Market Predicts Libby In Orange Jumpsuit

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A piece of potentially bad news for the Scooter Libby defense team: online traders are betting in favor of the former White House aide receiving a guilty verdict.

Futures contracts on a guilty verdict for Libby have soared to 57 percent in recent days on the web-based trading site intrade.com. The higher the figure, the more “certain” the market is of an event coming to pass.Intrade runs a “market” for current events – traders buy and sell contracts based on what they think might happen. As more traders buy into an event happening, those events become more expensive; the market spikes for that event, and its likelihood is predicted.

As James Suroweicki elegantly explained in his book, “The Wisdom of Crowds,” any one expert is fallible, but the sum of many opinions, even those of non-experts, is often surprisingly accurate. In 2004, Intrade says, its 2,000 participants accurately predicted the presidential vote in every state, as well as the outcome of 33 of 34 Senate elections.

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