It’s easy to joke about the perceived excesses at Davos, but this is actually a great time for world leaders in politics and business to be huddling. Jamie Dimon said as much this morning and he’s right. Sure, flying to the Swiss Alps may not play that great on TV, but there’s still the need to reassure clients and partners.
So, are our world leaders doing their job and staving off an epic global meltdown? Not yet. In a cool experiment, prediction market site Intrade set up an Intrade World Crisis Index, an amalgam of various contracts, like “US to head into a Depression in ’09” or “Airstrikes against Iran”. They blended them all together and set the index at 50.0 to start the event. So if that number is higher at the end of the event, then it means on average these various calamities seem more likely. If it’s lower, our leaders did their job. So far they haven’t accomplished much. It’s at 50.2, which means that according to Intraders, the world is marginally closer to the abyss now than before the vent started.
And yes, we know the obvious and major limitations here, but it’s more interesting than not trying, in some way, to quantify how things are going.
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