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Global investors usually focus on economic data such as GDP growth, employment, and trade. But in today’s trying economic climate, they have started to train their gaze elsewhere: on national political leadership and the prospects for reform.
During the recent emerging market boom, forecasters assumed that trends would continue indefinitely, ignoring the cyclical nature of both political and economic development. Euphoria overcame sound judgment -- a process that has doomed economic forecasting for as long as experts have been doing it.
Yes, India as a whole is slowing down. But the country’s most dynamic states -- under their very smart, albeit sometimes autocratic, leaders -- are still growing at or near double-digit rates, and represent India’s secret weapon for continuing to compete with the other major emerging markets.
The most talked-about global economic trend in recent years has been “the rise of the rest,” with Brazil, Russia, India, and China leading the charge. But international economic convergence is a myth. Few countries can sustain unusually fast growth for a decade, and even fewer, for more than that. Now that the boom years are over, the BRICs are crumbling; the international order will change less than expected.
Brazil's rise never depended on the sale of commodities, and thanks to recent reforms, the country will continue to prosper, write Shannon O'Neil, Richard Lapper, and Larry Rohter. Ronaldo Lemos, meanwhile, claims that those reforms have not gone far enough. Ruchir Sharma responds that Brazil is indeed headed for trouble.
Jonathan Tepperman talks to Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley, about the future growth potential of the world's leading emerging markets.
Until recently, there seemed plenty of reasons to be bullish on Brazil. Having posted record growth for a decade and weathered the financial crisis well, the country looked poised to become a global economic leader. But the would-be giant stands on feet of clay. The economy depends too much on high commodity prices, and as demand falls, so may Brazil.