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  #1  
Old 09-16-2012, 12:46 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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What can we learn from Betfair and Intrade being out of line from one another?

There seems to be a long running inconsistency between Intrade and Betfair on who the 2012 president is going to be. For example, at the moment on Intrade I can buy 100 shares of Barack Obama winning at $6.62.

If Obama wins, I get $1000 (including my original stake). If Obama loses, I lose $662.

However, at the same time I can go over to Betfair and lay Obama at 1.41, decimal odds. What does that mean? Well suppose I lay a stake of $1000. If Obama wins, I will lose $1000. However, if Obama loses, I will win $709. In other words I have a free bounty of $47 if Obama loses, and it costs me nothing if he wins.

(Equally, you can be even more clever and equalise outcomes, more or less. The above also doesn't take into account fees which are significant but not enough to destroy the opportunity. I do not know whether the opportunity would still exist if you decided to hedge foreign exchange as well but I should think so)

Anyway, my question is: what can we learn from this consistent abberation?

I believe that the only major difference between Intrade and Betfair is that Americans cannot use the latter due to silly US gambling laws (I don't see how intrade isn't gambling just by pretending it's "shares", but whatever).

And thus my answer to my question is this: American republicans are putting enough money on Intrade to distort the betting markets. Eventually of course cause of arbitrageurs, this will feed through to betfair and other bookies, but they are restircted to using Intrade cause of American laws.

And if I'm correct about this - isn't this very interesting indeed - it won't cost them all too much, and it may generate some headlines. Notoriously Chris Hune did this when he was running to be a leader of the Liberal Democrats in the UK, which while he didn't win most assuredly boosted his profile; and had he not been a corrupt bugger currently trying to avoid being sent to prison for perverting the course of justice, this relatively cheap in terms of political campaigning act could have been extremely effective.

Is there anything in American election law that would stop Republicans trying to distort consensus like this? And more generally, is my theory plausible?
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2012, 01:02 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Meanwhile, of course, the fact that a guaranteed-profit arbitrage opportunity can exist unexploited for so long pretty well skewers the notion that markets are inherently efficient, which is I believe a central tenet of what purports to be Republican philosophy.
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  #3  
Old 09-16-2012, 01:48 PM
davidm davidm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Meanwhile, of course, the fact that a guaranteed-profit arbitrage opportunity can exist unexploited for so long pretty well skewers the notion that markets are inherently efficient, which is I believe a central tenet of what purports to be Republican philosophy.
While I agree with your conclusion that markets aren't always inherently efficient, I'm not so sure that this is proof of that.

These are essentially gambling odds (regardless of how Intrade tries to dress it up) and I don't think they can be compared to markets in actual commodities.
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  #4  
Old 09-16-2012, 01:51 PM
Lantern Lantern is offline
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Originally Posted by Simple Linctus View Post
(Equally, you can be even more clever and equalise outcomes, more or less. The above also doesn't take into account fees which are significant but not enough to destroy the opportunity. I do not know whether the opportunity would still exist if you decided to hedge foreign exchange as well but I should think so)
Do you have some numbers to back this up? $47 dollars on a $1000 dollar initial investment may not be sufficient to account for transactions costs at both Betfair and Intrade, foreign exchange risk and taxes.

If there is in fact a genuine arbitrage opportunity your explanation doesn't really work. It doesn't matter if some partisans are trying to manipulate the results. There is still money to be made and smart traders will exploit it until it vanishes.
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2012, 02:10 PM
Snarky_Kong Snarky_Kong is online now
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Intrade is a flat $5 fee per month, no transaction costs. Betfair has a 2-5% fee on winning, depending on how often you bet there. So, you'd probably (but not assuredly) cover the $47, but the fees would eat a significant portion of the money.
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:15 PM
Lantern Lantern is offline
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Aren't there also fees for withdrawing funds from your Intrade account?
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:18 PM
BigAppleBucky BigAppleBucky is offline
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Originally Posted by Lantern View Post
Do you have some numbers to back this up? $47 dollars on a $1000 dollar initial investment may not be sufficient to account for transactions costs at both Betfair and Intrade, foreign exchange risk and taxes.

