Financial analysts have come down on the side of Brazilian soccer fans. Tracy Alloway of the Financial Times covers the fascinating "recent theme of financial analysts-turned-football-experts." It turns out Danske Bank has published what she calls "their rather numerate model" for predicting a World Cup winner. Factoring in "income level, population size, football history and tradition, current form of national team, presence of 'superstars,' and home field advantage" they've decided, to quote their report, that "the economically and financially ailing PIIGS [Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain] countries will not find much to cheer about on the football field either." They're going long on Brazil.

Evolution Securities credit specialist Gary Jenkins is making the same prediction. Goldman Sachs, though, as Alloway coyly notes, "as is their habit ... aren't guessing a winner" (Goldman has been in the news recently for quietly betting against clients). Instead, "they've hedged themselves by picking the four semi finalists ... England, Argentina, Brazil and Spain."

(Hat tip: Slatest)