Decline and fall of just about everyone
By Pepe Escobar
Sep 27, 2011
ore than 10 years ago, before 9/11, Goldman Sachs was predicting that the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) would make the world economy’s top 10 – but not until 2040. Skip a decade and the Chinese economy already has the number two spot all to itself, Brazil is number seven, India 10, and even Russia is creeping closer. In purchasing power parity, or PPP, things look even better. There, China is in second place, India is now fourth, Russia sixth, and Brazil seventh.
No wonder Jim O’Neill, who coined the neologism BRIC and is now chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, has been stressing that “the world is no longer dependent on the leadership of the US and Europe”. After all, since 2007, China’s economy as grown by 45%, the American economy by less than 1% – figures startling enough to make anyone take back their predictions.
American anxiety and puzzlement reached new heights when the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) projections indicated that, at least by certain measurements, the Chinese economy would overtake the US by 2016. (Until recently, Goldman Sachs was pointing towards 2050 for that first-place exchange.)
Within the next 30 years, the top five will, according to Goldman Sachs, likely be China, the US, India, Brazil and Mexico. Western Europe? Bye-bye!
A system stripped to its essence