Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pope Odds


After two inconclusive rounds of voting Francis Arinze of Nigeria is now in the lead at Tradesports.com trading around 15%. Cardinal Ratzinger has fallen to second place at 11% behind Arinze and just in front of Claudio Hummes from Brazil and Dionigi Tettamanzi of Italy. I think Ratzinger is a buy here as the 'conservative' choice - the one who won't undo what JPII did and let the church gather its wits for a few years without a long, long commitment (Ratzinger is 78).


Tradesports.com is running a market on which cardinal will succeed John Paul II as pope.

(win 100 if your candidate becomes pope; lose the premium if he does not)

The market at moment:

Ratzinger 18.0/19.0
Arinze 10.1/10.7
Tettamanzi 9.2/10.5
Rodriguez-Maradiaga 8.1/10.2
Hummes 10.1/11.1
*(12 other low delta candidates)
Field: 18.9/20.0

There is also a market on Tradesports where you can on the country a pope will be form. Italy is 36/38.

Being a fan of the markets I like usually like their predictive power but this market is tough one with very little transparency and no idea whether any new information could be released. Interesting to see that Ratzinger the theological watchdog is favored. My guess is unless an overwhelmingly popular choice is quickly found the College will look for a John Paul 'twin'. If I had to bet here I might buy the field and sell Italy. At 36 the bid for Italy seems reasonably rich but Italy has so many cardinals that you could easily get an Italian not in the current field. In that case you'd lose on Italy but could win the field. Also note that other than Tettamanzi the other four leaders aren't Italian

Here's Peggy Noonan's take.

No comments: