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February 06, 2012

Lance, Alberto, and the Clenbuterol Derivatives Market

Much news in professional cycling, none of which will ever effect me and my bicycles or anybody that I know.

Good news for Lance, and probably good news for Agent Novitsky in terms of avoiding embarassment. Lance is Too Big To Fail. There are too many people wearing those stupid yellow rubber bands around their arms, too many people who have somehow identified Lance with the cancer death of their loved ones for them to take him down. Someday, when Lance thinks the time is right (with the Kondratiev wave, always data-driven) he'll be governor of Texas. Think that's crazy? One word: Arnold.

Bad news for Alberto Contador, who has been stripped of his victories in the 2010 Tour de France and the 2011 Giro d’Italia, and will be prevented from participating in the 2012 Tour de France. The victory in the 2010 Tour de France goes to second-place Andy Schleck of Luxembourg. Some see that as karma for ChainGate.

Personally, I think Lance is dirty but unindictable - too much time and money passed - and I think Alberto is clean but can't disprove the negative. A zero-tolerance policy doesn't make sense with new testing equipment that can sense microscopic traces.

Bad news for Al Gore, who exclaimed, "I didn't know a winner could be unseated two years later! Damn it. Tipper, honey! Oh, double damn it."

Good news for every second place finisher in a race, who can console themselves with the new implicit title. Used to be that Second Place meant First Loser. Now it means: Second Place (Winner In Waiting). Sample media interview:
Bob Roll: Bradley Wiggins, how does it feel to take Second in the Tour day France?
B.Wiggins: A little disappointing for now, but it's OK, and who knows what the next two years may bring? Boy he was strong in those mountains.

Possibly good news for Newt Gingrich, who seems likely to take second place in the Republican primary. He'll be standing by, with Callista if she stays healthy. Nothing else to do.

Bad news for the gambling houses that set odds and pay off wagers on the Tours. For instance, the people who bet on Andy Schleck in 2010 are winners now, right? The people who bet on Alberto and were paid are losers now, right? Oy.

Good news for finance types who see an aftermarket for insurance products that hedge the risk implicit in paying off wagers on one athlete when it can take two years to determine who really won.

Inevitably, those derivative aftermarket products will be packaged and traded just like other exotic, technical financial instruments. It'll take about eight years for the bubble to peak. When you see Pat McQuaid, president of the International Cycling Union, dumping his paper and getting out of the market, it's time to head for the exits.

But they are selling some newspapers, which is what the Tour de France is all about anyway.


MH said...

Years ago, we presented a paper that used the Kondratiev wave as a potential explanatory variable for U.S. foreign policy.

Vannevar said...

How was it received?

MH said...

I don't recall. This was nearly 20 years ago.

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