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Monday, June 30, 2014

Pt 2: Who Wins the 2014 Economic World Cup- Sweet 16 round

Hope everyone had a good weekend..

We spent it trying to do as much World Cup soccer watching as possible which admittedly was difficult based on the exceedingly biased and opinionated announcers who seemed to have their 'favorites' and made no bones hiding it..

But all that aside, its time to continue the Economic World Cup by taking this competition to the next stage, the Sweet 16..

Remember, we're not basing criteria on which nation has largest population, geography, or totality of economic input.
We're looking at trends.. Which economies are growing presently and will continue in the future vs which are in a rut or floundering due to heavy debt, GDP decline, unemployment, etc..

This was the reason the US failed to make it out of the group stage of our competition on Friday..  Good thing the actual soccer team fared better..

So on we go..  The Sweet Sixteen round:
Brazil v Chile 

Brazil is a growing economy but lately, whether or not its due to the tens of billions spent to host the World Cup and ultimately the 2016 Summer Olympics, its GDP is in the mud.

Back in 2010, Brazil's GDP was 7.5% then it dropped precipitously to 2.5% in 2011 then 1% in 2012 with a slight uptick back to 2.3% in 2013

Let's compare with Chile.. Very consistent GDP growth year to year of around 5.7% annually from 2010 to the present

Brazil may have squeaked by Chile in the actual match played this past Saturday but in our competition, Chile wins without need of extra time..
Mexico v. Netherlands 

Here's another match up that turned out exactly the same as the real WC..

Netherlands' GDP the last few years has been anemic with at best 1.5% growth in 2010 and recent worst of -1.2% in 2012 followed by a -0.8% decline last year..

Mexico on the other hand has been consistently growing year to year at around 4% annually though in 2013, their GDP only increased by 1.1%

But positive growth is always better than negative and when you consider Mexico has lower unemployment (4.9%) than Netherlands (7%), its pretty clear that unlike Sunday's result, Mexico advances
Colombia v Uruguay 

Both countries have impressive economies though Colombia's is much larger.  The last time Uruguay's annual GDP rate was in negative numbers was back in 2002 and Colombia goes back even further (1999)

Both nations on the other hand have high employment rates with Colombia's (9.8%) far surpassing Uruguay's at 6.8%

But where Uruguay kicks Colombia in the butt is when it comes to percentage debt to GDP.  For Colombia, 32% of its debt is tied to GDP.   For Uruguay, its -2.7% meaning they are actually a lender nation

Lenders always beat borrowers..  Unlike yesterday's for-real competition, Uruguay walks off here with the victory..
Costa Rica v Ivory Coast

The rest of these matches did not occur in the real WC..

Costa Rica's GDP has been a consistent annual growth of around 5% while Ivory Coast fluctuates greatly.. For instance in 2012, it grew at 9.5% yet the year before it declined by -4.7% making for a 14.2% swing in one calender year

This is actually a blowout of major proportions when looking at debt to GDP with Costa Rica carring about 36% while a staggering 98% of Ivory Coast GDP goes to pay off debt, mostly to the IMF..

Costa Rica advances without breaking a sweat..
Switzerland v. Nigeria

This match is also a blow out but it will surprise some when we say Nigeria gets the victory..

GDP annually has grown about 1.5 to 2% from 2010 to the present whereas thanks mostly to oil exports, Nigeria has risen annually around 7% year to year..

In addition, about 49% of Switzerland's GDP pays off debt while for Nigeria, the figure is 18%

Africa has its 'Great 8' representative
Iran v. Ecuador

Currently Ecuador's GDP is climbing year to year (7.8% followed by 5.1%) while whether it be due to US sanctions or other factors, Iran saw a decline of -5.7%

Also while Ecuador's unemployment is at 5.8%, Iran is almost double at 10.1%

Ecuador wins easily..
Germany v S. Korea

Germany is the largest economy in continental Europe and the biggest economy in the EU.. They run the show..

But paying the tab to keep the EU afloat has its costs like a drained treasury and declining GDP which saw it decline year to year from 4% in 2010 to 3.7% then 0.7% in 2012..

South Korea is also declining in GDP from 6.3% to 2% growth in two years but overall their numbers are an improvement over Germany.

Germany also has a higher unemployment rate (5.2% vs 3.7%) and carrying double the debt load (78% vs 38% as South Korea is..

Germany may be favorites to win it all for real but here in this competition, they are defeated by South Korea
Russia v. Ghana

The last match of the Sweet 16..   This is a toughie

Russia's unemployment rate is 4.9%..  For Ghana, its 11% yet Ghana's GDP is almost double annually what Russia's is (8% vs 3.9% year to year growth)

Russia's debt to GDP rate however is a very low 13% though for Ghana, its 48% but Ghana's debt per capita (meaning debt per average citizen) is a mere $682 vs $1987 per Russian

To give perspective, the debt per capita for the USA is $53,163 per person which compared to Ghana and Russia is absolutely PATHETIC..
If this was a real competition, it would go down to penalty kicks and Russia would just barely eek by with a win based on being more developed and a longer term prognosis for continual growth than Ghana that still in many respects is tribal..

So now that the sweet 16 is completed, here's how the next stage will look:

Chile v Uruguay
Mexico v Costa Rica
Nigeria v South Korea
Ecuador v Russia

Check back with us toward week's end to summarize the Great 8 through finals..