Michael Moore to edit Economist?

by Henry on March 7, 2006

Paddy Power is apparently running a book on who is going to succeed Bill Emmott as editor of the Economist, although I can’t find it online. Current odds are:

John Micklethwait 5 – 4 favourite

Emma Duncan 2 – 1

Matthew Bishop 6 – 1

Ed Carr 7 – 1

Gideon Rachman 8 – 1

Christopher Lockwood 10 – 1

Clive Crook 25 – 1

Boris Johnson 100 – 1

Michael Moore 250 – 1

At those odds, my mate Matthew Bishop looks well worth a flutter. The growth market for the Economist these days is North America, and the only contenders with real US experience are him, the favourite (who’s priced out of the market in my opinion), and Michael Moore. It would be interesting to know how liquid the betting pool is (the UK has seen a fair amount of manipulation of betting markets on succession races in the last few weeks), but obviously Paddy Power, unlike say Tradesports, isn’t likely to provide much in the way of useful information.

{ 3 trackbacks }

dave's wibblings
03.08.06 at 2:35 am
Crooked Timber » » Hows about them efficient prediction markets?
03.12.06 at 9:58 pm
Crooked Timber » » Hows about them efficient prediction markets?
03.12.06 at 10:03 pm

{ 18 comments }

1

Hektor Bim 03.07.06 at 5:24 pm

Any chance the new editor won’t turn the North American coverage over to Republican hacks? Lexington has become awful under Emmott. I suppose that the Economist feels like it can become like the Wall Street Journal, since many non-Americans don’t really read the American coverage anyway.

2

paul 03.07.06 at 6:03 pm

Hate to appear a Yahoo, but…

Would you please clue me in as to the identity of this Michael Moore? (Or perhaps you enjoy my discomfort.) The only one I know by that name is a film-maker.

3

Barry Freed 03.07.06 at 6:24 pm

I nominate Doug Henwood as my ideal choice. Though at this point even Larry Flynt or Al Goldstein would be a vast improvement.

4

Daniel 03.07.06 at 6:27 pm

Paul: it is the film maker. Paddy Power likes having these joke bets. I seem to remember they quoted a price for Father Dougal Maguire being made Pope, which would have been unlikely since he was a sitcom character, albeit that it was not so unlikely that about a hundred quid didn’t go on him from the drunk and/or confused.

5

ab 03.07.06 at 6:34 pm

Would you please clue me in as to the identity of this Michael Moore?

I guess Michael Moore, the Scottish LibDem MP, has a greater chance than the other Michael Moore.

Otherwise: I can see the North America angle, but the decision will be taken in London. So current Deputy Editor Emma Duncan might be a better guess.

However, I bet they try to go for an outsider (or at least somebody who’s not currently employed at the Economist).

6

ab 03.07.06 at 6:42 pm

However, I bet they try to go for an outsider (or at least somebody who’s not currently employed at the Economist).

I’ll have to eat my words…

Here’s outgoing editor Bill Emmott: “However, I bet they try to go for an outsider (or at least somebody who’s not currently employed at the Economist).”

7

Daniel 03.07.06 at 6:43 pm

surprised to see Andy Gowers not on that list, him having not popped up since being chucked out at the FT.

8

Henry 03.07.06 at 7:33 pm

bq. Any chance the new editor won’t turn the North American coverage over to Republican hacks?

Some – but given Micklethwait’s previous form as US editor (and his book with Woodridge), I wouldn’t be confident if he gets the nod for the big job, as I’ve written in the past.

9

will u. 03.07.06 at 7:47 pm

My initial thought was that you meant the Michael Moore who formerly headed the WTO…

10

Jack 03.07.06 at 7:56 pm

Gowers has popped up but not quite as well as Lambert.

