11 Fascinating Alternative Economic And Financial Bets

Betting girls

Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Usually when you think of an economic bet it’s on some sort of risky asset, like certain Eurozone bonds.However, there’s an entirely different type of gambling, closer to a sports bet than an investment.

We’ve put together some of our favourites from Paddy Power, one of the largest bookmakers in Europe, and Intrade, a prediction market where users can buy or sell contracts that settle at $0 (if an event does not occur) or $10, if it does.  

Bookmaking is illegal in the United States, with the exception of Nevada. Intrade, however, is not a bookmaker, and exists in something of a legal grey area in the United States, where the majority of its users reside.

You can bet on everything from a Euro collapse, to future US tax rates, to the next CEO of Facebook. 

Who will succeed Mark Zuckerberg as Facebook CEO?

Top candidates:

Sheryl Sandberg: 2/1

Dick Costolo: 4/1

Christopher Cox: 6/1

Long shots:

Mark Zuckerberg's firstborn: 25/1

Eduardo Saverin: 40/1

Either Winklevoss: 200/1

From Paddy Power

The Euro ceases to exist as the official currency for a member state


By 2012: 9/1

By 2013: 6/1

By 2014: 4/1

By 2015: 4/1

By 2016: 4/1

Still official for all 17 members in 2017: 5/4

From Paddy Power

Most likely to leave Eurozone by end of year


Portugal: 5/2

Spain: 7/2

Italy: 6/1

Ireland: 7/1

France: 14/1

Germany: 25/1

From Paddy Power

The US will fall into a recession

During 2012:

7.2 per cent chance

During 2013:

28.7 per cent chance

From Intrade

As of 7:00 A.M. August 2nd

Top marginal tax rates

Highest single filer rate to be greater than or equal to 34 per cent:

For 2012 tax year: 12 per cent chance

For 2013 tax year: 90 per cent chance

Highest single filer rate to be greater than or equal to 42 per cent:

For 2012 tax year: 15 per cent chance For 2013 tax year: 34 per cent chance From IntradeAs of 7:00 A.M. August 2nd

The Next Governor Of The Bank Of England

Top candidates:

Gus O'Donnell (Former Cabinet Secretary): 9/4

Paul Tucker (Deputy Governor of the BOE): 5/2

Jim O'Neill, (Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management): 10/3

Adair Turner, (Chairman of the Financial Services Authority): 7/2

Long shot:

Fred Goodwin (Former CEO of RBS): 300/1

From Paddy Power

Moody's credit rating downgrades

Year end rating for Ireland:

Baa3 or higher: 9/1

Ba1: 2/5

Ba2 or lower: 2/1

Year end rating for the U.K.:

Aaa: 1/3

Aa1 or lower: 2/1

Year end rating for the U.S:

Aaa: 4/11

Aa1 or lower: 15/8

From Paddy Power

The Irish bad bank fund (NAMA) will turn a profit by 2020


A loss/breakeven: 1/3

A profit of up to 1 billion euros: 11/4

A profit of over 1 billion euros: 9/1

From Paddy Power

SEC announces that United States will adopt International Financial Reporting Standards

By the end of 2012:

1.2 per cent chance.

From Intrade

As of 7:00 A.M. August 2nd

A cap and trade system will be implemented in the United States

In 2012:

0.5 per cent chance

By 2013:

9.9 per cent chance

From Intrade

As of 7:00 A.M. August 2nd

Barclay's next CEO

CEO favourites:

Gary Hoffman (NBNK CEO): 2/1

Antony Jenkins (Chief Executive of Retail And Business Banking at Barclay's): 11/4

Rich Ricci (Chief Executive of Corporate and Investment Banking at Barclay's): 11/4

Bill Winters (Former Co-CEO of JP Morgan's Investment Bank): 11/4

Naguib Kheraj (Vice Chairman at Barclay's): 3/1

Long shot:

Jerry Del Missier (Former Barclay's COO): 66/1

From Paddy Power

The guys who made the right bets

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