I Win My Warren Bet
By Bryan Caplan
Over three years ago, I made the following bet with my friend Ben Haller:
I therefore offered Ben 2:1 odds against Warren being elected, and he’s accepted. The bet gets called off if Warren doesn’t run… The stakes are my $100 against Ben’s $50.
Since Warren didn’t even get the vice-presidential nomination, Ben had just conceded the bet.
This brings my cumulative public betting record to 21 wins, 0 losses.
As I’ve conceded many times in the past, every bet contains signal and noise. You can win via superior insight, or via luck. A consistent track record of wins, however, is almost all signal. If an unbroken streak of 21 wins on an immense variety of topics does not confirm the winner’s superior sagacity, what would?
That said, none of my “superior sagacity” let me foresee the pandemic, the global shutdown, or the baffling full recovery of the stock market. So while none of the outcomes of my bets greatly surprised me, the world still deeply confuses me. At least I can draw a little comfort from the old adage, “If you’re not confused, you don’t understand what’s going on.”