NOTE: POLITICAL PREDICTION MARKETS: A BETTER WAY TO CONDUCT CAMPAIGNS AND RUN GOVERNMENT Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2010 Yeshiva University
Cardozo Public Law, Policy & Ethics Journal

NOTE: POLITICAL PREDICTION MARKETS: A BETTER WAY TO CONDUCT CAMPAIGNS AND RUN GOVERNMENT

Spring, 2010

Cardozo Public Law, Policy & Ethics Journal

8 Cardozo Pub. L. Pol'y & Ethics J. 421

Author

Andrew S. Goldberg*

Excerpt



Introduction
 
It was the worst week in Wall Street history, 1 and panicked politicians, themselves near collapse from weeks without sleep, faced the Herculean task of halting the cascade and calming terrified traders. 2 Meanwhile, on Main Street, the extent of the financial fiasco was difficult to fathom. Innocent investors had lost more than $ 2 trillion of wealth in ten days, even as Congress passed an unprecedented bailout package making taxpayers part owners in failed banks and insurance companies. 3 Still, even with every traditional financial institution seemingly poised to fail, and many frantic investors wondering whether it was time to stuff their savings under their mattresses, some traders managed to find a different kind of financial cushion. At a growing number of popular online prediction markets, where political investors wager on presidential prospects the same way buyers and sellers at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade oil and soybean futures, bullish traders thrive while their bearish brethren suffer on Wall Street. 4 But there is one crucial problem with this new stock market: the federal government is standing in its way. 5

As the presidential press corps crisscrossed the country to watch candidates compete in early primary states, woo high-profile supporters and vie for fat-cat donors, its members were not the only ones speculating on whose political stock would soar. A new breed of political traders was also hoping to strike it big by betting their money, not just their reputations, on everything from which candidates would be ...
 
 
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