Bill Shankly was right: the fact that all banks, including Saxo Bank, need to engage with the 2018 FIFA World Cup not only shows how important it is, it also demonstrates its impact on everything from a country’s confidence to its economic performance.
There are probably many links/correlations which can be discovered by Artificial Intelligence, but having been on the losing team one too many times, I can tell you: there is no bigger pain than losing in football – not even in trading!
(Mind you, as an economist you are always losing!)
Football remains the world's biggest sport for a reason. It is a game everyone can play without any economic resources required: you can play in the streets, in your apartment, with a ball, with a sock, or with an orange!
On the field you are only measured by your contribution, not by your social status or your job; if anything, the higher your ranking in these areas, the more you need to give to the team. Football, or the football team, is the precise model on which societies should be built.
There are fundamental rules that need to be understood. The team is always bigger than the man (yes, even Ronaldo). There is room for a star, but only if he delivers. Should he fail, he's gone (out). The winningest teams in the world win because they are teams, not 11 individual players.
As the world greatest goalkeeper (CDS!) once said:
"In football, you win as a group, you lose as a group; you divide the credit and the blame" – Gianluigi Buffon
First and foremost, you need to accept, like, work with, and subordinate yourself to the team in order to win. This is something that popular contemporary concepts and buzzwords – social media, AI, robots, nationalism, individualism – neither contain nor reflect.
Maybe that’s the overall lesson: as the world moves to dehumanize work and private life more and more, the thirst for being part of something like a team increases – there is nothing like the camaraderie, the post-game beer, and the self-congratulation with people you have played with for 10, 20, or in my case 30 years.
I wish everyone an amazing 2018 FIFA World Cup and again, congratulations to Iceland on winning the World Cup in economics: a truly phoenix-like recovery on the part of our Nordic brother.
Steen “Beckenbauer” Jakobsen
Chief Investment Officer, Saxo Bank