Hedging the Net Psychic Wealth

So the polls have Martha Coakley in free-fall, and even Nate Silver, who's been pretty pessismistic on Brown, says the FiveThirtyEight forecasting model puts Brown at a 3:1 chance of winning.  Intrade also has her at 25 cents on the dollar.

I confess, I can't quite believe it.  It's Massachusetts.  Teddy Kennedy's seat.  And special elections are notoriously difficult to poll--many of the results rely on educated guesses about the makeup of the electorate tomorrow.  I'm very tempted to take a flyer on Ms. Coakley's chances, at 3:1. 

And even if I thought those numbers were about right, it might make sense as a way to hedge my net psychic wealth.  If Scott Brown wins, I'm happy--and if Martha Coakley wins, at least I get $50 or so to drown my sorrows.

I'm a great believer in hedging emotional risks.  Betting against an outcome you really want is an excellent way to manage downside disappointment.  But in the case of the whole future of our nation's health care policy, I can't quite bring myself to do it.  Some risks are better off unhedged.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Business

Just In