As throughout Germany, traders on the Frankfurt stock exchange were in mourning on Thursday for their national team being knocked out of the World Cup by Spain.
But the professional investors also saw some economic lessons, specifically that the Madrid government should learn from the Spanish side’s solidarity and team spirit.
One trader said: “Spain is obviously better at football than looking after its economy, that’s why they’ll be world champions and need to see that they get their debts under control.”
Fidel Peter Helmer from Hauck & Aufhaueser added: “I think the Spanish finance minister could get a few tips from the team, especially from the positive morale which the Spanish team has. The players are real specialists and the Spanish government could also use such specialists.”
And there are consolations for Germans as economist Carsten Brzeski of ING pointed out: “While German consumer confidence probably took a hit with a world championship title out of reach, the German economy is still a promising candidate in another race: euro zone growth champion 2010.”
The Spanish players have a considerable financial incentive. Under the terms of their bonus package each will get 600,000 euros if Spain wins the World Cup.
They had negotiated the largest bonus package among the top World Cup teams, which drew some criticism in Spain where austerity measures and wage cuts are the order of the day.