June 08, 2004

Not a Good Omen

THE OLD SAW the statisticians like to trot out is that half of all American marriages end in divorce. We have long thought this to be a bit of a canard, for it doesn't take into account second marriages and similar circumstances which may arise in life. Besides, if Jennifer Lopez keeps at it, it's going to skew the results something awful.

As we understand it, Mrs Lopez -- who was once a popular entertainer -- has tied the knot with one Marc Anthony, who we understand was once a popular singer. Mr Anthony, if that is his real name, tied the knot after getting a divorce from his wife, a former Miss Universe.

We do not understand why Mr Anthony decided to do this. For one thing, he was married to a former Miss Universe, and for another, he did have young children. This makes him seem like a cad. We only hope the former Mrs Anthony made full use of her rights under the laws of the Dominican Republic, where the divorce was finalized.

Furthermore, while we know we are fond of saying that past performance is not indicative of future results, Mrs Lopez's past performance when it comes to marriage would make even the most bullish hedge-fund manager think twice about such a union. It is true that Mr Anthony does have one advantage over Mrs Lopez's two prior husbands, in that he presumably went to the altar an equal partner. Still, we do not know if this will be enough to counteract Mrs Lopez's divorce habit.

Interestingly enough, neither do several British bookmaking firms who specialize in making good sums of money off suckers. We note with amusement those firms are offering three to one that Mr Anthony and Mrs Lopez will call it quits by the end of this year.

Now, one can easily deduce that the true odds of such a happening are higher than three-to-one; otherwise, the risk-reward scheme becomes unprofitable for the house. Still, we would submit it is Not a Good Omen for Mrs Lopez and Mr Anthony's marriage if the listed odds are but three-to-one. For somewhere, the decision to offer that proposition was met with a serious question: "And what happens if we have to pay off?"

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at June 8, 2004 12:08 AM | TrackBack

"We have thought this to be a bot of a canard, for it doesn't take into account second marriages and similar circumstances which may arise in life."

No. It takes into account the marriage liscenses and divorce filings and ratios them. So in fact, it DOES take into account second marriages and such.

Not to mention that many divorcees end up remarrying and divorcing AGAIN, making the ratio even worse.

So yes, that 1/2 figure is quite accurate.

Posted by: blueshuttle at June 21, 2004 12:05 PM