An optimist’s view of the market for TIME’s Person of the Year

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TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year prize is awarded to a person, group, idea or object that “for better or for worse…has done the most to influence the events of the year.”

Unfortunately, 2014 is seen as something of an ‘annus horribilis’ judging by the market for this event, which is currently headed by Russian Emperor/Dictator/all-round bad egg Vladimir Putin at 3/1.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the man attempting to rip the middle-east further asunder by establishing an Islamic Caliphate, is the second-favourite at 6/1, with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel the next best all the way back at 12/1.

There must be a better way to honour the year than this.

Here are three picks that would do just that.

Angelina Jolie @ 14/1

Remarkably, only four women have taken this award individually in its 87-year history, with former Philippines President Corazon C. Aquino the last lady recipient in 1986.

‘Mutti’ Merkel is certainly an interesting candidate, but the de facto leader of the European Union has not had a particularly busy year and will be mostly remembered in 2014 for regularly photo-bombing Germany’s players during their World Cup win in Brazil.

Jolie, on the other hand, has been persistent in her efforts to end sexual violence in war zones, to the extent that the British Government made her an honorary Dame for services to United Kingdom foreign policy.

Don’t forget how great she’d look on the cover too.

Twitter/Tweeters @ 20/1

Facebook founder/CIA operative Mark Zuckerberg (depending on your point of view) won this in 2010, while four years earlier anonymous contributors of user-generated web content were jointly honoured in their millions.

Twitter is ruling the roost at present, with an ever increasing circle of views being shaped by the micro-blogging platform.

This could be their/our year.

Higgs Boson Team @ 25/1

TIME do seem to like throwing the odd bone to the scientific community, although pioneering AIDS researcher David Ho was the last perpetually white-jacketed wonder to be named Person of the Year in 1996.

The 2013 Nobel Prize winners could use another boost before turning on the Hadron Collider again next year. God knows we need that particle…

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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