Short the Shit Out of Terrell Owens

Short the Shit Out of Terrell Owens
April 16, 2007, 10:53 am

It was only a matter of time.

“The Jock Exchange” (p. 156). Contributing editor Michael Lewis reports that Wall Street is about to launch a new way to trade professional athletes the way you trade stocks. On the proposed A.S.A. Sports Exchange, an athlete would sell 20 percent of all future on-field or on-court earnings to a trust, which would in turn sell securities to the public. “As a number of smart people seem to have noticed at once, professional athletes have all the traits of successful publicly traded stocks, beginning with enormous speculative interest in them,” Lewis writes. “Americans wager somewhere between $200 billion and $400 billion a year on sports, and between 15 million and 25 million of them play in fantasy leagues—which is to say that a shadow stock market in athletes already exists.” Lewis reports that in the past three years, at least a dozen baseball teams have hired the type of young statisticians you’d more commonly find working in risk arbitrage at Bear Stearns. “The fans have always had an emotional investment without a [legal] financial one,” says a leading sports agent. “This is taking emotion and putting it to financial use. Screw this putting 300 bucks into a pot at work. This is ‘everyone get online and open your account at Ameritrade.’ ”

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