Bryan Caplan  

Suckers of the World, Bet!

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Don't Call Me Stupid... NRO babble...

I repeat the adage "All publicity is good publicity" every chance I get. So I shouldn't have needed iSteve to explain why Matthew Simmons was smart to make a sucker bet with John Tierney:

What I realize now is that the author of the book was simply buying a NYT op-ed column (back when they were given away free on the Internet) and the attendant publicity for $5,000. When promoting a book, there's no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right. I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Simmons has already made back his five grand in speaker's fees.

I shouldn't have needed iSteve to tell me this. But I did.


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COMMENTS (3 to date)
Matt McIntosh writes:

Well at least the bet turns out to be non-zero-sum.

Kurt writes:

Could Mr. Simmons be serving his clients by reinforcing the notion of oil scarcity? Keep in mind that his company caters to oil exploration, production, and processing companies who might enjoy higher market capitalizations if they are perceived to be sitting on a huge inventory of a product we are running out of. Stock market valuations for these companies usually include a negative premium for future growth - i.e. their stock price is simply a function of the assets (proven reserves) they have in the ground today...thus the downside risk of scaremongering (crimping future demand or causing devaluation of growth prospects) is mitigated.

Honestly I think Mr. Simmons is sincere but my cynical side has to ask...

Jim Glass writes:

It was obvious Simmons wasn't interested in winning the bet when he insisted on terms that were much worse for him than those offered him.

One doesn't do that when betting to win. One does that for publicity.

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