Intrade – home of the world’s largest market on whether Sarah Palin would be kicked off the Republican ticket – has announced that it’s launching “Fine Wine Futures”.
They’re apparently linked to an index of resale prices of fine wines – who knew there was a need for such a thing? And in line with the general worldwide malaise, the price of fine wine is tanking: the fine wine index in question dropped 12% last month, leaving it down 7% year-to-date.
So if you’re planning to buy some fine wine in the future, you can use these as a hedge against the price going up in the meantime. (Unfortunately you won’t be able to hedge very much fine wine: the market depth at the moment is about $100 a side, which’ll buy you about two glasses of a nice Bordeaux.)
(Even the art market is taking a shellacking – people are finally realising that when you buy a Damien Hirst, you’re not buying an “investment”, you’re buying a really creepy painting of a bunch of psychedelic skulls, and Hirst probably didn’t even paint it himself anyway.)
Disclaimer: I shorted these as soon as I found out that they existed.