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Intrade manipulated by anonymous pro-Romney trader

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Intrade manipulated by anonymous pro-Romney trader

Postby kurt_w » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:00 am

Intrade has been shut down for a while now, but obviously it was a pretty big thing during the election campaign last year.

One thing that a lot of people noticed was that Intrade's odds often seemed strangely tilted towards the GOP. Compared to better predictors like the polls and various polling aggregators, Intrade usually gave Obama significantly worse chances for re-election.

Well, it turns out that some anonymous trader was systematically spending millions to boost Romney's odds on Intrade:

Two economists who studied the data offer various rationales for the trader’s aggressive wagering on Mr. Romney in the final two weeks of the campaign. The anonymous trader placed 1.2 million pro-Romney contracts, some of which were actually in the form of bets against a Barack Obama victory.

The most plausible reason for the betting, the authors conclude, is that “this trader could have been attempting to manipulate beliefs about the odds of victory in an attempt to boost fundraising, campaign morale, and turnout.” [...]

“It is worth knowing that a highly visible market that drove many a media narrative could be manipulated at a cost less than that of a primetime television commercial,” the authors write.


This lone trader was responsible for one-third of all the pro-Romney bets on Intrade during the last two weeks of the campaign.
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Re: Intrade manipulated by anonymous pro-Romney trader

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:20 am

I always thought Intrade was bullshit and I couldn't stand that thread. This now confirms it. Thanks for the link Kurt and welcome back.
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Re: Intrade manipulated by anonymous pro-Romney trader

Postby snoqueen » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:44 am

And thanks for this morning's laugh.
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Re: Intrade manipulated by anonymous pro-Romney trader

Postby kurt_w » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:50 am

Thanks, but I'm not actually back. This is all just unofficial.

Yeah, in retrospect Meade's obsessive promotion of Intrade looks even more pathetic now.

Of course a lot of us linked to Intrade at times, but for the most part those who hadn't drunk the Fox/RCP/Unskewed-Polls kool-aid understood that it was prone to manipulation, and that such manipulation was probably in a pro-Romney/anti-Obama direction (given that Intrade tended to be an outlier compared to the mainstream polls and polling aggregators like Nate Silver).

In the article cited in the OP, they make the point that this anonymous trader managed to skew Intrade for less than the cost of a prime-time commercial.
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Re: Intrade manipulated by anonymous pro-Romney trader

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:18 am

What's up Kurt? You on work-release again?

Bummer.
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Re: Intrade manipulated by anonymous pro-Romney trader

Postby mrak » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:26 am

Somewhere in Madison, a prominent local blogger is resolving to keep a closer watch on her credit card statements.

P.S. Glad you're back, kurt, even if it's just a cameo appearance. The Forum gets noticeably smarter and more readable when you're contributing.
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Re: Intrade manipulated by anonymous pro-Romney trader

Postby kurt_w » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:07 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:What's up Kurt? You on work-release again?

Bummer.


Heh. Metaphorically, yes. I finished up a big project at work that took way too much time. So I felt like goofing off for a day ... and you're the lucky beneficiary.

:D
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Re: Intrade manipulated by anonymous pro-Romney trader

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:09 pm

kurt_w wrote:
Ned Flanders wrote:What's up Kurt? You on work-release again?

Bummer.


Heh. Metaphorically, yes. I finished up a big project at work that took way too much time. So I felt like goofing off for a day ... and you're the lucky beneficiary.

:D

Awesome. Need some of the old guard back.
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Re: Intrade manipulated by anonymous pro-Romney trader

Postby kurt_w » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:12 pm

mrak wrote:Somewhere in Madison, a prominent local blogger is resolving to keep a closer watch on her credit card statements.


Good one.

Man, I just hate to think of the waste involved here. If I had $7 million, trying and failing to make Mitt Romney look slightly less unpopular than he actually is would be pretty far down on my list of things to do with that cash, even if I liked Romney. Surely even a diehard Republican could come up with a more satisfying way to throw away $7 million.
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Re: Intrade manipulated by anonymous pro-Romney trader

Postby acereraser » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:05 pm

kurt_w wrote:Surely even a diehard Republican could come up with a more satisfying way to throw away $7 million.


I'd bet (heh) there was hedging in place in a different market. The 1% doesn't even have to be that smart to avoid losing. It's one of the perks.
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Re: Intrade manipulated by anonymous pro-Romney trader

Postby david cohen » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:53 pm

$7 million is a lot of peruvian, even for a Republican!
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