Investment bank Goldman Sachs makes billions backing winners and that’s why it's using its skills to predict the results of the Rio Olympics.
At the London 2012 Olympics, the bank used “macroeconomic variables and statistical relationships” to predict the total medals — 65 — won by the host nation Great Britain and accurately picked 10 of the top 11 countries for gold medals.
The economists' forecasts take into account a country's growth conditions, including measures of the political and institutional environment, as well as the size of its population and its previous Olympic performance.
It seems that the host nation really does have a home advantage, with economists predicting that Brazil will win 22 medals, including five gold, improving on their result in 2012 of 17 medals, three of which were gold.
If Goldman’s estimations are correct, Brazil will place 16th in the overall standings, behind the likes of the United States (106 medals, 45 gold), China (89 medals, 36 gold) and Britain (59 medals, 23 gold).
Despite Brazil showing the sporting prowess, the study indicates that the Games will barely stimulate Brazil’s growth. "Overall, we believe that the investments related to the World Cup and the Olympics were too small to generate a significant dividend / economic boost, given the large size of the economy," the report said.
The team made special adjustments for Russia — typically among the top five medal winners — since it is unclear to what degree the country will participate, due to the doping scandal.
Although the bank was bang on in 2012, it does admit that the methods only provide a “rough guide to predicting Olympic success.” So it might be wise to think twice before wagering your savings on these predictions alone.