Hedging the Net Psychic Wealth

More

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.

Jump to comments
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.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What's the Number One Thing We Could Do to Improve City Life?

A group of journalists, professors, and non-profit leaders predict the future of livable, walkable cities


Elsewhere on the web

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

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In