Tuesday, November 27, 2012

An Example How US Regulation Destroys Companies and Hurts Innovation

Intrade has announced that it can't continue to accept US customers as participants within its prediction markets due to legal and regulatory pressure from the CFTC. This comes on the heel of me depositing money to participate on its markets.

The only question I have for people who continue to defend the overzealous regulators in the Federal government is this: what did Intrade do that warrants being shut down? Does its core business skirt the boundaries between gambling, financial dealings, and futures speculation? Yes. Is it in any way harmful to the US, her interests, or her citizens? No.

The political liberals on Intrade are already blaming special interests and corporate greed (as if abandoning half its customer base could be considered a sound business strategy) for Intrade's actions, but the direct cause was the government and its intrusive regulatory policy. Special interests hold sway only when they can convince the government to act on its behalf, therefore the government is the biggest problem.

The business we know as Intrade is gone. US customers and events make up the bulk of the trading volume on the prediction markets and it seems likely that they'll try and expand into sports gambling (for European customers) in order to make up lost revenue and brand value.

This is the exactly the kind of thing when Republican rhetoric criticizes the Federal government for "picking winners and losers" instead of letting the market do it. And this time it'll ruin the livelihoods and hobbies of a small community of Americans and Europeans for the sake of some nebulous concept of economic fairness and prudence.

Intrusive economic regulation costs jobs and money. This is perhaps one of the best examples of that.

1 comment:

  1. I don't get it. They were selling commodity futures contracts. That's against the rules and the regulators rightly cracked down on it.