Polymarket Odds Say Columbia University President Will Keep Job

Columbia University president’s job is probably safe, Polymarket traders signal.

Taylor Swift’s new album is unlikely to break her record, Kalshi odds say.

Traders are betting on a DeFi controversy.

The president of Columbia University is facing a growing backlash regarding pro-Palestinian protestors who continue to occupy the campus, which coincides with her scheduled Capitol Hill testimony on antisemitism on college campuses.

But the Polymarket hive mind doesn’t think she’ll be another Claudine Gay – who resigned from her role as Harvard president after a double-whammy of plagiarism accusations and institutional criticism to the university’s response to protests targeting Jewish students after the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Right now, “yes” shares for the crypto-based betting platform’s “Minouche Shafik out as Columbia President in April?” contract are trading at 7 cents, signaling a 7% chance of her ouster in that timeframe. Each contract pays out $1 if the prediction turns out to be true, and zero if it’s false.

Polymarket’s market for whether Columbia University’s president will resign (Polymarket)

Keep in mind there’s not a lot of liquidity in the contract, and while the protests have recently been in the press because of their newfound intensity, they aren’t occupying the same place in the national psyche as the ousting of Harvard’s Gay.

But also keep in mind that there was a fair degree of volatility in the contract predicting Gay’s exit. The “yes” side began at 26 cents – or 26% odds of her leaving – then pushed up to the mid-50s, before dropping to the low-40s, then rallying up to 100%.

It was so volatile that one of the journalists who broke the story of Gay’s plagiarism lost money betting on her ouster.

Taylor Swift’s Era’s tour broke records as the world’s highest-grossing concert tour, so, naturally, expectations are sky-high about her latest album, “The Tortured Poets Department.” Launched on Friday, the album has already broken records by becoming Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day with 300 million streams in a 24-hour period.

Considering all of this, one would expect that the album would sail through prior records set by the Swift Empire and dominate the Billboard 200 charts for months.

But bettors on Kalshi, the regulated U.S. prediction market platform, aren’t so sure.

Kalshi’s market for Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” (Kalshi)

Right now, the market sees the album owning the charts for two to three weeks, with an edge chance of it going four to five weeks and a wall of unlikeliness hitting at the six-week mark.

If the album does not break the six-week mark, it won’t be a record-setter for Swift. Currently, Folklore holds the record for the longest Swift album to hold the top spot. It was released during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic; the isolation effect of quarantine may have fueled its popularity, some critics argue.

Coming in at the three-to-four-week mark at the top of the charts would make this a fairly average album for Swift, and one has to wonder if the market is underpricing the impact a global multi-billion-dollar sell-out tour has on sales.

Sometimes a question is an accusation.

Consider a Polymarket contract concerning the decentralized finance, or DeFi, gambling project ZKasino which raised $26 million from some well-known investors, including the MEXC exchange, at a valuation of $350 million.

Its launch party was scheduled for Token2049 this month in Dubai, but was canceled because of historic floods. When it came time to launch the actual project, there were outages and bugs.

Now, it turns out that $33 million in Ethereum’s ether (ETH) that users deposited at the virtual gambling house, to earn its native token, ended up being directed to Lido, the staking protocol, rather than returned to them as ZKasino originally said would happen.

Users are furious, and many are not giving the project the benefit of the doubt. Hence the Polymarket contract asking: Will the two founders, known by their handles Derivatives_Ape and XBT_Prometheus, be arrested this year?

But it’s premature to draw conclusions about whether this was a costly blunder or a rug pull, which is probably why Polymarket bettors give only a 27% chance of it happening, with only two users holding tokens on the “yes” side.

Edited by Marc Hochstein and Nick Baker.


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