World Cup according to genius bankers

Written By: - Date published: 3:15 pm, July 6th, 2010 - 13 comments
Categories: economy, humour - Tags: , ,

Economists, bankers, Treasury officials, financial wizards of various kinds, they like to pretend that they know what they’re talking about. All too often they don’t. There’s a reason economics is called the “dismal science”. There’s a reason why their predictions are usually about as accurate as chucking darts at a board. There’s a reason why so few of them managed to predict the financial tsunami that swept he world recently (and is likely to do so again soon). The reason is that predicting the behaviour of complex systems is hard, and financial wizards, for all their sharp suits and Excel spreadsheets, really aren’t very good at it.

Want more proof? How about the Football World Cup according to bankers:

We all read on Slashdot about the investment banks using their massive computer power and clever modeling techniques to predict the FIFA World Cup outcome. Now that Goldman Sachs’s, UBS’s and Danske Bank’s favorite, Brazil, has been eliminated, and with JP Morgan’s England long gone, the question that begs to be asked is: can we really trust these guys to predict the financial markets any better than they did World Cup?”

Not only did banker’s favourites Brazil and England not win, they didn’t make the final, they didn’t even make the semis. England didn’t even manage to get to the last 8! Delve in to the fine print and Italy and France were also tipped to do well. Ooops.

So, the next time time you read financial forecasts, or the pronouncements of Treasury on growth or inflation, just remember the Football World Cup 2010 according to bankers. Give them the raspberry they deserve. You could use a vuvuzela for added effect.

13 comments on “World Cup according to genius bankers”

  1. Lew 1

    Classic post.

    Meanwhile, a poll of economists predicted Spain for the win (TVHE noted this at the time).


  2. freedom 2

    economists are the interior decorators of finance, i mean would you let a decorator build your house?

    p.s. Germany take the cup

  3. Good post. Economics involve the prediction of how most humans may react to stimulus. The trouble is that humans are individuals and will do what they want. And the minority will on occasions play out of their skins and surprise everyone.

  4. tc 4

    Most predictions based on FIFA rankings (dodgy at best) and performances pre-tornament (last 18 months) so assumptions built upon questionable baseline……so not far from how they go about it for a living.

  5. Rharn 5

    I’m a socialist. The final will be Spain and Germany. If I’m wrong I got give some serious thought to my ideology. Winston maybe? Ha ha ha.

    • Olwyn 5.1

      So you will count the first semi final as the final. Only one of the big four in the finals this time. No Italy, no Brazil, no Argentina. How will Nike and Adidas cope?

      • Bored 5.1.1

        I was going to sacrifice one of my chickens and examine the entrails to see who was going to win between the Dutch and Paraguay.. could not catch the bugger,,,,,.I woke late, had a cup of tea and noticed the tea leaves had stuck to the side, something wrong here, checked the score, hell 3-1. My powers of prediction are stuffed,,,means I must be fully qualified to be an economist.

        • Olwyn

          Rharn: I meant second semi-final- commented too late at night. Bored: The octopus favours Spain over Germany, so you can save your chickens. Who needs entrails when you have the Delphic octopus. Perhaps, after the world cup, the octopus might be persuaded to try his hand at economics.

      • Lew 5.1.2

        Since Nike and Adidas will have one team each in the final, I reckon they’ll be ok.

        Nike have pulled off the most epic marketing coup of the tournament, despite not being an official sponsor (and therefore not having paid a red cent to FIFA. Their “Write the Future” and football academy ads don’t even mention the World Cup — they can’t — but you’d never know it, and it’s leagues ahead of the Adidas campaign. So they’ll make out fine.

        Adidas will do pretty well, too. They’ll sell a squillion balls, even though most people reckon they’re crap.


        • Olwyn

          And that ball is visibly crap. Often at world cups players complain about the ball, but its deficiencies are not visible to a person watching on TV. This time, while players have eventually gained some control over it, they do look as if they are playing with a beach volleyball.

  6. zakC 6

    Well now Rob, I wonder whether in making your attack on bankers et al stick at a predictive level it entered your head that the following: – There’s a reason why so few of them managed to predict the financial tsunami that swept he world recently (and is likely to do so again soon). serves to undermine one major core in respect of responsiblities among former motu.

    To wit, getting them off their obligations on pled ignorance… incompetance.. and thus evading the other option of criminality.

    This said, you’ll excuse me for presuming your blog here as little but jest..

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