MLB What Real-Time Gambling Data Reveals About Sports: Introducing Gambletron 2000 by ATodd 50

Unfortunately Gambletron 2000 was only turned on in time to catch the final 4 games of the 2013 World Series, so any analysis of baseball would be based on a woefully small sample size. But Gambletron 2000 continues to collect data every day, so once the 2014 baseball season is underway then we can do better analysis of baseball.

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Market-implied probabilities What Real-Time Gambling Data Reveals About Sports: Introducing Gambletron 2000 by ATodd 50

To be clear, if Boise State had a market-implied 40% probability of winning, that does not necessarily mean that Boise State truly had a 40% probability of winning. What it does mean is that there were two market participants, one of whom wanted to buy a contract on Boise State at a price corresponding to a 40% win probability, and the other of whom wanted to sell the contract at that price, and the exchange matched them up so that they could transact.

One likely explanation is that the buyer thought Boise had a higher than 40% chance of winning, while the seller thought Boise had a less than 40% chance, though we could imagine other reasons for the transaction — maybe the seller previously bought the same contracts at 10%, and she just wanted to lock in her gains and reduce risk, even if she thought Boise St at 40% was still an attractive bet.

If enough people participate in the market, the negotiated prices should take into account all available information. Roughly speaking, if it were so obvious that Boise State’s true probability of winning were 30%, there should be someone in the market willing to sell Boise State contracts at 40%, and continue selling until the price goes down to 30%.

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And other What Real-Time Gambling Data Reveals About Sports: Introducing Gambletron 2000 by ATodd 50

Intrade was particularly well known for its prediction markets on US Elections. If you look around you can also find markets on everything from the Academy Awards to the weather

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The recovery in the housing sector slowed Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress by Janet Yellen 16

According to the Case-Shiller 10-City Composite Index, home prices have increased about 30% since they hit their low point in early 2011:

That sounds good, but at the same time, home prices remain about 20% below their 2006 peak, and are at the same level as they were in mid-2004. That means on average if you bought a house 10 years ago, it’s still only worth what it was when you bought it.

Furthermore, the number of home sales remains historically low:

The annual rate of repeat sales is still 45% lower than it was at its peak in 2006, and is comparable to the rate of sales all the way back in 1991, more than 20 years ago!

It’s notoriously difficult to measure home prices, because homes are relatively illiquid and don’t change hands very often, but repeat sales indexes like Case-Shiller are about the best we can do, and they suggest that the national housing recovery has a long way to go before it reaches the previous peaks

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We have been watching closely the recent volatility in global financial markets. Our sense is that at this stage these developments do not pose a substantial risk to the U.S. economic outlook. Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress by Janet Yellen 16

Reminiscent of Ben Bernanke, from 2007:

Although the turmoil in the subprime mortgage market has created severe financial problems for many individuals and families, the implications of these developments for the housing market as a whole are less clear. The ongoing tightening of lending standards, although an appropriate market response, will reduce somewhat the effective demand for housing, and foreclosed properties will add to the inventories of unsold homes. At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained.

Which isn’t to say that Bernanke and Yellen aren’t smart, in fact they’re both probably extremely smart, but it’s really difficult to forecast what’s going to happen to the economy!

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Last year's increase in mortgage rates Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress by Janet Yellen 16

Some perspective: rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hit a low of about 3.5% in spring 2013. More recently they’ve been around 4.5%.

For a $250,000 loan, increasing the rate from 3.5% to 4.5% increases the monthly payment by $144, from $1,123 to $1,267. That’s an extra $1,728 per year, 5% of per capita disposable income, spent on mortgage payments that could be spent on other discretionary purchases

By historical standards, however, mortgage rates remain very low, as seen in this chart:

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A song you listened to during a historical event significant in the coming-of-age of a current 30-year-old 30th Birthday Party Invite by MoMilli 4

I received my first and only speeding ticket while listening to Regulate by Warren G and Nate Dogg in Pennsauken, NJ (since been pulled over twice, but both times got off with warning only)

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Todd Schneider Rap Genius is Hiring: Help Us Annotate the World by Rap Genius Engineering Team

Todd’s wide-ranging interests include trolling the New York Times and offending real mathematicians by making up new definitions for the word “concave”

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Rap Stats When Harvard Met Suge: What do Rappers Have in Common with NYTimes Wedded Couples? by ATodd 2

Rap Stats lets you measure which words and phrases have been most popular in rap lyrics over time. The companion essay is available at:

Rap Stats: Breaking Down The Words in Rap Lyrics Over Time

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Wedding Crunchers When Harvard Met Suge: What do Rappers Have in Common with NYTimes Wedded Couples? by ATodd 2

WeddingCrunchers.com is a searchable database of nearly 60,000 NYT wedding announcements. The companion essay is available here:

When Harvard Met Sally: N-gram Analysis of the New York Times Weddings Section

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