Thursday, June 18, 2009

BRIC (bat)

So far, the media is treating the recent BRIC meeting in Moscow as a big event of rising powers - Brazil, Russia, India and China - joining together in a powerful new bloc.

It isn't.

The first communiqué consisted of the usual pablum of urging a greater role for developing nations in international institutions. Wow. Just Wow.

BRIC has been characterized as a potential balance against the US. How is that going to work exactly? Russia, I can understand wanting to regain its role vis a vis the US. China? They have no interest in irritating the US and neither does Brazil. India does not exactly trust China and Brazil is on the other side of the planet from everyone else.

On the BBC, an emphasis was placed on Russia's foreign currency reserves as a symbol of the potential of BRIC. Uh...well...with a budget deficit of 11 percent of GDP in April, a decline of 16.2 percent in revenues between April and May and a total deficit of $100 billion, its reserve fund is accounted for. Its Ministry of Finance recently announced that it would jump into the international bond market forexternal funding of its deficit. How's that working out so far?

BRIC will fade into the world of annual economic coordination meetings accomplishing little, if anything.

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