Back in May, UBS Wealth Management predicted that Germany was going to win. Running 10,000 simulations it thought Germany had a 24% chance of winning, pipping Brazil 19.8%, Spain 16.1% and slightly further back in 4th England 8.5%.
Curiously, Italy was given a 1.6% chance of winning despite not qualifying back in November 2017, which is concerning considering this is also the method UBS analysts use to pick stocks.
After their ignominious exit at the hands of South Korea on Wednesday, Martin Blessing, UBS co president for global wealth management, was quick to blame his global chief investment officer for the debacle.
“Mark Haefele and his team’s calculations, based on past data, gave Germany a 24% chance of winning the World Cup,” he said before blaming a so-called ‘curse’.
“However, past performance is no guarantee of future results and it seems the model didn’t take into account the ‘curse’ that the previous World Cup Champion does not advance to the knock-out stage in the next World Cup.”
Haefele was philosophical: “You win some, you lose some. Our model has accurately predicted the outcomes of over two thirds of the games so far. But football is not a fully accurate science.”
Blessing added: “If you’re a fan of Die Mannschaft or another country that’s crashed out early, you might consider filling your spare time by reading another of our chief investment office reports, which focuses on the importance of being prepared for unexpected events.”
UBS joins Commerzbank, which also tipped Germany with an 18% chance of winning.
After the Panama win, Goldman Sachs stuck its neck out to say England would reach a final with Brazil after nicking it against Spain in the semi-finals.