Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Bad news BRICs: 10 years on, which country is the most overhyped?"

Following up on last week's "Société Générale's Albert Edwards Huffs and Puffs on BRIC House (Dec. 1, 2011)".
From Foreign Policy's Passport blog:
Last Wednesday marked the 10th anniversary of Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill coining the term BRICs, to describe the four countries that he believed would drive economic growth in the coming years -- a designation that was turned into a formal economic grouping in 2009. But the anniversary aside, it's been a week of surprisingly bad press for the four countries, though commentators don't seem quite united on just which emerging economy is the most overhyped.

Following India's decision to delay long-awaited reforms to its retail sector to allow greater foreign investment, O'Neill pronounced India the greatest disappointment of the four:
"All four countries have become bigger (economies) than I said they were going to be, even Russia. However there are important structural issues about all four and as we go into the 10-year anniversary, in some ways India is the most disappointing," said O'Neill who oversees almost a trillion dollars in assets at Goldman.[...]
"India has the risk of ... if they're not careful, a balance of payments crisis. They shouldn't raise people's hopes of FDI and then in a week say, 'we're only joking'," O'Neill said.
"India's inability to raise its share of global FDI is very disappointing," he said.
United Nations data shows that India received less than $20 billion in FDI in the first six months of 2011, compared to more than $60 billion in China while Brazil and Russia took in $23 billion and $33 billion respectively.
Meanwhile, the FT's John Paul Rathbone argues that Brazil's recent economic growth is nothing more than a "optical illusion"...MORE
Beyond BRICS: "A CIVETS index: herding cats?"
Anyone Else Notice That The Nations Abstaining in the U.N. Libya Vote Were the BRICS?
The New BRICS on the Block: Which Emerging Markets Are Up and Coming?