If there is in fact a genuine arbitrage opportunity your explanation doesn't really work. It doesn't matter if some partisans are trying to manipulate the results. There is still money to be made and smart traders will exploit it until it vanishes.
In other words, what's the vig?
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:40 PM
Lantern Lantern is offline
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Originally Posted by Lantern View Post
Aren't there also fees for withdrawing funds from your Intrade account?
This page says:

Quote:
There is a $20.00 charged by the Exchange for processing a bank wire transfer withdrawal. All fees charged for processing the wire by the sending bank, the receiving bank or any intermediary bank the transfer is routed through are payable by the receiver of the transfer (i.e. the exchange member requesting the withdrawal). These fees will not be covered or refunded by the Exchange.
The cost of issuing a withdrawal check (currently 4 euro) is payable by the receiver (i.e. the exchange member requesting the withdrawal) and will be deducted from the withdrawal amount requested. This will be done by the issuing bank (National Irish Bank) and not by the Exchange. The details of this deduction are displayed on the check itself.
For your first check withdrawal per calendar month you will incur only the cost of issuing the check. Any further check withdrawals in the same calendar month will incur a $10.00 admin fee from the Exchange, in addition to the cost of issuing the check. You may request to have your check sent by FedEx but regret that we must pass on the FedEx fee of $30.
So the cheapest option appears to be a four euro charge for the withdrawl check. Not huge but it does add up.

I am also wondering about taxes. Take the scenario in the OP where Obama loses. You would have to pay taxes on your 709 winnings at Betfair but would you be able to fully deduct your 662 loss at Intrade?

There is also settlement risk. Neither Intrade or Betfair are exactly long-established financial companies. You might wonder, for example, how the Irish financial crisis has affected Intrade.
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  #9  
Old 09-16-2012, 03:00 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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Originally Posted by Lantern View Post
If there is in fact a genuine arbitrage opportunity your explanation doesn't really work. It doesn't matter if some partisans are trying to manipulate the results. There is still money to be made and smart traders will exploit it until it vanishes.
It won't vanish if the Republicans keep on feeding money onto Intrade. And there would need to be some opportunity for other markets like Betfair to be moved by Intrade. It's the very fact that the opportunity hasn't vanished which is what I'm latching on to. I'm not giving gambling advice

Regarding taxes and so on, one will be deductable agains the other in the UK for someone doing this for a living, that I know for sure.

Yes there are risks with betting arbitrage but those are taken into account by those who do it. The major one here is definitely foreign exchange actually, but then again most of those doing betting arbitrage dabble with financial stuff as well.

Last edited by Simple Linctus; 09-16-2012 at 03:04 PM..
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  #10  
Old 09-16-2012, 03:30 PM
Lantern Lantern is offline
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Originally Posted by Simple Linctus View Post
It won't vanish if the Republicans keep on feeding money onto Intrade. And there would need to be some opportunity for other markets like Betfair to be moved by Intrade.
Let's say hypothetically that dozens of Republican billionaires put in vast amounts of money only in Intrade to raise Romney's numbers. That would obviously distort the numbers but it wouldn't automatically create an arbitrage opportunity so long as there are enough traders who can trade in both. Effectively the money that's flowing in Intrade will indirectly flow into Betfair through arbitrage. The final result will be that both markets will overestimate Romney's chances but there shouldn't be an arbitrage opportunity left net of transactions costs.

I suspect that the reason for the arbitrage opportunity that seems to exist is simply transactions costs that we don't know much about. For example you say that UK traders can deduct their Intrade losses but perhaps the paperwork involves a lot hassles because Intrade is Irish. Possibly UK traders are just nervous about Intrade because of the Irish financial situation. Or as you mentioned foreign exchange risk which could again be high because of the Euro crisis.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:50 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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Originally Posted by Lantern View Post
Let's say hypothetically that dozens of Republican billionaires put in vast amounts of money only in Intrade to raise Romney's numbers. That would obviously distort the numbers but it wouldn't automatically create an arbitrage opportunity so long as there are enough traders who can trade in both. Effectively the money that's flowing in Intrade will indirectly flow into Betfair through arbitrage. The final result will be that both markets will overestimate Romney's chances but there shouldn't be an arbitrage opportunity left net of transactions costs.

