Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Betting on implosion

The US government bailout of the banking system bill was the hottest contract of the past week. Traders remained bullish on the bailout passing the House until early Monday morning when the price collapsed a few hours before the bill failed to pass.

Punters are now giving an 85 percent certainty for some sort of bailout to pass by end of October. With the ISM manufacturing index shocking on the downside this morning with the biggest monthly decline since 1984 and with the IMF warning US lawmakers to do something quick, I would say that a bailout is a safe bet. It is an election year, however, so anything can happen.

In banking failure markets, the hot money is on National City followed by Downey and Bank United. Shares in National City are down 92 percent in the past twelve months while BankUnited Financial is down 95%.

In celebrity implosion news, traders are giving OJ Simpson a whopping 77 percent chance of being found guilty of at least one of the charges in the Las Vegas robbery. The NFL Hall of Famer is charged with a dozen crimes, including kidnapping and armed robbery. If found guilty, he faces five years to life behind bars for the Sept. 13., 2007 incident.

The LA Times reports on the devastating tape presented as evidence by the prosecution:
An attorney for O.J. Simpson tried Monday to undermine the effect of an audio recording in which the former NFL star asks whether a cohort pulled out "the piece" in a hotel hallway right before a confrontation with memorabilia dealers.

Simpson associate turned prosecution witness Michael McClinton testified last week in the armed robbery trial that Simpson asked him to bring a weapon and "look menacing" at a confrontation over sports memorabilia at Palace Station Hotel & Casino.

And in a tape recording McClinton surreptitiously made after the incident, Simpson asks whether McClinton might have inadvertently allowed the weapon to be picked up by hotel security cameras. McClinton is heard on the tape saying that he "kept that thing in my pocket until we got inside that room."
Next up in market news, the McCain campaign's declining numbers.

I warned last week that were McCain to pass through support of 40, he could see 30 next.

Today McCain's price has dropped to 34.5, while Obama rocketed through his resistance at 58 to hold at just under 65.

Rabbits better be pulled out of hats soon or we could see some capitulation in the McCain contract! The biggest problem for McCain now is that many voters are already sending in their ballots while Obama is hot. A miraculous McCain comeback could be too late if it doesn't happen very, very soon.

Over at the Electoral Vote Predictor Map, I'm seeing more landslide blues for McCain. Punters give Obama 338 to McCain's 200.

After a bit of a tug of war, Florida has now turned blue. Ohio, as noted previously, has also turned blue. And even North Carolina turned blue - if only briefly before punters piled in on what they saw as a McCain bargain at under 50.

Quinnipiac latest swing state polling confirms Intrade's Obama swing:
FLORIDA: Obama 49 - McCain 43 pre-debate; Obama 51 - McCain 43 post-debate; OHIO: Obama 49 - McCain 42 pre-debate; Obama 50 - McCain 42 post-debate; PENNSYLVANIA: Obama 49 - McCain 43 pre-debate; Obama 54 - McCain 39 post-debate Friday's presidential debate, Gov. Sarah Palin's sagging favorability and more voter confidence in Sen. Barack Obama's ability to handle the economy are propelling the Democrat to wider likely voter leads over Republican John McCain in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to simultaneous Quinnipiac University Swing State polls released today.

No one has been elected President since 1960 without taking two of these three largest swing states in the Electoral College.
Quinnipiac goes on to quote Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute:
"It is difficult to find a modern competitive presidential race that has swung so dramatically, so quickly and so sharply this late in the campaign. In the last 20 days, Sen. Barack Obama has gone from seven points down to eight points up in Florida, while widening his leads to eight points in Ohio and 15 points in Pennsylvania."

"Sen. John McCain has his work cut out for him if he is to win the presidency and there does not appear to be a role model for such a comeback in the last half century."
On that note, there was much curiosity in the land of punditry as to why the McCain ticket would spend 24 hours in Iowa. According to the Intrade Electoral College Predictor map, he has only a 20% chance of taking the state's 7 electoral votes. Almost all the major polls place the state strongly with Obama as well.

Today the McCain campaign has moved on to Missouri where latest polls show his lead in the state narrowing. Regardless of the polls, traders on Intrade are telling McCain that he has nothing to worry about in the Show Me state where they are giving him a 68% chance of winning.

Finally, I got an email from Dr. Boyan Ivantchev, an economics adviser to the deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of Bulgaria. He had this technical analysis of the President 08 (Individual) contract to offer:
Looking at the charts from, you may see a leading sell off in Obama positions based on the Bearish Hanging Man appearing on the chart of 3Sept2008. That was before the Republicans convention started and the historically expected positive partisan support impact after the convention. My forecast in Bulgarian newspaper 14Sept2008/ for bottoming and consolidating of the position in oversold RSI zone for the period of 10-15Sept2008 plus Chaikin Volatility predicting the possibility of an uptrend for Obama once again proved leading in comparison to the fundamental data coming from the Gallup Poll Daily Tracking. As of today /29Sept2008/ the charts are telling me that we are close to breaking the resistance level of upper line of Bollinger bands and we are in heavy overbought zone of RSI. Election story ends on 4Nov2008 so it does not make me afraid to say that we can stay on heavily overbought zone up to the end of a game.
(I hold no positions in the contracts mentioned. )

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