107 thoughts on “Brexit

  1. I wrote a post Brexit, betting markets and the pundit premium theorising why betting markets may have had such high profile recent failures.

    I argue they may be systemically biased to “respectable” policy opinion/status quo outcomes/pundit predictions. In effect, agents pay a “pundit premium” to buy over-priced “respectable” bets:

    “The pundit premium is due to perverse incentives facing investing agents. If an investment goes pear-shaped, there is always the herd defence: “but all the serious, expert people said the same – clearly it cannot be my fault!” But if a contrarian investment is off, there is no such recourse. You’re just a crank. The investment was outlandish and irresponsible. Your bank will fire you and your clients will drop you, shunning you at cocktail parties.

    This creates a powerful incentive to follow the ‘respectable’ line. In effect, you pay a “pundit premium”, which buys insurance against reputational damage. This will distort market prices compared to true probability.”

  2. @J-D

    Paul Graig Robert seems like a nutty, conspiracy theorist to me. Was it Gore Vidal who said the following? “If you think everything is a conspiracy you are crazy. If you think there are no conspiracies you are naive.”

    As you quite rightly point out, the next level of naivety or nuttiness (it’s hard to tell which) is to think that every conspiracy must be all-powerful and fully capable of achieving any and all of its improbable ends. In history, there have been plenty of conspiracies which have been all but powerless and have utterly fallen flat in their aims.

  3. Evidence uncovered in 2000 about the formation of the European Union

    (Other links can be found in the comment linked to above.)

    Ernestine wrote on June 27th, 2016 at 09:16:

    “[Paul Craig Roberts] asserts the EU has been set up by the CIA and is controlled by the USA. …

    This is what Paul Craig Roberts said (times from start of the video included):

    (8:37) The EU is a CIA initiative. This was discovered about the year 2000 by [Joshua Paul, a researcher at Georgetown University in Washington]. He was mucking around in the United States’ national archives and found some recently released documents. There was CIA documents that established that the EU was a CIA initiative and it was done so that Washington could more easily control Europe.

    (9:09) It’s too difficult for Washington to control all these separate governments. This one would play off against that one. This one would have to have this special thing, this special concession and so on, like the EU gave Britain to get hooked into the EU. And so the CIA decided: “Look, if there’s an EU there’s only one government to deal with and it is much easier for us to control.”

    (9:34) So, this was discovered in the year 2000. It was reported in the British newspapers at the time. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at the Telegraph reported this. I cited it and I think I gave the URL – the reference to it [1] and a recent column [2] on my site. You can use Google. You can find it. You can find the report from the [Georgetown University] professor who reported on the documents he found. All this is publicly available the documents are available. They’re in the National Archive. So this is not a conspiracy theory. This is simply the facts reported even in the British newspapers.


    [1] Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs (19/9/2000) by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard | The Telegraph.

    [2] Somnolent Europe, Russia, and China (5/5/16) by Paul Craig Roberts | PaulCraigRoberts.org.

  4. I note Ikonoclast on June 27th, 2016 at 21:18 made an ad hominem attack on Paul Craig Roberts:

    Paul [Craig Roberts] seems like a nutty, conspiracy theorist to me.

    Ikonoclast continued:

    In history, there have been plenty of conspiracies which have been all but powerless and have utterly fallen flat in their aims.

    Presumably, Ikonoclast thinks that all of the following events:

    The Boer War, the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, the First World War, the Japanese invasions of Taiwan, Korea and Manchuria, Hitler’s 1933 takeover of Germany, Franco’s 1936 insurrection against the Spanish Republic, Stalin’s show trials of the 1930’s, the 1938 Munich sellout of Czechoslovakia, the 1939 Hitler/Stalin pact, the Second World War, the 1941 Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Pearl Harbour, the Korean War, the 1956 war against Egypt, Operation Northwoods, the Vietnam War, the Six Day War of 1967, the Iraq wars of 1991 and 2003 with sanctions which killed many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan the 2011 invasion of Libya, the terrorist war against Syria, the overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine in 2014 and the invasion of Yemen

    … were the result of the open, informed choices by the people in all of the concerned countries. Presumably Ikonoclast does not think that all these catastrophes, which resulted in the loss of many tens of millions of lives and comparable material destruction, were the consequences of decisions reached by handfuls of ruling elites behind closed doors.

    The label “conspiracy theorist” was used by the CIA in the early 1960’s to smear anybody who challenged the Warren Commission’s ‘finding’ that President John F. Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone on 22 November 1963.

  5. @James

    I am not part of your conspiracy theory discussion. The topic of this thread is Brexit. You left the subject relevant bit out of what I wrote. I am also not interested in participating in a deconstruction of text exercise.

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