The Kapali Carsi

Economists Can’t Forecast (football)

I had no idea European football (that’s soccer for you Yanks) championship kickoff was today (Friday) until I read the morning papers before starting with this colum.

Here is the intro. to the Hurriyet Daily News column that I wrote just before the European championship kick-0ff. I go over the economists’ favorites to win the European championship before noting that they have not done a really good job in football (or economic) forecasting.

The column is still relevant, as Spain and Germany, the economists’ favorites, are both in the semifinals. But so are the crisis-countries Italy and Portugal, who have a decent chance of winning the championship, as all winners (actually, the two of them) since the 2006 World Cup are crisis countries:)… Or as I note in the column, if the direction of causality is the opposite, Italy and Portugal (and even Spain) should let the Germans win it:)…

Anyway, this was just a fun column. You can read the whole at the HDN website. On an interesting side note, the editor for my Hurriyet Daily News columns was on BBC World radio this past Sunday. They were originally discussing Syria, but when the conversation turned to football, she mentioned the confidence argument in my column. The other participant from London then emphasized that when Brazil last won the World Cup, life came to a virtual halt for nearly two weeks, resulting in a significant loss of income. Then, they both had a good laugh:) Joking aside, I tend to side with the Brazilian argument. ABN Amro may hit bull’s eye with their Germany pick for the European championship after all, but I don’t think we’ll see renewed confidence in the Eurozone, as they are claiming, because of the win of a core country. That will depend, more than anything else, whether the German chancellor will stop resisting Euro Area debt-sharing solutions

Speaking of that, I am patiently waiting for Thursday-Friday’s Leaders Summit. If a satisfactory solution to the Eurozone crisis doesn’t emerge, as I am fearing, next week’s Hurriyet Daily News column will probably be called “Angela’s Ashes“:)…

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