The market responds to the Nick Smith scandal

The Nick Smith scandal is just getting bigger. This morning there are new claims about the “nature” of the relationship between the former ACC minister and Bronwyn Pullar – the National Party member who received highly sensitive information about 6700 ACC clients. From the NZ Herald

Pressure is mounting on Prime Minister John Key to authorise a formal inquiry into former ACC Minister Nick Smith’s involvement in his friend Bronwyn Pullar’s case amid speculation about the past nature of their friendship.

During a snap debate in Parliament, NZ First leader Winston Peters called for Dr Smith to resign or be removed from Cabinet, describing the furore as “a shabby little case involving blackmail, sex, a minister with a conflict of interest”.

And Opposition leader David Shearer last night called for Dr Smith to resign or be sacked for trying to influence ACC’s treatment of Ms Pullar.

It’s interesting to see the different responses to this turn of events.

The long-standing iPredict stock on the departure of a minister in 2012 had been trading at $0.79 for the past week, until it spiked back up to $0.85 on Sunday evening.

iPredict have also launched a new stock – ‘Nick Smith to lose all his Ministerial warrants before 1 April 2012‘ – which is probably a pretty good bet despite the short time frame. It’s currently trading at $0.18 but I’d expect that to go up dramatically during the day.

Update: In the half hour or so since I published this post, the odds of Nick Smith being given the boot have skyrocketed to $0.44

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