Official: World Cup Way Cooler (And More Important) Than Stock Market

People like the World Cup! Like a lot. A lot, a lot. At least that's what a new study from the European Central Bank tells us and they gathered that by studying the people who run the stock market and discovering that during 2010 World Cup matches they basically ignored the work that keeps the economy ticking. Comforting, ain't it?

"When the national team was playing, the number of trades dropped by 45 percent, while volumes were 55 percent lower," the ECB's 37-page study revealed. "Stock markets were following developments on the soccer pitch rather than in the trading pit."

Unsurprisingly, the biggest stock market malcontents came from football mad South America. Chile led the way, with trades decreasing by 83% and volume almost coming to a halt with just 0.5% of the regular volume of trades during Chile's World Cup matches. Argentina saw their trades decrease by 79.7% when their country played and Brazil's trade was cut by 74.5% when the Selecao was in action.

The United States got caught up in the World Cup action too. Long derided as a football backwater with little interest in the sport, the U.S. saw trades decrease by 42% when the Americans were playing and by 24% when other World Cup matches were going on.

In Europe, Germany led the way as the biggest World Cup fans, or maybe least diligent traders depending on how you look at it. Both the number of trades and volume in Germany was down 59% during the country's matches. The country that invented the game didn't quite take to the World Cup excitement like the rest of the world though. Trades in England were down just 21.2% during the Three Lions' matches.

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