Thursday, 8 October 2015

Why The Great British Bake Off Finally Has Some Minor Relevance In Our Lives

The insider trading and market distortions undertaken by BBC employees on the Final of the Great British Bake Off is more than just an idle piece of tomfoolery by a privileged elite (paid for by a private tax on the general public), it is in its own small way a fraud.

This entirely irrelevant show with its scary hyperreal presenters (with dayglo coloured contacts de rigueur) undertook to defraud the public by utilising private knowledge (

In a nutshell, the Final was shot three weeks before programme went to air allowing ample time for private gain.

So what?

1) If any of the £10,000 staked at Ladbrokes (plus significant sums at other bookmakers) was placed prior to the Final being held then we have a prime example of a fixed event.

This is identical to the West Ham United prank on the deliberate loss of the Nottingham Forest FA Cup tie (

The market was more inefficient prior to the Final being held hence yielding further value to any insider trade as the 'winner' would be markedly tempting at a longer price.
It is also common knowledge that the correct 'winner' needs to succeed in relation to the marketing purposes of the show. There MUST be a story.

If insider money was placed prior to Final, the individuals concerned should be sacked with immediate effect both for their sneaky-little-prank and for being dim enough to open the accounts in their own names - were any of these people actually interviewed prior to employment??

2) If the money was placed post-Final then the behaviour is still market distorting to the detriment of other punters. If Ms A is the winner and the insider trading sends her price from 11/5 to 4/11 then anybody backing Ms A thereafter is gaining less value than the illicit insider trading (admittedly on a certainty), while anybody tempted by the longer than realistic prices on any of the other finalists is gaining 'value' on a certain loser.

The market was rightly suspended by the bookies after a little bit of intermarket poker play.

A solution for Ladbrokes. Return monies to all punters who are not BBC employees connected with the show and share the £10K illicitly bet by those employees around the other market participants pro rata.

As the BBC tends not to take action against internal miscreants (Jimmy Savile), Ladbrokes could gain further good publicity by befriending the leisure punter against the beast of a boiler room scam.

Of course, the neohyperreality is that as soon as you connect a betting market to any competitive event, the event is tarnished (sometimes irreparably) by the requirements of the money in the marketplace...
... even if that event is merely an extravaganza of developed-world late-capitalism neuron-numbing inanity.