Color me confused, but I’ve never really understood the difference between a bet and “financial trade.” And if there ever really was a line, it’s definitely becoming blurrier. In recent months, there have been millions of dollars bet in options markets, as traders seek a big payday in the event that the economy heads south […]

FREAK Shots: I’m Just Here for the Horses and Gin

I spent my Thanksgiving at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Racetrack in a gaudy hat, betting on horses. A U.S.A. Today photographer snapped this photo of me: Photo: Sean Gardner/U.S.A. Today By the time I left the track, I had spent $20 on bets, made back $33 in winnings, bought lunch for $5, and had […]

Putting Your Money Where Your Model Is

There is nothing I like better than an academic wager. I fear that this time I’m over-matched: I’ve bet on politics against Columbia’s professor, Robert Erikson, and Bob is one of the leading political scientists in the U.S. But we had to bet, because his models of politics currently give a very different reading of […]

A Super Bowl Preview from the Freako Family

The Patriots are playing the Giants in Sunday’s Super Bowl. I thought it would be fun to put together a short Super Bowl preview. I’ll go first (Justin Wolfers): Cheering for: The Patriots. My first four years in the U.S. were spent in Boston, and that’s where I learned to love the sport that you […]