Will the world’s most wanted man be found before election day?
For months people have speculated and joked that the icing on the cake of George Bush’s re-election campaign would be the capture of Osama Bin Laden – surprise, surprise – a few days before November 2.
There’s even been a healthy betting market on the possibility. Tradesports – the Irish betting exchange that is focused on the US – has had a market for nearly a year on “Osama bin Laden being neutralized by Nov 2nd and GW Bush to win the election”. The current pricing is 5/1 that both events will happen or 24/1 that they won’t.
We’ve been monitoring this market over the past few weeks to spot signs of unusual activity. If this was a possiblity then it’s likely that someone in the know would try to profit from the knowledge and this would move the price. This has not happened – but it could.
The bookmaker does not define what being neutralized means though it is fairly clear. Unless you have specific information then neither of the prices appears attractive.
Tradesports also have a market on, in effect, whether there will be a September 11-type terrorist attack in the US prior to the election. This market is defined as Homeland Security Alert to be Red on Nov 02 and GW Bush to win election. The current price is about 14/1 on these two happening and 25/1 on them not.
If you started betting heavily on this there’s the risk that some funny policeman would be knocking down your front door in a pre-dawn raid.
A couple of years ago the CIA came up with a plan to establish betting markets on terrorism – the idea being that if someone knows somrthing then there’s always the possibility that they will try to profit from it.
ELECTION LATEST – FORECASTS AND BETTING updated 2400 BST
New York Times Kerry 225 – Bush 213 Real Clear Politics Bush 227 – Kerry 206 Slate Kerry 271 – Bush 267. Electoral-vote Kerry 271 – Bush 257 Iowa exchange Kerry 42.3 – Bush 57.7 Tradesports bettting exchange Bush 60 Kerry 40 UK prices Bush 8/15 Kerry 6/4. Dead Heat bet. 269 electoral votes each – 20/1