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Rank of Banked in the World Cup Round of 16

Adam Rust's picture

Posted July 1, 2014

From last to first, here is a ranking of the penetration of the formal financial system into the populations of the countries in the Round of 16. This data is from the World Bank's Findex. One caveat is that data on Swiss accounts is not available. 

15) Uruguay, 23.5 percent

14) Mexico, 27.4 percent

13) Nigeria, 29.7 percent

12) Colombia, 30.4 percent

11) Argentina, 33.13 percent

10) Algeria, 33.3 percent

9) Chile, 42.2 percent

8) Costa Rica, 50.4 percent

7) Brazil, 55.9 percent

6) Greece, 77.9 percent

5) United States, 87.9 percent

4) Belgium, 96.3 percent

3) France, 97.0 percent

2) Germany, 98.1 percent

1) Netherlands, 98.7 percent

Were it to be that the World Bank could attain data for Switzerland, I expect that it is likely that their country would fall in the top four.  

The Bracket

In the first round: Brazil defeats Chile and then meets Colombia, who narrowly beat back the side from Uruguay. France and Germany get by Nigeria and Algeria. In a tough contest, Belgium defeats the United States and goes on to play the Swiss side, who was able to soundly beat Argentina. The Netherlands faces Greece. Costa Rica and Mexico are sent home.

In the round of 8, hometown favorite Brazil moves on past Colombia. It's quite a surprise for Brazil. Colombia protests on the basis of metric. "More of our citizens got a loan in the past year," says James Rodriguez. "That's the true test of inclusion." The French side echoes the same sentiment, after losing on a goal kick in the second overtime. "Not only do we have more people getting loans these days," says French coach Didier DeChamps, "but we're also better in electronic payments." 

No such debate exists after the Netherlands-Greece match. There isn't much lending in Greece, nor is there much in the way of adoption in electronic payments. Incidentally, electronic payments appear to be a sharp dividing line between haves and have-nots. In Algeria, fewer than 2 percent of residents made an electronic payment last year, compared to more than 80 percent in the Netherlands. 

I'm going to assume that Switzerland gets past Belgium. The Swiss draw on the strength of their postal banking system. 

The round of four: It comes down to Germany versus Brazil and Switzerland against the Netherlands. In the first match, it is a rout for Germany as luck catches up with the Brazil squad. I'm going to go with the Netherlands in the other match. The Dutch are the best squad. 

As expected, the Dutch win it all. 

Could this happen?

Parts of that bracket are still viable. Brazil and Colombia did win their matches. Same story for France and Germany. But Costa Rica has already defeated Greece. Argentina and Switzerland are playing as I write this entry. 

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