Political Futures Get It Wrong (Again)

by: Barry Ritholtz

We all know that Intrade Political Futures got the Joe Biden pick right last week -- how well did it do with the GOP pick?

As it turns out, not so good.  THEY COMPLETELY MISSED THE VEEP PICK.Not just off by a little, but off a ginormous amount.

As we have previously suggested, the political futures markets essentially follow the polls. There is very little wisdom amongst the crowd.

Here's how the Palin VP futures traded. As of yesterday, you could have bought her VP futures for 4 cents on the dollar:


10 Day Chart



Lifetime Chart


Note that her lifetime futures chart is only 3 months old. Forget 18 months ago -- as of 4 months ago, SHE WASN'T EVEN ON THE FUTURES TRADER'S RADAR. Over the life of the contract, she was never more 20%.

One week ago, she wasn't even in the top 3:




Dem VP Front Runners (8/22/08):


Presidential Futures Markets: Spurious Predictive Powers (October 2004)

Political Futures Markets? Bah, humbug (October 2004)