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The Growth Map: Economic Opportunity in the BRICs and Beyond Hardcover – Dec 8 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (Dec 8 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591844819
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591844815
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #330,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“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.”



“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.”


“This book should be compulsory reading for all those interested in the world economy.”


“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.”



“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!”


“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.”


“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.”


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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
O'Neill short book is very readable, with sufficient data to support his basic thesis of opportunities in markets. We need to recognize, however, that he has a clear bias, not against the developed countries, but in favour of the emerging countries. There is sufficient background information for the reader to form his/her judgment.

Hari Thakur, Montreal
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa21492ac) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2978cf0) out of 5 stars Road Map to a New World Order Dec 12 2011
By Serge J. Van Steenkiste - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jim O'Neill first reminds his audience how he selected the original four developing economies which are widely known under the acronym BRIC, i.e., Brazil, Russia, India, and China. In the Chapter "BRIC by BRIC," Mr. O'Neill gives a nice summary of the key milestones that each of the four economies has achieved since he coined the acronym in 2001. To his credit, the author usually does not hesitate to deal with the shortcomings which still afflict each of these economies, despite their numerous achievements. In the coming decades, the BRICs are expected to continue to make waves in the cultural, economic, financial, and socio-political spheres due to their (favorable) demographics and increased productivity. More interestingly, Mr. O'Neill articulates clearly how and why he identifies economies such as Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, and Turkey among the N-11, i.e., the "Next Eleven" countries. These countries represent the next waves on which multinationals and investors should also ride for their benefit. Mr. O'Neill invites the developed nations, most of which are struggling, to seize the opportunity that the current global credit crisis offers them, not only to reform themselves for the better, but also to further increase their exports to the BRICs and N-11. Mr. O'Neill repeatedly draws the attention of his audience to the fact that the Germans have been very good at seizing the opportunities that the deepening globalization offers them. The author's graph about German exports since 2007 is illuminating on this subject. Due to this evolving landscape, Mr. O'Neill calls for the reformation of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the G20, or the United Nations to reflect the changing pecking order of the most powerful nations on earth. Furthermore, Mr. O'Neill pleads for the further liberalization of financial markets around the world to further facilitate trade and to give investors, savers more choices. The author will probably run into some walls on this subject. The North Atlantic credit crisis, as some people outside the West call the ongoing global credit crisis, will not be forgotten anytime soon. Mr. O'Neill is at his weakest when he deals with the plight of the "losers" that international trade generates, especially during the most challenging times of rapid adjustments. In summary, Mr. O'Neill gives his audience a well-articulated road map to capitalize on the opportunities that the evolving global economy offers to whoever is flexible enough to change with the circumstances of the day.
63 of 79 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2978f3c) out of 5 stars OLD AND ERRONEOUS THESIS THAT IS NOT WORTH BUYING Jan. 19 2012
By Sanford - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I try to buy every book by Portfolio and most do so well, I feel no need to add a review. So I feel bad reviewing their book for the first time, and that too negatively but this fits the category of books I review: over-hyped or erroneous theories by over-paid or erroneous authors.

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.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2554198) out of 5 stars Globalization For Toddlers Feb. 10 2012
By Reluctant Reviewer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
An astonishing book. Astonishing for its lack of depth and insight. Early on the author states "...on a basic level I often find it amusing that it (the BRIC thesis) is considered so profound. Four big populations becoming more productive and engaging with the rest of the world in a way they hadn't previously: if they carried on doing the same, they were going to be big, plain and simple." I should have stopped reading at that point. All of the author's thinking is based on simple modeling of population growth and productivity (for which he uses available World Bank data). The lack of any meaningful insight into the business environment of the specific countries he discusses is staggering. Most of his "evidence" involves anecdotes from personal travel experiences, e.g. on one trip I saw carts in the road, on the next trip I saw cars. For those of you hoping to get real insight into the N-11 (Next 11) countries, prepare to be grievously disappointed. There is next to nothing besides a list. O'Neill also professes what can only be called a "faith-based" belief that globalization benefits all and that the developed countries will regain their lost industries as consumer markets emerge around the world. The ONLY support for this position is the example of BMW exporting cars successfully to Russia and China. An example that is repeated more than a dozen times throughout the book and which he apparently came upon because a German friend had to wait 6 months for his BMW because of an order backlog for China. O'Neill may be right, but he hasn't marshaled any substantial evidence to support his views. I felt like I was listening to a pre-school teacher explaining economics to Toddlers, not a world renowned PhD economist.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2554414) out of 5 stars Bric's for dummies Jan. 28 2012
By Vasken trader - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very dissapointing. This book is just a Very basic suite of facts. For anybody who has any clues about the world economy today this is useless. It is biased and the analysis of political situations is soooo primitive it is laughable. We all believe in the Long-term Growth story of those markets but for any real insights, this is not the right book.
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa25542ac) out of 5 stars Good Information - Dec 16 2011
By Loyd Eskildson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
People in the West have lost their excitement about the future. The four BRIC countries are home to nearly 3 billion of the world's citizens. India and China formerly contributed about half the world's GDP. Aggregate GDP of the BRIC countries has close to quadrupled since 2001, from around $3 trillion to $11+ trillion, while the world economy has only doubled (and most of that due to the BRICs). China's GDP has risen from $500 billion in 1995 to $1.5 trillion in 2001, to $6 trillion currently.

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.