Political Stock Market for the Next Supreme Court Nominee

Kevin T. McGuire kmcguire at unc.edu
Wed Jul 6 12:00:15 PDT 2005

Dear Colleagues:

Over the past several days, many of us have been speculating about whom 
President Bush will name to replace Justice O'Connor.  Wouldn't it be 
interesting if we could aggregate our informed speculation to determine 
just how likely it is that a particular person will be nominated?  And 
to estimate that nominee's chances of passing muster in the Senate as 
events unfold?

Let me take this opportunity to invite you to do just that by 
participating in an electronic futures market in which you can buy and 
sell shares of the leading contenders for the nomination.  Many of you 
are no doubt familiar with the Iowa Electronic Markets in which 
participants invest in various political and economic events.  For the 
past several months, I have been working with the web development office 
here at UNC to put together a similar application for classroom and 
research use.  Although there are still some bugs in it, the trial 
version is now ready.

Would you like to participate in this market?  Acting as an investor, 
you can buy and sell shares of Alberto Gonzales, Edith Jones, and J. 
Harvie Wilkinson, among others.  Players will be issued "fantasy 
dollars" to invest in potential nominees, so there is no cost to 
participate.  The most successful investors will be rewarded with grand 
personal glory before their peers, which is surely worth more than any 
amount of money one might win.

Space is limited to about 50 players.  So, even though no actual money 
is involved, I am still only interested in "serious investors."  In 
order for the market to function effectively, it will require the 
participation of folks who are genuinely interested, motivated, and 
willing to take part regularly in the trading process.  If you want to 
learn more about how to participate, go to 

Obviously, the clock is ticking, so interested parties should visit the 
web page and email me the necessary information very quickly.  Because 
that information must first be entered into the UNC computer system, it 
will take at least a couple of days to get the market up and running.  
So again, I need to know who is interested as soon as possible.

Assuming all goes well, I will make the daily market information 
available to everyone.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Kevin T. McGuire
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC   27599-3265

Telephone 919-962-0431           Fax 919-962-0432
Email:  kmcguire at unc.edu          Web:  http://www.unc.edu/~kmcguire
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