As World Cup Ends, Europe’s Stress Tests Loom
Posted by aangsunu on 16 July 2010
source : MarketWatch via Yahoo Finance
The unique ability of sports to bring people together and make them forget — at least for a spell — their troubles with each other is never more on display than during the World Cup soccer tournament every four years — even more so than the Olympics. And this summer has been no exception.
The last four weeks marked a welcome relief from the climate of fear that gripped world markets in April and May, as names like Villa, Sneijder, Kaka, and Muller rose to prominence in the headlines and action photos, replacing the tired old shots of names like Trichet, Blankfein, Geithner, or Hayward, entering hearing rooms or press conferences. People gathered throughout Europe — from the Villa Borghese Park in Rome to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid — not to light fires and protest the dreaded “austerity” measures from their governments, but to watch “the football” on big screen televisions together. Predictably, the games caused more heartbreak and controversy than joy. After all, 31 countries have to lose before one can win it all.
But the excitement everywhere on game days was palpable, one of the reasons I’ve been here the last few weeks, conducting my own special series of “stress tests” on the great bars of Europe.