The World Cup was supposed to be Brazil's coming-out party, the soccer superpower finally revealing itself to be an economic and geopolitical one as well. Visiting fans and TV viewers would witness not only a month of fabulous soccer, but also the torrid economic growth that lifted 35 million Brazilians from poverty last decade. As such, Brazil's 7-1 loss to Germany in Tuesday's semi-final was more than just one of the most shocking results in sporting history. It was a huge blow to the nation's confidence. Brazil's once-soaring economy has been stagnant and plagued by high inflation for three years now, with no end in sight. The Cup itself was plagued by severe overspending on stadiums, unfinished infrastructure projects and the deaths of nearly a dozen people in construction accidents. Tuesday’s loss reverberated as far away as Wall Street, where analysts issued reports debating whether the darkened national mood could further damage the economy, as well as President Dilma Rousseff's chances for re-election in October.
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First published July 9 2014, 12:10 PM