18 July 2014

South Africa's Scramble for New Brics Bank


Now that the jeroboams of champagne have been drained by the delegations from the five BRICS nations over their announcement of two new financial institutions, is there more flash than flesh? J. BROOKS SPECTOR takes a first look.

As most people already know, a senior salesman's fancy patter and flashy packaging to encourage the sale of sovereign debt bonds under the Goldman Sachs flag (and thus yield an attractive commission) was the immaculate conception of the BRICS group - rather than any initiative by one of the members of the now formalized grouping. Initially, uber-salesman Jim O'Neill had defined the rapidly rising economies of China, Russia, Brazil and India as the go-go places for those-in-the-know, who should invest their smart money with Goldman Sachs' picks in those markets and get a jump on things, before everyone else figured it all out as well.

But, in a strange quirk of the world's political-economy, the chief marketeers, er, top leadership, of the aforementioned four nations decided there actually was a geopolitical niche for some kind of international grouping to breathe real life into O'Neill's marketing prospectus. And, as a bit of a lagniappe, a pasella, such a grouping could also become a...

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