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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 26, 2008

IEM opens Congressional control prediction market

The Iowa Electronic Markets has opened a Congressional control market, giving traders the opportunity to predict the party alignment of the next Congress.

Three markets will be open on the Congressional control market. In the first two, traders can buy and sell contracts that will predict whether the Democrats will gain seats in each of the Senate and House of Representatives, maintain its current number of seats, or lose seats to the Republicans.

In the third market, traders can buy and sell contracts based on overall control of Congress. Four contracts will be available for trade on the market: Republicans control both the House of Representatives and the Senate; Democrats control both the House and Senate; Republicans control the House and Democrats control the Senate; Republicans control the Senate and Democrats control the House.

Payoffs will be determined based on which party controls the most seats in each chamber at the start of the 110th Congress in January 2009.

The Iowa Electronic Markets is a real-money political futures prediction market operated by the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business. Begun in 1988, the IEM is a research and teaching tool that has achieved an impressive prediction record, substantially superior to alternative mechanisms such as opinion polls. Such markets have been significantly more accurate than traditional tools in predicting outcomes ranging from political election results to movie box office receipts.

This is the seventh market the IEM has opened for the 2008 election cycle. Current markets include the presidential Winner Take All market, in which shares are traded based on the probability that each party will win the popular vote, and a presidential Vote Share market, which trades based on the percentage of the popular vote each party will receive.

Share and Winner Take All markets are also open for the Minnesota Senate race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken.

Current markets also include the Democratic and Republican presidential nominee markets, which will close in the coming weeks as each party formally nominates its candidate.

Price quotes, account opening instructions and prospectuses are available online at the IEM's Web site at Traders are strongly advised to read the prospectus before opening an account.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Joyce Berg, UI Tippie College of Business, 319-335-0840,; Tom Snee, University News Services, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell),