First of all, how am I going to keep up on the all important Pope contract?
Sometime today, Intrade posted this message on their site saying they’re immediately shutting down all operations.
When I first read the statement I’ve republished below I thought they were going out of business. And given the wording, I wouldn’t want to bet much that they’ll ever return. But it seems to say only that they’re immediately ceasing all operations and might possibly come back. The key lines seems to come in the second sentence in the reference to “financial irregularities which in accordance with Irish law …” Yikes.
Intrade had shut down for all US customers on November 26th, 2012 after a suit was filed against the company by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In February The Financial Times reported that the site’s audience and trading numbers had plummeted after US customers were forced out.
The Intrade announcement is so out of the blue that I suppose there’s some chance the site itself has been hacked. I wondered when I noticed that behind the shutdown message all the trade data still seems to be live. But that’s purely a guess. Seems more like they’re ceasing all operations like they say they are.
Full statement reprinted here.
With sincere regret we must inform you that due to circumstances recently discovered we must immediately cease trading activity on www.intrade.com.
These circumstances require immediate further investigation, and may include financial irregularities which in accordance with Irish law oblige the directors to take the following actions:
Cease exchange trading on the website immediately.
Settle all open positions and calculate the settled account value of all Member accounts immediately.
Cease all banking transactions for all existing Company accounts immediately.
During the upcoming weeks, we will investigate these circumstances further and determine the necessary course of action.
To mitigate any further risk to members’ accounts, we have closed and settled all open contracts at fair market value as of the close of business on March 10, 2013, in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of our customers’ use of the website. You may view your account details and settled account balances by logging into the website.
At this time and until further notice, it is not possible to make any payments to members in accordance with their settled account balance until the investigations have concluded.
The Company will continue the maintenance and technology operations of the exchange system so that all information is preserved properly.
We are not able to provide telephone support or live help services at this time, please contact the company by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We appreciate your custom and support over the years. We are committed to reporting faithfully the status of things as they are clarified and hope you will bear with us as we do all we can to resume operations as promptly as possible.
The Board of Directors of Intrade the Prediction Market Limited
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.