I suspect that the reason for the arbitrage opportunity that seems to exist is simply transactions costs that we don't know much about. For example you say that UK traders can deduct their Intrade losses but perhaps the paperwork involves a lot hassles because Intrade is Irish. Possibly UK traders are just nervous about Intrade because of the Irish financial situation. Or as you mentioned foreign exchange risk which could again be high because of the Euro crisis.
There won't be an arbitrage opportunity eventually, but only because it has been arbitraged away. If you keep feeding money into one market and continually distorting it, then the arbitrage traders are going to take time keeping up (it's not as if the money justifies sinking billions into the HFT stuff we keep reading about developed by our betters on Wall Street, although then again some of the programs you can get that trade on betfair incorporate simple auto spreaders and the like).

The foreign exchange will cost very little to hedge other than the costs of carry which are negligible presumably given the almost zero interest rates in both countries. They can use alpari (I think?) or some other fx provider that allows micro lots. And again, most people who are doing betting arbitrage will have a portfolio with considerable FX exposure anyway, this is just another position for their book.

But yeah, the InTrade stuff will move Betfair and that is why the very persistance of this is interesting - it's suggestive of continual money coming in to intrade (and you don't have to talk about billionaires, the over all turnover on both markets is only in the ten million kind of area, the costs of moving them like this will be under a million) with a Republican bias.

Last edited by Simple Linctus; 09-16-2012 at 03:51 PM..
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  #12  
Old 09-16-2012, 04:00 PM
Lantern Lantern is offline
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Originally Posted by Simple Linctus View Post
There won't be an arbitrage opportunity eventually, but only because it has been arbitraged away. If you keep feeding money into one market and continually distorting it, then the arbitrage traders are going to take time keeping up (it's not as if the money justifies sinking billions into the HFT stuff we keep reading about developed by our betters on Wall Street, although then again some of the programs you can get that trade on betfair incorporate simple auto spreaders and the like).
If there are traders who are active in both markets arbitrage shouldn't take very long though ; I would think it could happen easily within a single trading day. And the existence of a big arbitrage opportunity would itself attract more traders which would speed up arbitrage. Like you say, it wouldn't justify HFT technology but all you really need is smart traders who buy low and sell high.

If I had to guess, I think what is slowing the arbitrage is the perceived foreign exchange/settlement risk because of the Irish/Euro financial situation. I would bet the discrepancy would be a lot lower if Intrade was also British.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:30 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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It can't happen within a single trading day if InTrade keeps getting distorted orders!

It's not as if the prices are set in stone once, and then adjust, and then that's it. There are continual trades going on. If someone keeps backing Romney every day (or every hour, or whatever) at InTrade in size (which again, doesn't mean a huge amount of money in these markets) then the markets are going to stay out of whack.

Arbitrage once does not mean the exchanges will stay in line. It's the continual bias that's itneresting.
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  #14  
Old 09-16-2012, 05:11 PM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
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I'm a little surprise the difference hasn't been arbitraged away. The transaction cost explanation has been covered above. I'll point out here that we're are dealing with a thin market.

Over the past week, daily trading volume for Romney has high on an historical basis, but the average has been about 34,000. This market is small enough to tilt, but isn't large enough to get Goldman Sachs interested. But consider that volume averaged 21,000 shares a week earlier and that was more typical. I'm wondering whether amateur evening arbitragers are rushing in. They should be: it's easy money if you have an account at both venues. Buy Romney for $3 and sell him for the equivalent of $4 and you win whatever the election outcome. As Lantern points out though, you would also have to hedge for currency risk as well. These are futures markets after all. (Geeky: there's also the time value of money to consider, but at today's interest rates, that can be ignored.)

Along the same lines, I suspect that betfair would be straightforward for interested Romney supporters to game as well.

------
Does anybody have a good idea of the legalities?. IIRC, Intrade has asked for an official opinion from the SEC, which has... sat on its hands. All well and good. Are Betfair's political markets considered illegal gambling according to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act?
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:14 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quote:
Quoth davidm:

While I agree with your conclusion that markets aren't always inherently efficient, I'm not so sure that this is proof of that.

