Which Leader Will Be The Next To Topple?

Intrade LogoThe current unrest in North Africa and the Middle East is a story that has an impact on practically every person in the world.

The turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa has had a dramatic impact on commodity prices and equity markets throughout the world. Oil first started to trend higher when the situations in Tunisia and Egypt first erupted. In recent weeks, oil has gone parabolic thanks to extreme unrest in countries such as Libya and Algeria. This move in oil has had a dramatic effect on the rest of the world, with the rise in the price of oil and gas threatening to disrupt a global recovery.

On January 14th, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali stepped down as President of Tunisia.

On February 14th, Hosni Mubarak stepped down as President of Egypt and fled Cairo.

Which North African/Middle East leaders will be the next to step down/be removed from power? The leaders of countries such as Libya, Bahrain and Yemen are all seemingly on the ropes. Unrest has even started to spread to countries such as Iran, China and North Korea.

In order to figure out the odds of certain leaders being removed from power, let's look to Intrade.com.

Intrade.com is a prediction market where people can bet real money on the outcome of certain events. Think that President Obama will win a second term? You can bet on it. Think that the United States will suffer through another recession in 2012? You can bet on that too.

Intrade.com creates a market in which people can buy and sell predictions. For instance, if you believe that the US will fall into a recession in 2012, then you can buy a share at $1.99. If the US does tip into a recession during 2012, then your $1.99 purchase will be worth $10 (the maximum amount that a share can be worth). So, according to this transaction, there is a 19.9% chance that the United States will fall into a recession in 2012. If you don't believe that there will be a 2012 recession, then you can sell/short shares at $1.99. If a recession doesn't occur, then your short sale will fall from $1.99 to $0, and you will bank the profit.

Intrade.com tends to be fairly accurate because people are betting real money.


Anyways, let's take a look at the odds that Intrade.com is currently assigning to the fate of certain leaders in North Africa and the Middle East who are currently in very real danger of resigning/being removed from power:

Muammar al-Gaddafi (Libya)
90.7% Chance That He Will No Longer Be The Leader of Libya by December 31st, 2011

Ali Abdullah Saleh (Yemen)
72.9% Chance That He Will No Longer Be President of Yemen by December 31st, 2011

Khalifa B. S. Al Khalifa (Bahrain)
62.0% Chance That He Will No Longer Be Prime Minister of Bahrain by December 31st, 2011

According to Intrade.com, all three of these men have a better than 50% chance of losing power by the end of the year. Muammar al-Gaddafi's situation looks particularly dire.


As mentioned, the current unrest isn't restricted to just these countries. Let's look at some other leaders:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran)
15.5% Chance That He Will No Longer Be President of Iran by December 31st, 2011

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Iran)
19.0% Chance That He Will No Longer Be Supreme Leader of Iran by December 31st, 2011


It's going to be interesting to see how some of these situations resolve themselves (especially the situation in Libya), as some leaders are clearly in no mood to depart and will do anything to hang on to power.

Source: Intrade.com

Filed under: General Knowledge

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