Posted by: sean | May 17, 2009

Idea Futures in Lebanon

I don’t really understand how idea futures, or prediction markets, work, so I obviously can’t make any claims to their accuracy or their inaccuracy, although my gut feeling tells me that the whole process is somewhere between tea leaves and gambling on sports. In any case, I was entertained to see that there is now an idea futures market for Lebanese politics. (Forgive me if my vocabulary is off here, since as my checking account will testify, economics is not my strong suit.)

The market has several questions about Lebanon and Lebanese politics, ranging from interest rates and unemployment to internal clashes and Israeli ground invasions to whether or not Tashnaq (an Armenian party) will remain in the opposition and how many seats Hezbollah will pick up next month in the parliamentary elections.

In case you’re wondering, according to these markets, there’s a 25% chance that Hariri will be the next Prime Minister, a 28% chance that a salafi aligned with the opposition will win a seat next month and a 43% chance that armed elements of Mustaqbal will clash with Hezbollah and Amal.

For any other questions, check out the magic 8 ball here.



  1. I was planning on putting my vote up for bidding on ebay, but this is much more interesting!

  2. For my part, I’m going to see if I can talk one of the parties into buying me a free ticket to go to South America. I’ll tell them that I’ll bring back a few Lebanese to vote for whomever they want. Rio, here I come!

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