These are essentially gambling odds (regardless of how Intrade tries to dress it up) and I don't think they can be compared to markets in actual commodities.
Markets in actual commodities are gambling odds in exactly the same sense as Intrade is.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:05 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Markets in actual commodities are gambling odds in exactly the same sense as Intrade is.
No informed person thinks commodity markets are efficient (that doesn't rule out republicans though, lol). Unlike stock markets where there is a pay off for making the market efficient, commodity markets can only have the traders who would make the market efficient if they're inefficient, curiously enough. This is why trend following strategies so simple they can even be made into indecies show results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Measure for Measure View Post
I'm a little surprise the difference hasn't been arbitraged away. The transaction cost explanation has been covered above. I'll point out here that we're are dealing with a thin market.

Over the past week, daily trading volume for Romney has high on an historical basis, but the average has been about 34,000. This market is small enough to tilt, but isn't large enough to get Goldman Sachs interested. But consider that volume averaged 21,000 shares a week earlier and that was more typical. I'm wondering whether amateur evening arbitragers are rushing in. They should be: it's easy money if you have an account at both venues. Buy Romney for $3 and sell him for the equivalent of $4 and you win whatever the election outcome. As Lantern points out though, you would also have to hedge for currency risk as well. These are futures markets after all. (Geeky: there's also the time value of money to consider, but at today's interest rates, that can be ignored.)

Along the same lines, I suspect that betfair would be straightforward for interested Romney supporters to game as well.

------
Does anybody have a good idea of the legalities?. IIRC, Intrade has asked for an official opinion from the SEC, which has... sat on its hands. All well and good. Are Betfair's political markets considered illegal gambling according to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act?
Betfair may be simple for Romney supporters but I doubt they are gonna touch anything totally illegal.

Absolutely the market is too small to attract anyone like Goldman. But I promise you that betting arbitrageurs work at very small scales. For example, there is/was a huge movement in the UK of people who basically worked to take the bonuses off of bookies by hedging their bets - see the Matched Betting forums at MoneySavingExpert. This is how I know about betting arbitrage and suchlike, I do not know anything at all about real markets other than what my friends tell me, and am definitely not a financial trader or anything. You can find plenty of info on that previously mentioned forum but let me assure you there are people out to make less than a dollar per trade! There is no way this market will have stayed like it is for long, without a systematic distortion.

P.S. Credit where credit's due, I pointed out the FX risk not Lantern. You can save your fawning of me for a later time ;
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:48 PM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
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Originally Posted by Simple Linctus View Post
There is no way this market will have stayed like it is for long, without a systematic distortion.
If Romney supporters are gaming intrade, what should happen is that British arbitragers should take care of the betfair/intrade spread: it doesn't matter how big the distortion is. In practice that means that Romney's minions will have to distort 2 markets at the same time - intrade and, via the arbitragers, betfair. That is entirely possibly as both markets are pretty thin. But a spread between the two markets shouldn't stay wide for long, though it could easily maintain the width of the underlying transactions costs.

There are $20 and 100 quid notes laying on the sidewalk. They shouldn't stay there for long.

I understand that you can't fund either via Mastercard or Visa. So moving money into these sorts of accounts isn't necessarily quick.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:19 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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Originally Posted by Measure for Measure View Post
If Romney supporters are gaming intrade, what should happen is that British arbitragers should take care of the betfair/intrade spread: it doesn't matter how big the distortion is. In practice that means that Romney's minions will have to distort 2 markets at the same time - intrade and, via the arbitragers, betfair. That is entirely possibly as both markets are pretty thin. But a spread between the two markets shouldn't stay wide for long, though it could easily maintain the width of the underlying transactions costs.

There are $20 and 100 quid notes laying on the sidewalk. They shouldn't stay there for long.

I understand that you can't fund either via Mastercard or Visa. So moving money into these sorts of accounts isn't necessarily quick.
You're not getting it.

Let's make this really simplistic. Say there's two markets for something, let's call it X. And the markets can by Y and Z.

Day 1:

Bid/Offer at Y for X = 30/31
Bid/Offer at Z for X = 40/41

Shit, loads of arbitrageurs notice this, pile in. They smash bid in Z and lift the fuck out of Y

Day 2:
Bid Offer at Y for X = 37/38
Bid Offer at Z for X = 38/39

Arbitrageurs have done their work. Markets are in line to the extent that there is no easy arb.

