Of Underdogs, The Library And The Ironic World Cup

How do you teach a child that no good comes from bad intentions or actions when we have the Game of Thrones ?

I gave up and decided to think about the World Cup finals tonight where we should have at least 900 mio viewers around the world, going by the last finals in 2010. It is also a final of economic ironies, between a Prince (Germany) and the Pauper (Argentina), an economic powerhouse versus a nation crawling out of bankruptcy or crawling back into bankruptcy as the US courts and hedge funds would have it.

Argentina is the bad boy and the pauper too, a country supposed rife with growth draining corruption, ranked 106 out of 177 countries last year according to Transparency International (Indonesia ranked 114 and Singapore number 5), whereas Germany is ranked 12th. http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2013/results/

It does seem like a basket case and they deserve a whipping for being the crime ridden backwaters that they are.

That would make them a major underdog, an identity I am beginning to develop here in Singapore after the book purging exercise at the National Library because my son and I do not fall into the mould of an “ideal family”, being divorced.

The poor kid suffered a complex, initially, at school, when he had to reveal his family circumstances which was exacerbated by all the “pro family” “Dad’s For Life” campaigns that served to remind him that he was different from some of his friends.

Needless to say, it is over now and the confident young man just informed me that he felt sorry for all the adopted children who come from gay families because they are going to have it tough in school with such social attitudes brewing.

And his philosophy in life ?

Bad things do happen to good people.  (Thank you, Game of Thrones)

It was a struggle to arrive that our current nonchalance and apathy yet at least we are not slaves to social ideals and I glad that, whilst he has been identified as a “gift” to the national IQ, at least he is quite the antithesis to a certain boy in an elite school who opted to take a bus to school, lest his friends find out that his father drives a Toyota, which was a grand brand when I was a child.

What may be forgotten is that Singapore was once a major underdog in the global stage. And it was the underdog spirit that carried the country into the current state and Singapore will always be an underdog, without natural resources of her own and depending on trade with others to survive.

Argentina was never always the underdog. A century ago, it was one of the richest countries in the world, their wealth originating from their land that is rich in minerals and ore besides their agrarian resources (Cattle price +26% ytd and Hogs +55% ytd).

Now, the people are famous for using BMWs as a store of value against runaway inflation like last year. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-14/bmws-gaining-bitcoin-like-appeal-as-cpi-hedge-argentina-credit.html

They are playing against rich, ole Germany, who has an army of sports scientists to analyse every single element of the game for them. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-11/germany-seeks-scientific-edge-in-world-cup-final-with-argentina.html

It does look Argentina has already won by virtue of being the underdog for underdogs often hide a wealth of potential that some hedge funds are banking on right now. http://www.afr.com/p/business/companies/hedge_funds_cheer_for_argentina_22Fn735OYaNZpYtw1TvRuL

Yes, Germany is the Prince and the safe haven or harbour. But in the book, the biggest winner was really the Pauper.

And it doesn’t matter what a mess Argentina is in right now because good things do happen to bad people too !


Argentina’s Burcap Index up 58.8% this year. Argentine Peso -20% vs USD.

ARGT (USD) ETF year to date return 21.52%, 1 year return +44.52%.