Posts Tagged ‘BRIC ’

The Great Expectations Game

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Place your bets

Amid this summer’s bumper crop of books on global economics, one title is generating exceptional buzz, and deservedly so.

The book is Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles, by Ruchir Sharma, who leads Morgan Stanley’s emerging markets practice. He’s been a columnist at Newsweek and the Economic Times of India.

At his day job, he places bets on potential winners – a task that was easier in the past than it will be in the future based on his outlook. Traveling regularly to the countries he analyzes, Sharma brings a valuable, on-the-ground view to his work.

Thoughtfully composed, Break Out Nations takes readers on contrarian’s tour of the world where macro forces lift some economies while hindering others.

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Brazil’s Siren Call

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Rio morning

New day in Brazil

A popular joke about Brazil of the ’70’s and ’80’s went: “It’s the country of the future, and it always will be.” Today, Brazilians wryly retell the joke as a reminder of those painful days when inflation reached 80 percent monthly and their country was adrift.

The future has arrived for a growing number of Brazilians. Thanks to soaring commodity prices and a government committed to avoiding the mistakes of the past, the world’s sixth largest economy is on a path toward sustained growth.

Brazil now has an investment grade rating given only to stable, growing economies. Many investors and entrepreneurs view the country as the emerging market that’s most likely to succeed. In a recent survey of 1,258 global chief executives, Brazil ranked highest, after China and the USA, in importance to their companies’ growth prospects.

Is the exuberance founded? Do the facts support the sanguine forecasts about Brazil?

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A Tale of Two Economies

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Booming São Paulo

The West and the Rest

This is a tale of two economies with interlocking features. One has excess supply; the other has gnawing demand. In the West, economic growth is slowed while emerging markets are busting at the seams. An explosion in the number of urban, middle class consumers and related factors is powering growth in emerging markets.

The World Bank estimates that, on average, emerging nations will grow by 4.7 percent – double that of developed countries — through 2025. That growth isn’t only evident in the so-called BRIC nations, but in Turkey, Indonesia, South Korea, and across the developing world. Some of the fast growing regions are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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On “The Post American World”

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

In his compelling new book, “The Post-American World,” Newsweek Int’l’s Fareed Zakaria reframes the challenges and opportunities of a new world order. Zakaria argues that we’ve entered a “post-American” era in which the role of the U.S. will be diminished but not irrelevant.

While the U.S. still possesses unique, natural advantages, “the rise of the rest,” including China, India and Brazil, among others, are creating a world through their economic growth that is more multi-focal. Other nations are now catching up to America’s level of economic clout and self-assertion.  What’s next for the U.S. in this new world order remains to be seen.

Zakaria argues that America has assumed that its innate strengths — academic resources, free markets and diversity of talent — can compensate for its anemic savings rate or the absence of a health care system or a cogent, long-term economic strategy.

“That was fine in a world when a lot of other countries were not performing,” argues Zakaria, but now the best of the rest are working hard, saving well and are looking ahead. “They have adopted our lessons and are playing our game”.  He  worries that “the U.S. risks having its unique and advantageous position in the world erode as other countries rise.”

According to Zakaria, the U.S. still has significant natural advantages. But the new worry for America is neither the rise of other societies, nor its own diminsihing influence, but Washington’s politics of stagnation and partisanship in recent years.  Zakaria argues that anachronistic systems of government hijacked by vested interests are having a drag on the agility and innovativeness that led to America’s rise in the last century. As David Singh Grewal notes in his new book, Network Power, “Everything is being globalized except politics.”

Zakaria makes his case skillfully. His argument should inspire a broader conversation during this election cycle about how to shift attention to the new challenges and opportunities of a multi-focal world. Rather than engage in the same tired debate about restoring America’s lustre, it makes sense to weigh the options as seen through the prism of a post-American world.