Day 2:
Bid Offer at Y for X = 36/37
Bid Offer at Z for X = 38/39

Republicans (for it is they), unable to sell X at exchange Z, go to exchange Y to sell X.

Day 3:
Bid Offer at Y for X = 36.5/37.5
Bid Offer at Z for X = 37.5/38

The arbirtargeurs came back! Republicans distorted the market at Y enough that the arbitrage was there agin. And look, X is getting cheaper! But now once again prices are equal...


Day 3:
Bid Offer at Y for X = 36/37
Bid Offer at Z for X = 37.5/38

...But not for long. The republicans came back to Exchange Y and carried on selling Z.

Day 4:
Bid Offer at Y for X = 36.25/37.25
Bid Offer at Z for X = 37.25/37.75

Arbitargeurs back. Y and Z back in touch again...

And so on and so on. While a particular arbitrage opportunity naturally will disappear, that does not mean that there will be no opportunities.

What matters is that the opportunities are all the same around. It's always InTrade overestimating a Republican win compared to Betfair.


You do not have to interpret it like I am doing. You could interpret it as Betfair users being out of touch with the reality on InTrade, if you like. But there is something there to explain, and I feel my theory of Republican money going onto InTrade is the best option so far. About the only thing you can be sure of is that it's not professional gamblers distorting one market or the other - they would definitely be putting money where the value was greatest. The distorting cashflow is therefore coming from money that is (for want of a better way of putting it) not optimally invested towards a maximum return. The most obvious reason to do that is to distort the market

Last edited by Simple Linctus; 09-16-2012 at 09:23 PM..
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:51 PM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
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So... you would expect an arbitrage opportunity to open and close? Why would it stay "Open" for any length of time if arbitragers have a computerized algorithm? We would expect the spread to equal the transaction costs and spreads plus a de minimus profit to cover nuisance and possibly risk.

Then again, there are time zone differences and we're positing that these abnormalities wouldn't attract the pros. So a fluctuating arbitrage opportunity might very well exist, if there is limited or no automated trading at work.

"What matters is that the opportunities are all the same around. It's always InTrade overestimating a Republican win compared to Betfair."

Yes, it's interesting that the arb opportunity is always in the same direction. Which suggests something systematic. Admittedly, that could be an intrade audience that skews Republican. But as I've noted in another thread, the unmatched predictions page suggested the existence of a 5000 share gorilla.

Then again, the gorilla appears to have disappeared this weekend: the books appear more balanced. Huh. Was he annihilated? Romney's odds have certainly tanked. On 9/9 538 predicted .202 for Romney, while intrade gave him .418. Right now, 538 says .238 while intrade says .343 - a difference of .105 as opposed to .216. That 10 percentage point difference is in line with what it was earlier this summer. Interesting.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:04 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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Originally Posted by Measure for Measure View Post
So... you would expect an arbitrage opportunity to open and close? Why would it stay "Open" for any length of time if arbitragers have a computerized algorithm? We would expect the spread to equal the transaction costs and spreads plus a de minimus profit to cover nuisance and possibly risk.
Clearly if someone sat there in unlimited size with an arbitraging algo on 24/7 then it wouldn't remain open, except for the tiny period in between evil republican plutocrat (tm) submitting their limit order and the algo submitting the legs to both exchanges.

However, while arbitrageurs having a computer doing some of this stuff is fairly likely, it being left there unattended to do unlimited size doesn't sound too likely to me. Especially if this stuff is going on every day - you'd think they would want to see how distorted the market can get after all as there's no point in going for 5% when they can get 10%. That can only be done by taking breaks (and breaks long enough for your fellow arbitrageurs to notice and take breaks of their own)

Not to mention trading concerns - if they identify this going on constantly then they won't be able to trade out of their position which most betting arbitrageurs would want to do, so they can get into it again and again. Having to put on a position with no unwind in sight will make them more reluctant too.

