Sunday, July 1, 2012

PIGS in Euro 2012.

Today, at 4:00 am (AEST), most SBS soccer experts, commenting on the then approaching Spain vs Italy Euro 2012 final, were in furious agreement: Italy was the clear favorite.

Two hours later, the end result was Spain 4, Italy 0.

Echo: Spain 4, Italy 0... Spain 4, Italy 0...

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One of the reasons why I love soccer is that, unlike other sports, where one feels compelled to act graciously in victory, in soccer one feels entitled to be mean and rub salt and vinegar in the opponents' open wounds.

There goes the echo, again: Spain 4, Italy 0...

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On a related subject: forecasts are always risky, especially when one is forecasting the future. The SBS blokes just may have learned this lesson, the hard way.

Economists, however, are much more familiar with this kind of disappointment. It, however, does not stop them.

So, there's no certainty the SBS guys will be any different

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Call me foolhardy, but even though I'm not an economist, I'll venture a forecast: I reckon there's a good chance that some conservative will come up with the claim that Spain's Euro 2012 championship, together with the excellent performances of Italy and Portugal (yet to decide the 3rd place with Germany, that will share the bronze medal with Germany!) and even that of humble Greece are irrefutable proof that Frau Merkel's austerity works just fine.

Incidentally, France could have been there, but thanks to Hollande and his moderate anti-austerity stance, conservatives would say, it ain't.

Which is a good thing, I'd add: you can't spell PIGS with an F.

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But even no conservative spin comes up, the noise of Spain's victory is already drowning other news.

Don't believe me? Well, Luis de Guindos (Treasurer), citing Banco de EspaƱa forecasts, warns that GDP may fall in excess of 3%, while the Government is studying to increase the Added Value Tax (IVA) to 18%. See here and here.

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What's more, Frau Merkel could still use German understandable disappointment to justify further labor rights cuts at home: "Ve lost, because ve vere not vorkink hart enough".

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Down Under the challenge is for the Lab/Lib and private sector spinsters to come up with something. Personally, I have great faith deposited in our think-tankers.

So, let's start producing talking points!

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Man, I can still hear the echo: Spain 4, Italy 0...

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