Saturday 31 May 2014

Goldman Sachs Predictions

It's hard to believe that tomorrow sees the start of June. It may be an old cliché that time goes ever faster as we age, but it certainly seems that way. June sees the start of the World Cup of course, and I have written a couple of pieces for Betting Expert on this event, the first is here if you've somehow missed it, and it's been well received.

There's a second piece on the way, which is just as good - if not better - and on the subject of the World Cup, many of you will no doubt be aware that Goldman Sachs this week released its World Cup and Economics 2014 report, and all I can say is that if you have any investments under their management, stop reading and withdraw them now.

Take a look at the Predicted Group Results below. Of the 48 group stage matches to be played, GS are predicting that just one team will fail to score - poor old Cameroon who are predicted to go down 0:5 to hosts Brazil.
As you will understand after reading my next Betting Expert World Cup article, the complete absence of the 1:0 score in group matches comes as something of a surprise. With the group stage played in three rounds, the opening round has historically (since 1998) seen more than a quarter of matches end 1:0. Along with 1:1, it is also the leading score in the second round of matches, while in the third round 2:1 tops the list.

To predict 33 of the 48 matches (69%) to end as 1:1 draws, (not a single 0:0, or 2:2+ draw), is just nonsense. One would never guess they are American! 44 of the 48 matches will be either 1:1 or 2:1, the other four results being a pair of 4:1s (both Brazil v Croatia and Mexico), a 3:1 for Argentina v Nigeria and the 5:0 I mentioned earlier. England will be unbeaten, but eliminated, as I imagine several teams will be with the abundance of 1:1s.

The report likes Brazil and to a lesser extent Argentina, with the hosts predicted to beat their neighbours 3:1 in the final. Once again, the knock-out stages look good for Both Teams To Score, as all 30 do just that. Not sure about the third-place game, since it seems to be missing. Five matches are predicted to go to penalties, which would be a record high for a World Cup:
There is actually some interesting content in the 60 pages of the report, and Goldman Sachs has been in business since 1869 so they know what they're doing (you can re-invest your money now), but the model used to generate these scores is clearly in need of some improvement and they should probably stick to investing in the more traditional financial markets and stay away from sports.

'Port' Scott sent me a link to an article on Stephen Hawking's England-centred World Cup predictions, including his formula for England and penalties:
Some of those constants look a little off to me...  His conclusion on the winner is the same as Goldman Sachs - Brazil, and as an Englander of pre-1966 vintage, I like Hawking's observation about the red shirts! Shame he didn't mention the red socks.    

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