Last edited by Simple Linctus; 09-16-2012 at 10:05 PM..
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:03 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quote:
Quoth Measure for Measure:

There are $20 and 100 quid notes laying on the sidewalk. They shouldn't stay there for long.
Therefore, if one notices $20 bills laying on the sidewalk day after day, one should conclude that they're somehow being continually replenished. And once you've established that, then the logical question becomes who's replenishing them, and why. Enter Simple Linctus' idea.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:03 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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I can't imagine that it would happen at all to any significant effect. The actual costs of betting with Betfair are 5% on winning bets. This is of little concern when arranging an arbitrage within Betfair because the charge is levied on the net result. So if the equivalent prices, 1.51 and 1.41 were available at different times in Betfair the punter would pay 5% of the $47 collect. Since this is not the case in the OP the 5% would be levied on the $709.

Further while betting both sides of a proposition on Betfair your account is maintained so that only money at risk is unavailable for betting. In the circumstances of the OP the total funds for both bets would be tied up until next year, half of it subject to exchange rate fluctuations.

As a punter this all sounds like far too much downside when there are literally thousands of markets to bet on every day. No sensible punter would tie up funds that could be working on such a skinny proposition.

Last edited by don't ask; 09-17-2012 at 01:04 AM..
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:26 AM
gamerunknown gamerunknown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Measure for Measure
There are $20 and 100 quid notes laying on the sidewalk.
Funny thing actually, the Bank of England doesn't print 100 notes, but other UK countries do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by don't ask
No sensible punter would tie up funds that could be working on such a skinny proposition.
Could be a wealthy democrat playing 11-dimensional chess. You know, fomenting the revolution by advancing the class interests of the patricians.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:47 AM
tim314 tim314 is offline
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Originally Posted by Simple Linctus View Post
No informed person thinks commodity markets are efficient (that doesn't rule out republicans though, lol). Unlike stock markets where there is a pay off for making the market efficient, commodity markets can only have the traders who would make the market efficient if they're inefficient, curiously enough. This is why trend following strategies so simple they can even be made into indecies show results.
Can you explain this a bit more? I am not an "informed person" on these matters, but am curious.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:35 AM
septimus septimus is online now
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As others mention, tied-up money and fees are a problem, as is the inconvenience of whatever cross-Atlantic channel may be needed, but I think there is a bigger problem. (I think. To be sure, we'd need to study the trading volumes at Intrade and Betfair.)

Large bets will change the payouts. Right now you can buy Democratic Party candidate to win 2012 Presidential Election at $6.64 at Intrade, but there are only 9 shares available at that price. If you inject a fair amount of money to arbitrage, you won't get the posted odds.

The same principle applies in the stock market. Even li'l 'ol Septimus identified some trivial arbitrage opportunities on the NYSE, back in the 20th century. For a specific example, consider the closed-end funds BCV and ECF. (Googling now, I see they still exist.) They are managed by the same firm and have very similar portfolios; yet right now their discounts differ: 14.7% and 15.3%. It's been almost two decades since I checked those discounts; in the past the differential was often much more than 0.6%. If the difference were 2% you could effectively make that in profit, by buying one and selling the other. But the funds are low-volume; if you try to make more than $1000 or so on this play, the discount relation will reverse.

Last edited by septimus; 09-17-2012 at 11:37 AM..
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:06 PM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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On Betfair there has been $400,000 bet in the last 5 days, $300,000 on Obama who is now $1.37 from $1.46. So there was an opportunity there to back him and now lay the whole lot off and watch for free.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:27 PM
BigAppleBucky BigAppleBucky is offline
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Originally Posted by Simple Linctus View Post
No informed person thinks commodity markets are efficient . . .
Or, as the old expression goes, "You can't beat the locals.".
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:06 PM
That Don Guy That Don Guy is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Meanwhile, of course, the fact that a guaranteed-profit arbitrage opportunity can exist unexploited for so long pretty well skewers the notion that markets are inherently efficient, which is I believe a central tenet of what purports to be Republican philosophy.
Guaranteed profit? Where do you get that?

Intrade is bet 662 against their 338.
Betfair is bet 100 against their 41, which is bet 662 to win 271.42.

Don't assume that Intrade is offering shares on Romney at 33.8, or Betfair's odds on Romney are 3.44 (bet 41 against their 100).
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  #29  
Old 09-17-2012, 05:22 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim314 View Post
Can you explain this a bit more? I am not an "informed person" on these matters, but am curious.
I am also not an informed person and have nothing to do with anything like this, but as BigAppleBucky alludes to, the existence of dodgy as fook locals basically guarantees inefficiency in the very short term with their stop catching and other such things.

