Thursday, November 07, 2019

Disclosure: I Just Doubled Down (More or Less) on Impeachment


When I make a "political" bet in a prediction market (PredictIt being my chosen venue), I disclose it here so that you can judge whether that bet is influencing my judgment (or causing me to become a megalomaniac who believes his small blog can influence the prediction market).

In September, I bought 29 shares of "yes" to the question "Will Donald Trump be impeached by year-end 2019?" at 33 cents per share. The market has never closed as low as that price since. It's gone up and down, closing at as high as 59 cents and as low as 35 cents.

Today I bought 24 more shares at 42 cents per share.

Both of those amounts represent a $10 deposit divided by the current share price (this time including a small remainder from the first $10 deposit as well). I have 36 cents left in my PredictIt account now.

I am at least as convinced now as I was in September that the House will vote to impeach Trump before the end of the year.

In fact, if I was betting on exact dates, I'd probably put a little money on a theatrical "get this done just as it's time to leave for Thanksgiving break" production. As of last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seemed to agree, and expected to wrap up the post-impeachment trial by Christmas.

Am I going to talk up impeachment for purposes of turning my ~$20 bet into a ~$50 payoff? You be the judge, but I don't think it will skew my analysis.

As brief an explanation as possible as to why I'm confident in this bet comes from Anton Chekhov:

"If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there."

Politicians are playwrights of sort. Nancy Pelosi wouldn't have hung the impeachment rifle on the wall of the House chamber if it wasn't going to be fired.

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