Global Investing

Trading Obama and McCain contracts

Which one to bet?Politicians are busy blaming betting in financial markets for the recent market turmoil, with Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of euro zone finance ministers, urging investors to stop playing a “casino game” with their shares this week.

But dare-devil operators in financial markets have shown no sign of halting their innovation in financial instruments, which are enabling investors to bet on everything from Academy Award winners to space travelling.

One of the most traded contracts on trading platform Intrade is the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election, due in just over a month.

The Barack Obama contract, based on the U.S. dollar, rose 1.5 points to 62.5, with 5,857 contracts traded on Tuesday. The level is just below a record high set in mid-July.

The John McCain contract fell half a point to 37.6, having hit an all-time high only a few weeks ago.

Wait on stimulus package, says former White House budget chief

The economy is a key issue in the presidential election, but Congress should hold off on a second economic stimulus package for now, a top supporter of Senator John McCain said Thursday.

“In states like Ohio, I think that jobs and the economy is the first issue and will be right through the election,” said Rob Portman, formerly a Republican congressman from Ohio, White House Budget Director and U.S. Trade Representative.

“One of the concerns I’ve had is that we continue to deepen our deficit for this year and therefore our debt over time by having another stimulus package before we even have the final checks going out under this stimulus package and see what some of the economic feedback is. I think it’s better to take our time, do the right thing and be sure we are addressing the key problems that we might see pop up this fall,” Portman said in an interview with Reuters.