But on a longer time scale, almost all ready liquidity in the commodity markets comes from speculators of one kind or another. Speculators would not play these markets for very long if they couldn't make money relatively easily (but of course it can't be too easy either otherwise everyone would play and make the market more efficient). If the markets became so efficient that speculators couldn't make money, then they would pull out and so the markets would become less efficient again (as there's no reason for them to stay efficient). Basically the efficiency stays balanced against the expected returns. Quite nifty when you think about it.

This is NOT the case with stocks because you earn a return just for owning stocks, and so there is always an incentive to look for inefficiently priced ones. Commodity markets need at least somewhat predictable prices therefore, while stocks don't.
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  #30  
Old 09-18-2012, 01:08 AM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
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I'm converging to Simple Linctus' point of view on this particular betting market, but I disagree with him with regards to commodity markets. They are comparable to stock markets in terms of efficiency in my view, possibly more so. Specifically, I'm guessing that speculative bubbles afflict asset markets more than typical commodities. (Precious metals straddle the 2 categories.)

Last edited by Measure for Measure; 09-18-2012 at 01:08 AM..
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  #31  
Old 09-18-2012, 01:55 PM
BigAppleBucky BigAppleBucky is offline
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2008 Intrade Election day prediction

http://electoralmap.net/2012/2008_election.php

They were very close. Of course, it was done on election day.

Scroll down to see their poll rankings. Top five pollsters were Rasmussen (A- ), Ipsos (B+ ), CNN (B+ ), Fox (B) and Pew (B- ). Worst, by far, was Reuters, but CBS, Gallup, ABC, Marist and IBD were bad as well.

Overall
Poll Score Grade Accuracy Consistency
Rasmussen Reports 91% A- 92% 86%
Ipsos/McClatchy 89% B+ 92% 79%
CNN/Opinion Research 88% B+ 92% 77%
Fox News 84% B 92% 61%
Pew 83% B- 92% 56%


I tried to get this to line up. Sorry if it didn't.
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  #32  
Old 09-18-2012, 07:22 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Measure for Measure View Post
I'm converging to Simple Linctus' point of view on this particular betting market, but I disagree with him with regards to commodity markets. They are comparable to stock markets in terms of efficiency in my view, possibly more so. Specifically, I'm guessing that speculative bubbles afflict asset markets more than typical commodities. (Precious metals straddle the 2 categories.)
I had a friend give me the content for this:

Take a look at the research referenced in amongst other popular books "Evidence Based Technical Analysis" - while that book mostly focusses on showing stock markets to be reasonably weak form efficient, it also in passing references a number of times why commodity markets are susceptible to reasonably simple technical trend-following systems - in effect they can be explained as compensation/risk premium for as I said before offering a hedging service to commercial hedgers.

If may make a quick quote from it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Book
If a risk-transfer premium is a valid explanation of trend-follower returns, then trend following in stocks should not be as rewarding as it is in the commodity futures markets. A trend follower in stocks is not providing a risk-transfer service. There are data suggesting that trend following in stocks is indeed a less rewarding enterprise.

Lars Kestner compared the performance of trend-following systems for a portfolio of futures and a portfolio of stocks. The futures considered were 29 commodities in 8 different sectors. The stocks were represented by 31 large-cap stocks in 9 different industry sectors, and 3 stock indices. Risk-adjusted performance (Sharpe ratio) was computed for 5 different trend-following systems,106 over the period January 1, 1990 through December 31, 2001. The Sharpe ratio averaged over the five trend-following systems in futures was .604 versus .046 in stocks. These results support the notion that futures trend followers are earning a risk premium that is not available to trend followers in stocks.
The Kestner reference is to "Lars Kestner, Quantitative Trading Strategies: Harnessing the Power of Quantitative Techniques to Create a Winning Trading Program (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003), 129-180." btw.

And now back to me:

Fuck all this financial shit, it's the betting that matters. I haven't checked if this dislocation still exists and will do after posting this - I guess given the last 48 hours maybe it doesn't cause frankly there's more chance of Biden being the next president than there is Romney - so that could make the hypothetical rich Republican withdraw... or it could mean them doubling up!
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  #33  
Old 09-18-2012, 07:52 PM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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Betfair latest - another quarter of a million on Obama in the last 24. Most recent matched bet was set at $1.30.
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  #34  
Old 09-25-2012, 06:48 AM
DJ FC DJ FC is offline
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Hello all, I found this thread on Google and this is my first post.

