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Comment for Industry Filing 23-01

  • From: Sinclair P Chen
    Manifold Markets

    Comment No: 72379
    Date: 7/22/2023

    Comment Text:

    As a Rationalist I believe that markets are one of the best mechanisms for creating common knowledge of the Truth.

    Capital markets today serve a function not just of allocating investments, but also of aggregating information. They incentivize smart ambitious professionals to work hard, grinding 60 hour weeks in their glass towers, striving be the best predictors of the value of assets - and yet, any American from any background, whether black or white, straight or gay, christian or atheist, female or male, can beat the market so long as they see or infer something that the NY suits don't see. And by beating the market they improve it. It is the purest meritocracy and the purest truth-finding machine and there's nothing else quite like it in the world.

    For instance, the Rationalists - myself included - shorted the stock market back in Feb 2020 while the Wall St wasn't taking Covid seriously. We started masking up and social distancing while the mainstream media was saying it was racist to be afraid of Covid. Because we saw it coming - some people in our community were following along the situation in Wuhan, doing data science, and alerted the rest of the community. Wearing masks and shorting the market are both ways of following the principle of putting money where our mouth is, of taking our own ideas seriously. And so we were able to keep our families safer, because we live by the truth.

    If only prediction markets for covid had existed, we could have helped more than just our own loved ones. Consider a market for the question, "will covid reach over 1,000,000 cases in the US?" We could have bet on yes, raising the price, and then everyday Americans could see that the odds were high and adapt their behavior. Instead, the information we added by shorting the capital markets was lost - read only by financial professionals and dismissed until it was too late.

    CFTC, if you are reading this, know that there is blood on your hands.

    That is why I work hard every day at Manifold Markets, where we make a prediction market simulation game where hundreds of users a day "bet" with our game currency on real world events. In doing so we produce accurate, calibrated forecasts on important questions like the risk of the Russia Ukraine conflict escalating to nuclear war or the impact of AI on employment. We could do so much more if only people could put down real money down to prove where they stand, instead of video game gold.

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