Where to find the Yahoo!-Google letter to the CFTC about prediction markets

At the Prediction Markets Summit1 last Friday April 24 2009, I mentioned that Yahoo! and Google jointly wrote a letter to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission encouraging the legalization of small-stakes real-money prediction markets, and that Microsoft had recently written its own letter in support of the effort. (The CFTC maintains a list of all public comments responding to their request for advice on regulating prediction markets.)

I told the audience that they could learn more by searching for “cftc yahoo google” in their favorite search engine, showing the Yahoo! Search results with MidasOracle’s coverage at the top.2

It turns out that was poor advice. 63.7% of the audience probably won’t find what they’re looking for using that search.3


Yahoo! versus Google search for "cftc yahoo google"

If some search engines don’t surface the MidasOracle post, I’m hoping they’ll find this.

And back to the effort to guide the CFTC: I hope other people and companies will join. The CFTC’s request for help itself displays a clear understanding of the science and practice of prediction markets and a real willingness to listen. The more organizations that speak out in support, the greater chance we have of convincing the CFTC to take action and open the door to innovation and experimentation.

1Which I hesitated to attend and host a reception for and now regret endorsing in any way.
2In September 2008, journalist Chris Masse uncovered the letter on the CFTC website before Google or Yahoo! had announced it. We should have known: Masse is extraordinarily skilled at finding anything relevant anywhere, and has been a tireless, invaluable (and unpaid) chronicler of all-things-prediction-markets for years now.
3Even Microsoft Live has the “right” result in position 3. Interestingly, Daniel Reeves got slightly different, presumably personalized, results in Google, even less excuse for not knowing what two MO junkies were looking for with that query.

2 thoughts on “Where to find the Yahoo!-Google letter to the CFTC about prediction markets”

  1. With high-profile securities such as CDS’s being forced onto regulated exchanges, where does this leave prediction markets?

    The ideas are deeply related so I thought it likely that new legislation or regulatory powers in the pipeline could (over time) benefit the cause of prediction markets ‘in the large’

  2. Update: It seems the heart of the discrepancy is that Google doesn’t seem to have the original MidasOracle “WEB EXCLUSIVE” post indexed.

    Try searching for:

    site:www.midasoracle.org “web exclusive” google yahoo

    on Google then try Yahoo!.

    Why? Probably the Google crawler just missed it for whatever reason. Certainly I’ve seen this happen the other way around. A conspiracy theorist might ask whether Google kept the page out of its index purposefully, since it contains information that at the time Google was not expecting to yet discuss publicly. I doubt this, and indeed Bo Cowgill says “There’s no conspiracy as far as I know”.

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