Friday 30 December 2011

Conspiracy Theories

Some clarification from skoqp who said:

Sorry, correction... I meant the Federal Reserve's Charter not mandate. The Federal Reserve was established in 1913 and granted a 100 year charter.
Actually, not any clarification after all. It makes for a great story, especially when linked with the supposed Mayan prophesy for 2012, but there is no truth in either.

The original Federal Reserve Act of 1913 did provide for the expiration of the corporate "power" of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks to exist in 20 years from the banks' organization, but this was amended in February 1927 so that each of the U.S. Federal Reserve Banks can now only be dissolved by an act of Congress or "forfeiture of franchise for violation of law." There is no expiration date, either next year or any time. I hate it when the facts spoil a good story, but this is what happens when you listen to David Icke.

Loudsight made his selection with his winnings, and has layed Manchester City at Sunderland on New Year's Day at 1.6. He actually stands to win a penny more than he thought -
Mark Iverson seems to think that having a baby is more important than finding a winner. Clearly, Mark wears the trousers in his house. It's just that they are pink, with little flower patterns and bows on them, all sewn together by Mrs. Nic Iverson using the baby girl clothes they were given before finding out that they were in fact having a boy. Anyway, we hope that Mark is soon running around the baby ward modestly shouting his surname - "I've A Son!, I've A Son!" so that he can get back to important things in life. What price a first name of Ivor for the little chap?

Geoff M has selected the draw in the Coventry City (David Icke's former team I do recall) v Brighton and Hove Albion match (3.35) on Saturday, and has pledged that he
will give a third of the winnings to the Help for Heroes charity if it wins so fingers crossed
A fine gesture.

Finally, an update on the Betfair glitch the other day from the Guardian - though when they say that 'a fix was applied', it's not what you're all thinking. The final paragraph was interesting: The most damaging long-term effect of Betfair's latest PR disaster, however, could be a loss of trust on the part of its customers. The phantom money put up against Voler La Vedette was too obvious to miss, but some may now wonder whether the everyday sums too are really what they seem.
The Betfair betting exchange said on Thursday that its technicians had identified and fixed the software flaw that caused the in-running betting on Wednesday's Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown to be declared void. Voler La Vedette, the easy winner, was available to back at odds of 28-1 from early in the race until she crossed the line, causing £800,000 to be staked on the mare worth a total payout, in theory, of nearly £23m.

Tony Calvin, Betfair's spokesman, also launched a defence of the exchange's response to the unprecedented betting activity on the Leopardstown race, in an interview with At The Races. While he acknowledged that the episode had been "highly embarrassing and an unacceptable betting experience for people", Calvin said that "there was a unique set of events that allowed this to happen".

Calvin speculated that an automated trading programme, or "bot", had almost certainly been responsible for placing the rogue bet into the exchange, but confirmed that Betfair itself operates in-house bots on the exchange.

He also said that Betfair, which now operates its exchange via Gibraltar to avoid betting duty, had nothing to hide from Britain's betting regulators. "If the Gambling Commission want to come and have a look, that's fine," he said. "We're always honest and transparent."

Calvin's interview also suggested that punters who are dissatisfied with the way that the issue has been handled could take their concerns to the Independent Betting Arbitration Service (IBAS), which resolves disputes between punters and betting operators.

Betfair is expected to release an extensive and final report on the incident on Friday, but in a statement issued early on Thursday afternoon, the exchange said that "we have identified the issue and replicated it in a test environment last night. A fix was applied overnight, and is now subject to rigorous testing."

The statement added that "contrary to some media speculation, we can confirm that all in-running bets on this market would have been voided, had Voler La Vedette won or lost. There was never any chance of the account in question profiting yesterday. The account in question was also immediately suspended after the Leopardstown race."

The identity of the Betfair customer who placed the rogue bet remains the subject of speculation, though the account is believed to have been operated by an individual client with a modest balance, rather than a bookmaker seeking to hedge liabilities or an account linked to the exchange itself.

"If you're looking for a £1m-plus customer, you would be barking up the wrong tree," Calvin said when questioned on ATR. "People think we are protecting the customer, but that is not the case."

The bizarre betting patterns on Voler La Vedette's race, and the decision to void bets which left a number of Betfair's customers believing they had been denied a generous payout, came at the end of a difficult year for the betting exchange.

Its share price has been stuck below £8 for many months, well adrift of the £13 at which the exchange floated in October 2010. A number of senior staff, including Ed Wray, Betfair's chairman and one of its co-founders, and David Yu, its chief executive, have either left the company or are in the process of doing so, while in September, Betfair left a number of customers disappointed when its software failed to process a significant number of bets, including some winners, into the biggest Tote Jackpot pool in history.

The most damaging long-term effect of Betfair's latest PR disaster, however, could be a loss of trust on the part of its customers. The phantom money put up against Voler La Vedette was too obvious to miss, but some may now wonder whether the everyday sums too are really what they seem.

The events at Leopardstown could also increase awareness of the extent to which the day-to-day activity on the site is controlled by bots, rather than "ordinary" punters with a laptop or a smartphone. And any betting operation that loses the trust of its customers is on a slippery slope.

1 comment:

Griff said...

Draws for the weekend:

Bolton v Wolves
Sunderlan v Man City