Wonkblog: economy, 2012

Wall Street won’t be able to bet on the 2012 election

Think President Obama will win re-election come November? Don’t bet on it—well, at least literally. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is reportedly expected to ban U.S. traders from betting on the 2012 election, the New York Times reports:

The Dodd-Frank Act... mandated that the agency ban event contracts tied to terrorism, war, gambling and other matters contrary to the “public interest” ... the agency on Monday is expected to say that election derivatives, while a novel idea, have the potential to improperly affect election results. One problem, the agency argues, would arise if a candidate’s supporters bought huge positions and drove public opinion in their favor.

The ruling could scuttle the plans of one Chicago-based derivatives exchange to offer futures contracts on the election results. It’s “unclear” whether the new law will also apply to Americans betting on the Ireland-based Intrade, the Times adds.

Will private equity’s image rehab help Romney in Michigan?

Just a few days before the Michigan primary, a private equity trade group has released a video celebrating the impact of a $850 million investment by the Blackstone Group in the Detroit Medical Center. The group says the investment created 15,000 construction jobs and a children’s hospital, among other politically salient accomplishments:

It’s all part of the Private Equity Growth Capital Council’s campaign to rehabilitate the industry’s public image — an effort launched a few weeks ago after the attacks on Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital.

Continue Reading »