Cast your bet on next airline to go bankrupt — need a bookie?

Irish bookie Paddy Power is now taking bets on when your favorite airline is going to go bankrupt. Yes, with a little clever banking you too can now sell United Airlines short at 20:1 odds and hope that the carrier goes belly up. The top five favorites and odds?

  • Alitalia: 8:15
  • Spanair: 9:2
  • SkyEurope: 5:1
  • AirBerlin: 5:1
  • FlyGlobespan: 5:1

Surprisingly all of them are European airlines — but perhaps that’s because Paddy Power is an Irish entity. What are their (least) favorite US carriers?

Yes, they even have odds on Air Force One at 1000:1. “Hogwash!” you say, “That’s pure craziness!” Well, tell that to the guy who put $100 down on Giacomo in the 2005 Kentucky derby and won $5,030.

While the crazy odds on the president’s aircraft may be a bit of a joke, Paddy Power does lend some interesting insight into the market conditions in which we now reside. As we saw last week, erroneous news that United had gone bankrupt triggered a massive selloff resulting in the temporary suspension of the stock. That dive wouldn’t have happened if investors didn’t believe that the news was true.

Moving those shares out of the airline industry and into Apple doesn’t seem like such a bad idea anymore, does it?