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Should you be a buyer of “Gordon Brown Days”?

August 1st, 2009


Sporting Index

Is this where to bet if you think he’ll stay the course?

One of my first big wins on a political spread market was on how long Bill Clinton would remain as US president following the Monica Lewinsky affair and the moves to impeach him. The spread was simply on how many weeks his second term would last and this looked uncertain for a period during the impeachment process.

As I recall the market in the early summer of 1998 had him out within less than a year. I thought he was more resilient than that and became a “Clinton weeks” buyer at £10 a week. So for every week that he remained president from late June 1999 onwards I made tenner and that went on until Bush was inaugurated on January 20th 2001.

There’s now a similar market from Sporting Index on Gordon Brown days where the actual day he leaves office shall be used for settlement or the date of the general election. Any subsequent re-election will not count so the maximum result has been set by SPIN at June 3rd 2010 which equals 1072 days.

So if you think that he’ll go on and hold the general election on June 3rd 2010 then your winnings would be 1072 minus the current buy level of 950 multiplied by your stake level. Your profit would be £1,220.

But here’s the rub – if he actually stepped down, say, next Tuesday August 4th then he would have only served 769 days and you would be 181 days short. At £10 a day you would lose £1,810.

It’s an interesting market and one that I’ve yet to play. What do people think?

Mike Smithson

On PB2 – Bunco on the date of the election