Front Notes: The new world

Mar 1, 2013

Jim O’Neill's grouping of the Brics in 2001 defined a concept for investment in the decade ahead. The acronym focused attention on the emerging markets, and investors who at the time bet on Brazil, Russia, India and China have done well for themselves. The MSCI Bric index has returned 20.7% over the last decade, outperforming the broader emerging markets index’s 17.1%.

Jim O'Neill's grouping of the Brics in 2001 defined a concept for investment in the decade ahead. The acronym focused attention on the emerging markets, and investors who at the time bet on Brazil, Russia, India and China have done well for themselves. The MSCI Bric index has returned 20.7% over the last decade, outperforming the broader emerging markets index's 17.1%.

But that has changed. The same emerging market index has outperformed its Brics counterpart for a third straight year - a fact that has prompted countless obituaries for the grouping over this period. History may well remember O'Neill's retirement from Goldman Sachs in February as the point when the Brics concept was knocked on the head once and for all.

Glance at Latin America and it has long been clear...

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