The Growth Map: Economic Opportunity in the BRICs and Beyond Hardcover – Dec 8 2011
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“When Jim O’Neill first coined ‘BRIC’ he redefined how investors and Western business leaders see the world. Economic students, policymakers, diplomats, investors, and business leaders should all read this book—not least because the rise of the BRICs is already turning so many Western assumptions upside down and will reshape the globe for decades to come.”
—GILLIAN TETT, US MANAGING EDITOR, FINANCIAL TIMES
“A brilliant and insightful analysis of the dynamic forces that are changing our world and the lives of millions of people. Jim O’Neill has done more than anyone to illuminate the growth of the developing world and the shifting landscape of the global economy.”
—MICHAEL SPENCE, RECIPEINT OF THE NOBEL MEMORIAL PRIZE IN ECONOMICS IN 2001
“This book should be compulsory reading for all those interested in the world economy.”
—MONTEK SINGH AHLUWALIA, ECONOMIST AND DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA
“Jim O’Neill challenges the lazy consensus and convinces us that the great swing to the East should be welcomed rather than resented by an anxious West. There’s no empty optimism here; just measured, reasoned grounds for hope.”
—SIR MARTIN SORRELL, CEO, WPP
“If you want to learn how emerging markets are going to develop in the coming years, you don’t have to wait for some future historian; just read this wonderful book by Jim O’Neill!”
—ARMINO FRAGA, ECONOMIST AND FORMER PRESIDENT, CENTRAL BANK OF BRAZIL
“Jim O’Neill’s theory about the BRICs has become a reality. His new book makes it clear that growth markets will grow to the benefit of all whatever the skeptics think.”
—ARKADY DVORKOVICH, ADVISER TO RUSSIAN PRESIDENT DMITRY MEDVEDEV
“In four letters, Jim O’Neill identified one of the most consequential themes of the twenty-first century. Jim has changed how the world thinks about economic growth—and how the BRICs think about themselves.”
—LLOYD BLANKFEIN, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, GOLDMAN SACHS
About the Author
Jim O'Neill is the chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Before that he was the firm's head of Global Economics, Commodities and Strategy Research. He created the "BRIC" term in 2001. He is the chairman of the charity SHINE. He lives in London.
Top Customer Reviews
Hari Thakur, Montreal
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Jim O'Neill was surely the first person to coin the term BRIC but it is hardly a reason for a victory lap. Much of the criticism about it has already been made on the web, that Turkey and Vietnam grew much faster, that it gave credence to communist China and non-reformist India, etc. All those criticisms apply to this book too. But what is more obvious is that by the time he coined the phrase, it was ten years AFTER Tiannamen Square and eight years after a political crisis in India had initiated privatization, and all those markets were red hot already. A research analyst at Goldman Sachs cannot change the trajectory of 3 billion people, as the author arrogantly insists on suggesting.
Secondly, the book hypes another theory already old: the next eleven, countries that include Turkey and Bangladesh and Pakistan, all ostensibly chosen for their population driven growth. All that O'Neill confirms is that absent a world war or genocide that kills those people, people will create their own demand for food and clothing, and no matter how unproductive or uneducated, will begin to be important in the aggregate. There is thus no prescriptive analysis of what makes countries grow or if it would continue in the future.
Thirdly, the terrain O'Neill covers is the world of development economics. Now I dont know his background but he surely has no tight grasp on the role of technology or freedom, not in a way that is statistically significant. All he offers is anecdotes and references to important conversations in the high-finance bubble he obviously lives in.
Fourthly, O'Neill contributed to creating an unnecessary bubble in stock valuations of BRIC countries, one that those countries are only recently shedding after the reality of those markets is coming to light. Goldman Sachs has been criticized for similar bubbles in oil and other markets (see Matt Taibi) but the bubble in BRICs should be added to it. Few people have justified the transfer of factory jobs and technology as famously as O'Neill. This point is worth mentioning because he had the audacity on the Charlie Rose show to suggest that growth in BRICs is slowing and in line with his predictions. What he failed to mention is he is the headliner who keeps announcing the date of the demise of American domination is nearer and nearer, that because he has this snake-oil nonsense predictions of Chinese growing into infinity without regard to any hurdles that will inevitably choke off its growth.
Fifthly, O'Neill has previously made extremely improper comments that seem to justify grotesque policies of the Chinese or others, presenting them as capitalists and pragmatists, as has Kissinger, when in fact there has been no increase in freedom and even Google had to pull out. O'Neill is now part of that global pantheon that is justifiably mocked for self-serving internationalist nonsense that is an echo chamber of theories that simply put freedom and capitalism at risk.
Finally, I noticed that O'Neill is the head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Oh well. It was under his tenure that the much hyped Alpha Fund went from tens of billions of dollars of funds to near-bust, until it was discontinued this year. None of the other funds have ever arisen out of mediocrity, and most lag the market indexes. So his ability to predict trends or markets is obviously no better than the average Joe. Goldman is also ranked at the bottom of all surveys of research analysts, and as O'Neill comes from that side of the business, I presume it is good reason to discount his theories still more.
All in all this is not a book that should be bought. It is not appropriate for someone who can never justify his own wealth (his firm ranked poorly in both asset management and research) to now lecture the world on the efficacy of a ten-year old thesis that was self-evident at best and terribly distortive at worst. For more serious fare, you may read a good textbook on development economics or just read the papers.
U.S. population in the mid-1970s was about 200 million, now it exceeds 300 million. This growth helps explain why our GDP has grown so much more than Europe; another reason is that Americans work longer hours than Europeans. An appreciating currency would also boost GDP - the dollar is boosted by being the world's currency, however, it has fallen in value vs. Asia over the last three decades.
Russia's economic growth is hindered by a low birth rate, an unpredictable bureaucracy, over-reliance on oil and gas, weak infrastructure. It only has about 140 million citizens.
India is held back by a mystifying bureaucracy, a large number of illiterates, and trade barriers.
Beijing has 8 ring roads. A Chinese person, when asked how they felt about not being able to vote responded that only about half of Americans vote - why should they get excited about voting when we don't? China's leaders are determined to look objectively at the nation's challenges and address them without biases. Worrying about empty buildings and underutilized roads is misplaced - continued urbanization will absorb those resources. China's trade surplus was 3.8% of GDP in 2010, down from 11% in 2007. China is probably the world's most aggressive pursuer of clean energy and technology.
Mexico, Singapore, Turkey, and South Korea are also high-growth nations.
Emerging nations will want to play a greater role in world affairs. Their economies have recovered faster than developed nations post the Great Recession.
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