Friday, September 03, 2004

Walking Back to Houston?

Texas Hold'em is perhaps the most demanding variant of poker, requiring judgment and nerves in equal measure. The players bet as common cards are dealt face up on the table, one after the other. The American economy looks like being the unpredictable decider of the Autumn elections.

Today's non-farm payroll numbers, the most reliable and closely-followed indicators of US unemployment, came out moderately strong and in-line with Wall Street's expectations with 144,00 new jobs added. With dissappointing growth, in June and July after a roaring recovery the first quarter, a weak economy could easily have left George Bush busted out, or "walking back to Houston", as Dallas card-sharps say.

Bonds went down, reflecting market consensus on imminent interest rate rises according to Bloomberg. The gaps in implied probabilities on a Bush victory on the Iowa Electronic Markets has seems to have widened out from parity with Kerry's chances to today's seven percent lead.