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When will the U.S. Constitution be amended?

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Question ends

December 31, 2020 @ 08:23pm PST

Predictions Made


Most by: job (256 predictions)


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ajtaylor   •   Wed Jan 23 2008 at 11:20am PST

hi mpa5220,
nice idea for a market. can you give us some greater indication of how you intend to pay this out? In other words, what stages need to be completed for you to pay out? Thanks.

mpa5220   •   Wed Jan 23 2008 at 05:40pm PST

aj, my inclination is that the Constitution is amended when 3/4 of the states ratify the proposed amendment. Are there any other suggestions?

wstritt   •   Wed Jan 23 2008 at 05:33pm PST

Sounds like an actual amendment with no payout until the market ends in 2020 unless amended before then. Otherwise, just a good place to park Inkles with a theoretical Inkle a day price increase.

ajtaylor   •   Thu Jan 24 2008 at 09:10am PST

disclosure: I have plenty of Inkie incentive for what I’m about to write….

I’m really shocked that this market hasn’t increased dramatically. As I write this, it’s trading at a value which represents the middle of 2009. A little background…

The most common method for passing a Constitutional amendment requires (from

“that both houses of Congress approve by two-thirds votes a resolution calling for the amendment. To become effective, the proposed amendment must then be “ratified” or approved by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states. Congress typically places a time limit of seven years for ratification by the states."

It doesn’t seem likely to me that any potential amendment will even get the required agreement by both houses of the U.S. congress by 04/2009….much LESS 2/3 of the states.

Shouldn’t we all trade this one up?

wstritt   •   Thu Jan 24 2008 at 09:47am PST

AJ – I’d agree with you that this should trade to the moon. The chance of a constitutional amendment passing in the next 5 years is close to ZERO and, frankly, close to ZERO for the 14 year term of the market IMHO. If 5 years is right, the theoretical price is ~1800, at 2020 payoff date, it is ~5000.

However, to drive the price to 1800 Inkles from the current (as I write) 400, it will take ~ 7.7MM inkles (7000 shares at average price of 1100). I’m guessing that is a large part of the current “market cap” of Inkling Markets. To get to 5000…… And, oh by the way, no payoff likely until 2020 so massive liquidity tie up for a long time.

My concern in buying in at current prices (even though I do have enough Inkles now to be more patient than just playing this week’s sporting/political events) is that all I am likely to be doing is providing a profitable exit opportunity for those who entered when the market started leaving me stuck in the 2020 liquidity trap. Frankly, there are any number of nearer terms markets which should produce better “returns” combined with reinvestment opportunities that should arise over the next 14 years. Most of my Inkles are tied up there.

In other words, great idea for anyone who got in on the ground floor. Sucker bet for anyone that gets in now unless you have inkles to burn.

By the way, my “market participation” was buying and selling 20 shares yesterday after doing the math. As I write, I hold 0 shares though that does not mean I will not trade this in the future. Were I bolder, this could be an amusing short in anticipation of current holders/early entrants needing to free up liquidity and selling…

mpa5220   •   Thu Jan 24 2008 at 04:47pm PST


Great analysis. You make this market sound like a Ponzi scheme. There is/are major flaw(s) exposed by this market and the “man on the moon” market. These types of markets will be useless in accomplishing their goal of predicting the future.

A great way to expose this flaw even more so would be to create a market called “When will Jan. 1, 2020 occur?” and make it clear that payoff will occur on Jan. 1, 2020 just to make sure that it actually occurs ;). I’m guessing that market would “predict” the occurance of 2020 somewhere around 2009 or 2010 just like this market.

But what is the flaw? If this market used real money instead of Inklings, then it would be more worth waiting, right? Maybe the flaw is Inkflation?

mpa5220   •   Thu Jan 24 2008 at 05:28pm PST


Maybe the problem with this market could be corrected with dividends. Each share holder would be paid 1 inkling per share per day that passes in which the event did not occur (and the stock price would correspondingly drop by 1 inkling per day). How would that affect things?

wstritt   •   Thu Jan 24 2008 at 06:39pm PST

mpa5220 – I apologize if you read my comment to suggest this was a Ponzi scheme. Not my intent at all. Just comment to AJ on why this might not trade to a truly predictive value given a limited inkle world.

My first gut reaction is that some mechanism to be able to “borrow” against the value of the stock (or at least the locked in value) could be a partial solution to long dated payouts in this type of market. Not having thought through all of the implications, it strikes me that your dividend solution would certainly help, but may not be the perfect solution for this type of market given an inkle limited world.

For example, there is the question of whether an inkling a day would be adequate to incent someone to invest in this stock versus the opportunity to churn investments in shorter term markets. For example, 400 inkles for a share here that in a week will get me 7 inkles versus 4 shares of Obama wins South Carolina @ 88 that is likely to pay off 48 inkles to the good on Saturday/Sunday. While the 7 is a lock and there is clearly risk with Obama, if the goal is to gain inkles, maybe you go Obama (or some other market you feel good about).

Obviously, the higher the price, the larger the opportunity cost, though for someone with a lot of inkles, it may be a good play, and, in any event, should help attract more buyers.

mpa5220   •   Thu Jan 24 2008 at 07:24pm PST

“I apologize if you read my comment to suggest this was a Ponzi scheme. Not my intent at all.”

