World Cup – Halftime Verdict, Belindia, the Germany match

I am not much of a soccer (Futbol) fan, but with the Germany match all in the news, I will say this on behalf of Brazil, a country I have come to love in the last few years:

Arguably the most famous German, Gisele Bundschen is still Brazilian, graphic evidence that the best German genes found their way to Rio Grande do Sul between 1890 and 1950

This may seem like a cocktail tidbit, but it belies the reason Brazil is such a great nation — I’ve never seen a country that welcomes more of the World’s cultures within it’s own borders than Brazil.

The World Cup in Brazil

The half-time verdict

Expectations were low. They have been exceeded

THE winners of the football World Cup will not be known until July 13th. But the tournament is already a sporting success. Draws, especially of the goalless variety, have been mercifully rare (see chart). Not since 1958 have so many goals been scored per game in the group stage of a World Cup. What about off the pitch?

Start with Brazil’s economy. On the whole, economists agree, big sporting events have negligible impact on output. Money for the infrastructure bonanza beloved of politicians is not conjured from thin air; it is diverted from elsewhere. Productivity dips, too. Holidays have been decreed on some match days to ease pressure on creaking public transport. Before the Brazil-Cameroon game on June 23rd, for example, Brasília was a ghost town; to spare fans inevitable gridlock, public institutions and private firms let workers off early.

Comparing Brazil’s states

Welcome to Italordan

Brazil’s income disparities are great, but so is its progress

IN 1974, to capture the income inequality for which his country was infamous, Edmar Bacha, a Brazilian economist, coined the term “Belíndia”—a small rich Belgium surrounded by a vast poor India. Football players and fans descending on the country for the World Cup, which began this week, will still see several Brazils, if not the disparities of Belíndia.

As our map of Brazil’s states shows, the richest part of the country, around the capital, Brasília, is not quite at Belgian levels. But it is as wealthy as Italy, measured by GDP per person in 2011 (the latest available data set) at market exchange rates. India, meanwhile, is much poorer than even the most destitute Brazilian states, Maranhão and Piauí, where income per head is three times higher than on the subcontinent and roughly equal to that of Jordan.

Football in Brazil
Out with a whimper

Jul 8th 2014, 23:42 by J.P. | SÃO PAULO

“TO EXPLAIN the inexplicable is complicated.” That is how Júlio César, Brazil’s goal-keeper, summed up the 7-1 rout by the Germans in the semifinals of the World Cup on July 8th. The 2-1 defeat to Uruguay at Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro in 1950, the last time Brazil hosted the event, looks mild by comparison. So does the 3-0 loss to the then-host France in 1998.

Published by Janar Wasito

Janar Wasito is the manager of Magis Capital in San Diego, CA. He is a graduate of Harvard and Stanford Law School, and a former Marine Officer.

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