Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Sadaam a 2-3 Favorite...To Make it to April-The British and Irish will bet on anything, including the odds on Saddam staying in power
On Monday the ask price on a contract specifying Saddam will not be Iraqi leader by March 31 was $40.0 -- meaning the market thinks Saddam is 40 percent likely no longer to be in power at the end of next month. The likelihood of him being out of office by end-April was put at 68 percent, end-May 78 percent, and end-June 84 percent.
If I were a gambling man, I'd go long on the March contact, counting on the US doing its job in the next six weeks. I'd also be tempted to put $16 on Saddam staying through June; if he makes it to April Fools day, he's there for the long haul, for if he's still there at the end of March, he somehow signed off on some very-tough inspection plan that will take a year or so to complete. That's a $54 outlay that will flop with only a long-lasting regime change that takes place later this spring.

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