11

Kenny Easwaran 03.08.06 at 1:58 am

Am I misunderstanding the way the odds work because I’ve only studied probability theoretically, and not actually engaged in any of these bets? How is it possible for there to be someone with 2 to 1 odds and someone else with better than 2 to 1 odds? I mean, in addition, 1/2+1/6+1/7+1/8+1/10 is already greater than 1, so even dropping the current favorite, the probabilities add to more than 1. Unless there’s some huge house take of almost 50% in all this, because their total sums to almost 2.

12

Daniel 03.08.06 at 3:11 am

Kenny: you get your stake back when you win a bet, so 2/1 bookies’ odds is what you’d think of as 1/3. Look at it this way (canned response alert)

As a probabilist, you think of it as:

paying £100 with certainty for

{a 1/3 chance of receiving £300 and a 2/3 chance of receiving £0}

total expected value = (-£100 x 1 + £300 x 1/3) = 0

But as a bookie, Paddy P thinks of it as having

{a 1/3 chance of winning £200 and a 2/3 chance of losing £100}

total expected value = (+£200 x 2/3 + (-£100 x 1/3)) = 0

You’re thinking of it as paying the expected value of a risky payoff, Paddy’s thinking of it as a zero-expected-value contract. This of course never fails to cause confusion.

The general conversion formula is that bookies’ odds of X/Y is equivalent to a probability of Y/(X+Y).

So the book above is equal to 0.56 + 0.33 + 0.14 + 0.13 + 0.09 + 0.04 + 0.01 + 0.005 = 1.175 which is a more reasonable (although still somewhat rich by the standards of horse racing) 17.5% vigorish, assuming negligible probability of someone outside that field winning.

13

Daniel 03.08.06 at 3:14 am

By

total expected value = (+£200×2/3 + (-£100×1/3)) = 0

I of course mean

total expected value = (+£200×1/3 + (-£100×2/3)) = 0

It is calculation errors like these which have cemented my reputation today, unfortunately. But the central point is that bookies like to maintain the polite fiction that they are just holding your money in escrow and the transaction is really a wager betwee two gentlemen that is settled after the race ends. In fact once your money goes over that counter, it’s gone.

14

Luis Villa 03.08.06 at 8:13 am

Surprised no one is putting money on Sullivan.

15

Barry 03.08.06 at 9:35 am

Sullivan is showing signs of disenchantment; he has committed heresy against the GOP-King too often. One interesting possibility: Glenn ‘Insta-BS’ Reynolds.

Advantages: proven lack of ethics, morality and honesty; 90% reliable cheerleader for the American GOP interests, with that 10% unreliability that the sophomoric think of as honesty; the sort of libertarian who *understands* the need for torture, secrecy and continual war for the strength of the state; the sort of ‘libertarian’ who understands that cronyism shouldn’t be discussed too much, lest it wither in the light; and finally, he’s the sort of ‘libertarian’ who will reliably revert back to ‘government-power/secrecy/torture/continual war is bad’ the moment that a Democrat is elected president of the USA.

In fact, once that happens I could just see him putting a banner on the Economist website, listing the number of days since OBL killed 3,000 Americans, and hasn’t been killed or brought to justice. It has that ‘literally true, but in service to the lie’ attitude that’s made him the premier blogger that he is today.

16

Jacel 03.08.06 at 3:47 pm

Michael Moore had been Senior Editor of Mother Jones in the past, so he wouldn’t be coming into the periodical business from scratch.

17

Kenny Easwaran 03.08.06 at 3:53 pm

Thanks Daniel! That makes much more sense now.

18

derrida derider 03.08.06 at 6:16 pm

“the sort of libertarian who understands the need for torture, secrecy and continual war for the strength of the state … etc.”

Great dissection, barry. But it applies to an awful lot more “libertarians” than Reynolds.

I can deal with crusty conservatives, with lunar leftoids, even with the odd bovver-boy fascist, but I find it really hard to tolerate these hypocrites. They just can’t admit to themselves that they’ve enabled a bunch of inept criminals who’ve gravely damaged their country and who should be facing a war crimes tribunal.

Comments on this entry are closed.