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Billions will be lost from the Rio World Cup

May 13, 2014

As the World Cup in Rio starts is just in under a month the gossip, speculation and hype surrounding the teams and players is increasing with frequency and volume. Plenty has also been made on the collateral effects of hosting this event such as tourism, more jobs and increased investment in infrastructure. Call this ‘non-football’ news.

It is clear that football is a powerful tool and has many positive effects but there are some interesting repercussions that work on a global scale.

study by the European Central Bank found that football was even popular enough to bring financial markets to a standstill. It  discovered that during the 2010 World Cup stock trades fell an average of 45% in countries whose teams were playing at that time. In fact a goal caused a further 5 percent drop. The effect is billions of dollars in lost trades.

Michael Ehrmann and David-Jan Jansen the authors of this report concluded that “stock markets were following developments on the soccer pitch rather than in the trading pit.” This is something that FIFA or Brazil will definitely not want to publicize.

The study noted the natural drops in activity typically seen around lunch hours and found the markets in football playing nations diverged significantly from global market behaviour.

There was a large amount of variation amongst countries with trading activity in Chile falling up to 83% when its own team was playing. Even some of the least football obsessed nations still felt the effect with the USA falling 40%. Though there might have been a few Chilean traders in Wall Street at the time.

The picture of a country with desolate streets and empty parks often rings true for when a nation’s team is playing and it turns out to be just the same on the trading floors.