Will Isaac King's balance become positive in 2023?
resolved Jun 15

Resolve to Yes if Isaac King's balance become positive at any point during the year 2023, starting from the date this market was created

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predicted NO

Of course the admins can do whatever they want with the platform, but I do think the willingness to put their finger on the scale like this (even if just related to portfolio value, not profits) makes Manifold much less interesting.

I feel like Manifold needs to do a better job of communicating this... Here's my take.

When users go bankrupt (have a large negative balance), there's nothing stopping them from starting a new account, and Manifold has always allowed this. So a large negative balance is, in most senses, purely symbolic - nobody really expects the bankrupt user to pay it. (Remember that in this case, Manifold explicitly refunded Isaac the USD, and the consensus was that was a good thing!)

If Manifold implemented some way for bankrupt users to show a negative portfolio value (i.e. they owe mana on net) but be able to spend mana (i.e. have a positive cash balance), that would probably make things clearer. As it is, the negative value is simply tracked on paper instead of on the site.

predicted NO

True, my point is more that in the context of a prediction market there might be interesting information lost at the point where you start decorrelating people’s portfolio value from their performance this much.

admin resolved

predicted YES

@IsaacKing has positive balance

bought Ṁ2,000 of YES

Resolves yes, he was given a loan with no due date

bought Ṁ7,000 of YES

@ian why?

predicted YES

@MarcusAbramovitch He’s a valuable community member: he’s referred 200+ users, created 100s of markets, of which many are interesting, provided insights, helpful feedback, and great ideas to the team and rest of Manifold. He made a mistake and we forgave him for it. This took a while to actually come to terms with, but zeroing out his balance was the last necessary step to actually forgive him. Obviously we were torn about doing so, which is why it took so long to take the final step.

@ian That's a lot more letters to say "gift" than strictly necessary. I understand why you did it, and don't disagree, but would have preferred to set a precedent for a bankruptcy-like mechanism in these kinds of cases. No obligation to repay (to avoid unhealthy pressure), but start at 500M and no portfolio like a new user. That feels more real-world-like to me.

predicted YES

@Jason That he owes us 500k is the part I’m least confident about. I don’t really expect it but it would be nice if he becomes a manamillionaire again.

I don't see why changing the balance to non-negative is a big deal - it just seems like the obvious thing to do to me. The big deal was to refund the mana purchase, and people generally seem agreed that was the right move. Leaving him with this account with a purely symbolic negative balance representing the amount refunded only means that he can't participate on Manifold with that account, and instead had to use a second account. In my view that's basically just pure downside, compared to keeping that negative balance on the books elsewhere.

predicted YES

@ian he is saying that Isaac should just get a new account (he made one I think).

I don't want Isaac gone either. But this is Manifold's time to make a bankruptcy mechanism when an account goes under (which will happen due to the loan system and I already foresee it potentially happening on these AI doom markets).

Right now, Isaac has a 112k portfolio "for free" on top of a zero'd out balance. I suppose that is the difference to him resetting, as well as -3.9M in trading profits.

@MarcusAbramovitch You have a good point about this giving access to the loan on his previous portfolio.

The other big thing is keeping the account data (markets, trades, comments, etc) in the same place vs opening a new account. I think there's a big advantage to a bankrupt user being able to resolve old and new markets without having to log in to a different account. I imagine most users who went bankrupt and started a new account would be likely to completely drop their old account's markets, which is bad for Manifold.

predicted YES

@jack Sure. They should have liquidated his positions in markets as well tbf.
I get why it's best to keep it all under one account. But this is a 112k bonus on top of what a new user would get.

@MarcusAbramovitch I'd advocate for transferring the portfolio, if technologically feasible, to a house bankruptcy bot in order to minimize the market disruption from liquidating the bankrupt person's portfolio at once and hopefully to recover as much value as possible ( = minimize inflation).

Yeah, exactly. That would be the right way to do it if feasible. His portfolio definitely should not be liquidated into the market.


Steve is privy to Manifold insider info and consequently can move markets like few other can.

I am not aware of any prohibition against some massive mana links to get Isaac's balance into the positive, although I suspect it would probably take some violation of the community guidelines to get his trading profits back into the positive.

Seems like this market was a secret whale market the whole time waiting to be manipulated.

bought Ṁ10 of NO

@ShitakiIntaki the catch would be getting the mana back. if he's at zero, he can't very well hand out M100,000 manalinks. I suspect this is more about Manifold clearing his debts. it won't put him positive, but presumably loans and resolutions would do that

@Stralor indeed. sending mana to a negative account is not reversable.


exit order for you at 90%

sold Ṁ12 of NO

@Mira I'd rather lose it all

bought Ṁ0 of YES

nothing is moving yet except this market. did the Manifold crew commit to zeroing him out now?

sold Ṁ24 of NO

@Stralor who knows

predicted NO

@jonsimon might be a backroom agreement between the whales to temporarily transfer funds for the same of breaking thr market and squeezing out a profit

predicted NO

@jonsimon I don't see how that could work, because I don't think manalinks allow your balance to go negative to transfer the funds back

predicted NO

Oh SG was the first to buy yes here, to 66%

sold Ṁ1 of NO