Friday, July 24, 2009

The new stars on the global economy :The BRIC group

With 40% of world population, and 25% of world GDP, the BRIC group is increasingly considered as the key new economic global partner. The BRIC group , which includes Brazil, Russia, India and China, has arrived to the world stage apparently to works with a different approach , specially concerning the currency for international operations. They do not fully trust the dollar, as the only reference for international finance, so they believe a new world order must arise with more currencies available.-
A key issue about the BRIC group, is related to the fact that they to do not seem to be homogeneous enough as it would necessary to count them as a strong partner .Let check this out a bit further:
a.- Geographically distant from one another, it might affects its sense of identity and common purpose for their leadership. Asian countries share history and cultural values, which makes them prone to work together more actively than with “foreign” .-
b.- Politically ranging from democracy to Political State kind of regime, their leaders are accountable by different audiences and institutions .For instance Brazil has a free press ,with no restriction whatsoever to the news media ability to check what government is doing, which imply higher transaction cost than its partner, when it comes to make political decisions.
c.- Institutionally , the BRIC group also have a mixture ranging from a strong State like China and Russia, to a less centralized State in India, whereas in Brazil the State is returning to a more complementary fashion with the private sector. The rule of law also differ, setting undesirable conditions for trusting them a reliable partners.
Thus, although it looks like the global economy will be organized on the basis of important blocs,(USA ,European Union and Asia), the adding up factors (population and GDP)might not be sufficient condition to consolidate such BRIC structure, like it is the APEC which is also an adding up organization (all of them are on the pacific grim). As long as there is connecting points, the BRIC group will represent the new world economy reality, specially decisive for global economy recovery. However, there is still a long way before such an interesting group become a global partner on its own .
The real importance of BRIC, will probably deal with its role of fulfilling expectations of those countries which are left behind on global affairs , because of the relevance of its new political voice status, to speak out at global stage and international organizations. In fact, the G8 might not longer be what it was, excluding for future meeting the BRIC .
Further advances will depend upon this BRIC group to creates its own structure either to solve differences ,whether they appears on key issues, or to make decisions.-

Friday, July 10, 2009

Capital flows and emerging economies recovery

Private Capital flows is a key variable, to support the economic growth of countries which can not count on domestic financial resources, due to the weakness of domestic capital markets to increase saving. However, these flows are both risk averse and with high sensitivity to any wrong doing on domestic economic policy matters, such that emerging economies actually have to cope with two crisis at the same time: Then one already under way ,and the other caused by the sudden stop of capital flows.
World banks reports indicates that while in the year 2007 the capital flows to emerging economies was USS 1,2 trillion, the year 2008 declined to USS 700 billion and this year it is expected to be USS 300 billion. Thus in less than two year the capital flow have decreased by a margin of four. Accordingly the rates of economic growth went down from 8,1 in the year 2007, to 5,9 in the year 2008, to 1,2 in the year 2009. Whether China and India are excluded, these countries´ growth is expected to be in the negative territory falling (-1,6%).-
These slower pace of economic growth mean that job losses increases, trade flows decrease ,and investment prospect are no better to improve expectations. Thus, the question is when these flows are going to be restored to its previous level?. The answer depend upon the chance of having a more robust global financial system, in the coming months. As long as the financial system remains fragile, the private capital flows will stay at low levels.
But there is a second question which is :Can Foreign Government aid be an effective replacement for those capital flows ?.In other words, is it possible to apply a kind of Global expansionary fiscal policy, to cope with the losses of growth in emerging economies due to lack of private financing?. Let analyze some scenarios to get an approximation to the answer :
a.- Extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions. However, a crucial issue is the effectiveness of these actions ,which depend in most of the cases upon the well design and proper focus of the policy prescription. However, in emerging economies, the problem is not only the proper focus ,but the structural economic conditions, ( weak institutions), which can make the whole issue of effectiveness a lot more complicated.-
b.- Whether experience is a proper guide to decide, there is strong evidence concerning the negative impact of Government aid to Emerging economies. Government recipient, has become the main cause for poverty, the main poverty producer and so the main poverty exporter. How come such a dramatic outcome could happen?. Foreign Government aid, has become in many countries a source of corruption when bureaucracy is in charge of managing those financial resources .At each level of bureaucracy , every one take a fee ,such that at the end of the process there is no financial resources left out ,to cope with the objective which justified it.-
c.- Emerging economies should take this global financial crisis as an opportunity , to undertake those reform which has been postpone in the past, specially those aimed at improving the quality and strength of its domestic financial sector and capital market, modernize its state management model ,to make it suitable to cope with the risk standard of private capital flows, and improve the domestic conditions for international trade. It is this combination of better incentives for both capital flows and trade, which really will help more the emerging economies to get back on the growth path soon.-