Bookies and Banknotes and Mergers (Oh My)

Anyone with even an ounce of Anglophile in them has to appreciate the news out of the U.K. this morning:

1. The U.K. bookmaking shop William Hill is so sure that countrywoman Helen Mirren will win the Oscar for best actress that it has closed its book on Mirren bets, paying out nearly $100,000 in winnings from the bets already placed on her.

2. The proto-economist Adam Smith will become the new face of the 20-pound banknote in March, the first Scotsman to appear on a Bank of England note.

3. There is talk of a merger between the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church, which the Economist, perhaps not surprisingly, believes makes good business sense.

AdamSmith

(Hat tip on Smith: Abdul Basit)


egretman

What happens if all Anglicans become Catholic overnight?

Then they will no longer be considered married in the eyes of god. But the good news is that Diana gets resurrected almost immediately.

stephen deutsch

You've slightly missed the point about Helen Mirren. It's not that they've refunded the money; it's that they've paid out as though she had already won the oscar.

Stephen J. Dubner

@ stephen deutsch:

thanks; amended.

Bruce G Charlton

"Adam Smith will become ... the first Scotsman to appear on a Bank of England note."

But of course various Scottish (but not English) people appear on the bank notes issued by the Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank - which are also used in England.

110phil

The Helen Mirren thing is obviously just for the publicity ... it's only costing them $100,000. Clearly they don't think she's a 100% lock if they're only offering 12:1 on the second favorite.

Luke Collins

If, as economists, you're pleased that Adam Smith has made it on to the UK currency, imagine how my brother in law, currently teaching evolutionary biology in a mid Western university, feels about the presence of Charles Darwin on the back of our ten pound note. I think he even framed the mint-fresh tenner we gave him...

CrunchyFrog

Isn't the King or Queen prohibited from being or marrying a member of the Catholic church? What happens if all Anglicans become Catholic overnight?

muethibp

I've never understood the British bookmaker habit of paying out sure things. Do they get a discount when they do? For example, do they pay out $75 on a $100 bet instead of the $91 they might otherwise have had to pay? If they don't get a discount, what's the upside? Not only will they incorrectly pay a loser, but I assume all of the previous wagers on other candidates still win. And that doesn't even mention four more days of interest on what is a substantial amount of money.

Kent

I think the U.S. should emulate the UK and put economist Gene Fama (the Adam Smith of the U.S.) on a currency note.

egretman

What happens if all Anglicans become Catholic overnight?

Then they will no longer be considered married in the eyes of god. But the good news is that Diana gets resurrected almost immediately.

stephen deutsch

You've slightly missed the point about Helen Mirren. It's not that they've refunded the money; it's that they've paid out as though she had already won the oscar.

Stephen J. Dubner

@ stephen deutsch:

thanks; amended.

Bruce G Charlton

"Adam Smith will become ... the first Scotsman to appear on a Bank of England note."

But of course various Scottish (but not English) people appear on the bank notes issued by the Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank - which are also used in England.

110phil

The Helen Mirren thing is obviously just for the publicity ... it's only costing them $100,000. Clearly they don't think she's a 100% lock if they're only offering 12:1 on the second favorite.

Luke Collins

If, as economists, you're pleased that Adam Smith has made it on to the UK currency, imagine how my brother in law, currently teaching evolutionary biology in a mid Western university, feels about the presence of Charles Darwin on the back of our ten pound note. I think he even framed the mint-fresh tenner we gave him...

CrunchyFrog

Isn't the King or Queen prohibited from being or marrying a member of the Catholic church? What happens if all Anglicans become Catholic overnight?

muethibp

I've never understood the British bookmaker habit of paying out sure things. Do they get a discount when they do? For example, do they pay out $75 on a $100 bet instead of the $91 they might otherwise have had to pay? If they don't get a discount, what's the upside? Not only will they incorrectly pay a loser, but I assume all of the previous wagers on other candidates still win. And that doesn't even mention four more days of interest on what is a substantial amount of money.

Kent

I think the U.S. should emulate the UK and put economist Gene Fama (the Adam Smith of the U.S.) on a currency note.