Tuesday, January 27, 2009

betting on mugabe

The economy of Zimbabwe has been contracting for a decade. Hyperinflation has been a fact of life for going on two years. Currently prices are doubling every day.

Zimbabwe has a cholera epidemic. Cholera is a completely preventable disease. Its victim are the poor and weak. Cholerea is actually a symptom of economic collapse.

How does Robert Mugabe stay in power?. No leader survives with hyperinflation for this long! This Christmas he went on vacation to Malaysia. That shows his confidence. Usually a weakened leader does not leave the country for fear of a coup in his absence.

Tonight I checked the betting odds at Intrade.com of Mugabe staying in power. The odds are actually going Mugabe's way. As you can see on the chart there appears to be only a 6% chance he'll leave office by March 31st. (Rule 1.8: All bets are off if Mugabe dies before leaving office.) As you can see, the odds of him leaving office have been falling.

I do not understand this. The only way this makes sense to me is if the smart money thinks the only way Mugabe will leave office is feet first (i.e., Rule 1.8).

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