According to the Wall Street Journal, Brazil is currently an attractive country for investments. Even though gross domestic product numbers were recently released indicating Brazil is officially in a recession, the economy is expected to surpass other developed countries. Unlike most developed countries, Brazil has three main elements to weather the global economic crisis. Brazil’s tools to endure the crisis include a very diverse amount of exports, a growing middle class, and an increasingly stable banking system.
Brazil has an advantage over other countries since it is not dependent on one country to sell exports. The country sells a variety of products internationally so its demand has not dramatically decreased. Only twenty percent of Brazil’s exports are shipped to the United States, leaving eighty percent of other exports are sold to a variety of other countries. Since fifty-four percent of the population in Brazil is considered middle class, there is a new market for retail and financial services. Historically, Brazil had only two socioeconomic tiers: the elite and the poor. Now that there is a growing middle class, foreign investors are lured to invest in Brazil to cater to the need of the middle class society. Last, a strong banking system is essential for economic growth. Not one Brazilian bank has failed since September 2005. However, when Banco-Santos was closed, it was considered a remote event independent of Brazil’s economy. Thus, the banking institutions are still viewed as some of the strongest in the world. Inflation stands at four percent in Brazil which is an outcome of developed institutional monetary policies.
Brazil’s economy is expected to recover by the end of 2009. As a result of Brazil’s new position in the global economy, the financial community directly invested a total forty-five million dollars in 2008. This is a trend that will likely continue and Brazil will position itself as a superpower in South America.
The 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup held in South Africa serves as a precursor to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Confederations Cup fires up the fans for the World Cup and allows the national teams to get a feel for where the teams rank and the tools need to be successful next summer.
Phil Shore from the Bleacher Report analyzes what the United States team learned from the Confederations Cup to take with them to the World Cup. Historically, the US team does not put up a good fight against powerhouse teams. However, this competition proved the US can compete with the world's best and potentially win. US beat Spain, the number one tanked team in the world, 2-0 in order to advance to the final. This was the first FIFA final that US participated in. Even though US lost to Brazil in the final game, they pushed Brazil to the limit. They played with heart, when the fight for the ball, and prove they want to win, the Americans will want to rally behind the US team with great performances.
However, US would not have advanced without the winning performance of their goalkeeper, Tim Howard. Even though some of the games were high scoring, Howard's poise and reflexes prevented many opposing goals. Had Howard not been in goal for the US, the scores of the games would highly favor the opposing team.
Last, the US team is still young and somewhat inexperienced. Thirteen players of the twenty-three players from the Confederations Cup roster are under the age of twenty-five which allows an opportunity for the team to grow together. Their inexperience of playing at an international level was very prevalent during the Confederations Cup. Many cards were given for unnecessary tackles and taking a jersey off after scoring a goal, something that is certainly against the rules. The accumulation of cards is an immature mistake that hopefully will be avoided next summer.
Overall, the 2009 Confederations Cup was a huge leap for American Soccer and hopefully the lessons learned will carry to the 2010 World Cup and will lead to a groundbreaking success.