No offensive is taken (and no sarcasm was intended by my comments).

mpa5220   •   Thu Jan 24 2008 at 07:29pm PST

“there is the question of whether an inkling a day would be adequate to incent someone to invest in this stock versus the opportunity to churn investments in shorter term markets”

In response, I believe that the primary problem is not so much the lack of incentive in this market, but instead the problem is too much opportunity in the shorter term markets.

wstritt   •   Thu Jan 24 2008 at 08:15pm PST

I agree wholeheartedly – too many short term inkles to be had. If there were more traders or probably more importantly, more inkles in circulation relative to the number of markets, there would probably be less to be made in shorter markets driving migration to longer markets.

Also, as I noted in my October comment on the discussion boards, better market design that prevent free inkles “after the fact” might help as well though given the nature of some markets, that could be tough to execute.

PetWolverine   •   Wed Nov 26 2008 at 05:20am PST

I think the problem is simply that the payoff is linear with time. People expect investments to have exponential increases, even if the exponent isn’t much more than 1.

So, for example, I’m also invested in the Google X Prize market—much more heavily than in this market, in fact. Just now I was considering moving my money from that market to this one. Since they both pay $1/day, the moon shot one is capped at ~$2300/share, while this one is capped at ~$4400/share with the payout twice as far off, they look comparable. But investing today, I would make 4.8x with the moon shot, vs. 6.9x with this one—not a favorable comparison; even with a linear investment one would expect this market to pay off at twice the rate for twice the time.

Morever, let’s say that the moon shot never happens, so I make my 4.8x on my current investment, with the return coming in 2015. By that time, it’s reasonable to expect another, similar market to exist with a similar payoff ratio. But then, for the remaining 5 years until the amendment market pays off, I’ll expect a return of (5/6)4.8 = 4.0x (it’s 5/6 the time, and I’m assuming payoff increases linearly with time), for a total return on today’s investment of 4.84.0 = 19.2×. I would triple my money compared to if I had invested in this market instead.

What if the moon shot does happen, so that I don’t get the full 4.8x? Well, I get my money back sooner, and I can reinvest it sooner. I don’t make as much on that single investment, but I’ll probably make more in the end.

I like the idea of markets like this, because I don’t want to come to this site every day to churn short-term investments, and because I like a sure thing; a stock like this should be almost the equivalent of a government bond, with a low return but high security. But even government bonds have exponential returns, and will beat out anything linear in the long run.

ajtaylor   •   Wed Aug 06 2008 at 07:03am PDT

This market should be traded WAY up. As of today, it’s trading at 9/27/09—-just over one year from now. There is no set of circumstances in which that is an accurate prediction. Despite some of the negative discussion earlier, I think we can all agree that this market is currently trading below its proper value.

(note: I am heavily invested in this market, so I have plenty of reason to want trading. Nonetheless, it seems silly to me that others aren’t profiting from the market as well.)

onedave   •   Mon Apr 25 2011 at 06:42pm PDT

In my opinion, this one won’t cash out for quite some time.

wstritt   •   Mon Apr 25 2011 at 06:47pm PDT


SneakyPete   •   Mon Apr 25 2011 at 07:26pm PDT

Agreed… Never in a “Month of Sundays”.

wstritt   •   Mon Apr 25 2011 at 08:04pm PDT

But January 1, 2021, it should pay off around 4700. : )

ecotax   •   Sat Nov 26 2011 at 08:45am PST

In general, for a market like this (I mean: predicting some date that is potentially in the far future), wouldn’t it be an idea to cash out dividend on a yearly basis? For example, let’s say we have a market
“When will the South Pole be completely ice-free?” running from 1-1-2012, till 1-1-2062,
then on 1-1-2013, we will (probably) be able to pay a dividend of at most 366 inkles, on 1-1-2014 a ‘dividend’ of at most 365 inkles, and so on. Fractions of that would also be possible. For example, it’s possible to pay a dividend of 50 inkles/year, and move the starting date 50 days in the future to compensate for the dividend payed, so that the dividend isn’t payed twice. This is not really a dividend like you have with real shares, more like an advance payment, since you get some inkles on a yearly basis that you won’t be getting a second time when the market is cashed out.
I don’t know if this technically feasible, and I do realize this is extra work and will cause some yearly price swings, but tI hink it will make markets like this a lot more playable.

K1050   •   Mon Jun 16 2014 at 12:45pm PDT

Hmm. This market closes in 2020 but is currently trading at 1/24/2024. Am I missing something?
Also, there was already a comment that was not disputed saying: But January 1, 2021, it should pay off around 4700.

wstritt   •   Mon Jun 16 2014 at 01:56pm PDT

Yep. If I owned any of this, I’d be selling. Fast.

job   •   Mon Jun 16 2014 at 02:33pm PDT

I think you are right

job   •   Tue Jun 17 2014 at 08:39am PDT

Tom and other traders, keep in mind that on jan 1 2021 this market is ending and paid out

onedave   •   Wed Sep 10 2014 at 06:35pm PDT

Do these types of questions always cash out at the ending time if the event has not occurred?

wstritt   •   Wed Sep 10 2014 at 07:22pm PDT

That is the general theory rather than indefinitely extending the market for something that may never happen unless the market creator indicates otherwise. In this case the market creator is inactive so I would think the admins will cash out on that basis.

For what it is worth, the date markets by “missinginaction” will be cashed out on that basis.

benthinkin (ADMIN)   •   Mon Oct 26 2015 at 09:18am PDT

This question has been refunded due to its long timeframe.

shanafme   •   Fri Nov 06 2015 at 11:24am PST

It seems like this market is still open….?? Is it going to be cashed out or not? It looks like it was originally supposed to cash out in 2020.


"To amend the United States Constitution requires a multi-year, multi-level superconsensus. The process takes more time than 2 1/2 years."

jamesmcook bought at July 13, 2013
November 04, 2010 @ 06:02am PDT

historical trend

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