I live in London and trade for a living (for a fund). I've already put well over $200k of my own money into this trade and as far as I can tell it really is free money. As I see it if Romney wins the election I'll be up $13k and if Obama wins I'll be up $20k. I represent almost 4% of the open interest on Intrade and yet I cannot make this spread move. It really feels like somebody on Intrade is fighting back...

Ask me anything

Last edited by DJ FC; 09-25-2012 at 06:49 AM..
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  #35  
Old 09-25-2012, 09:12 AM
Jas09 Jas09 is offline
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It wouldn't surprise me. If DJ FC is for real and $100k is 4% of the InTrade market, it would be trivial for Romney backers to keep the spread down a little. Obviously eventually they won't be able to, but that's like 2 TV spots. Considering the campaign's obvious interest in fighting back against the "we're losing" meme it seems like a no-brainer to drop a little cash in the only betting market that US news interests ever talk about.
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  #36  
Old 09-25-2012, 11:41 AM
septimus septimus is online now
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Hello, DJ FC. Do you bet persons or parties? If persons, aren't you worried about circumstances leading to, say, Biden victory?

Do you think there are many others making similar plays?
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  #37  
Old 09-25-2012, 01:21 PM
Merneith Merneith is offline
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Spam reported. I'd be ok with Biden victory. He's not my first choice but more opportunities for the Onion is always a good thing.
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  #38  
Old 09-26-2012, 03:14 AM
DJ FC DJ FC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Hello, DJ FC. Do you bet persons or parties? If persons, aren't you worried about circumstances leading to, say, Biden victory?

Do you think there are many others making similar plays?
We are doing as vanilla as possible... Buying Obama to win on Intrade and selling Obama to win on Betfair.
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  #39  
Old 09-26-2012, 01:20 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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DJ you don't happen to trade at that sports arcade in canary wharf do you?
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  #40  
Old 09-26-2012, 01:52 PM
Euphonious Polemic Euphonious Polemic is offline
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It would appear that the money that Republicans are funneling into Intrade to keep up the appearance that Romney is not tanking.... Is going to end up in the pocket of a trader in London.

I find this amusing.
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  #41  
Old 09-26-2012, 07:40 PM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
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DJ FC: How does the daily trade volume at Intrade and Betfair compare for this market?
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  #42  
Old 09-28-2012, 12:24 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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I wonder if DJ FC is still around?
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  #43  
Old 10-01-2012, 03:48 AM
DJ FC DJ FC is offline
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Originally Posted by Simple Linctus View Post
DJ you don't happen to trade at that sports arcade in canary wharf do you?
No. I trade equity derivatives in the city.
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  #44  
Old 10-01-2012, 03:49 AM
DJ FC DJ FC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonious Polemic View Post
It would appear that the money that Republicans are funneling into Intrade to keep up the appearance that Romney is not tanking.... Is going to end up in the pocket of a trader in London.

I find this amusing.
I find this wonderful.
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  #45  
Old 10-01-2012, 03:51 AM
DJ FC DJ FC is offline
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Originally Posted by Measure for Measure View Post
DJ FC: How does the daily trade volume at Intrade and Betfair compare for this market?
Hard to say without doing a bit of digging, but based on my gut and the open interest I'd say Intrade is about twice as large as Betfair. But I do most of my trading during London hours so it feels relatively even.
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  #46  
Old 10-03-2012, 09:43 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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Originally Posted by Measure for Measure View Post
DJ FC: How does the daily trade volume at Intrade and Betfair compare for this market?
$8.4 million on Betfair and $17.5 million on Intrade.
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  #47  
Old 10-03-2012, 05:02 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is online now
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I'm surprised the progressive media are not running with this one. It's not a huge story but definitely an instance of Republicans using the raw power of money to influence the media during an election.
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  #48  
Old 10-04-2012, 03:58 AM
DJ FC DJ FC is offline
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It could also be chalked up simply to the fact that Americans do not have access to Betfair and Americans think much more favorably of Republican candidates than Europeans.
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