof” it needs to avoid expiring the contract at 0 and looking ridiculously foolish.   Many thanks, 

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