- Gebundene Ausgabe: 292 Seiten
- Verlag: W W Norton & Co Inc; Auflage: 1 (9. April 2012)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0393080269
- ISBN-13: 978-0393080261
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,5 x 2,8 x 24,4 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4 Kundenrezensionen
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Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 9. April 2012
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The head of Morgan Stanley 's emerging markets division conducts a brisk worldwide tour in search of new markets ready for takeoff. No first-book jitters for Sharma, longtime columnist for the likes of Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal. His smooth, almost chummy style suits him ideally for guiding civilians through the sometimes-arcane thicket of the dismal science, looking for those emerging markets likely to disappoint or exceed expectations in the coming years... Confining his predictions to the near future, Sharma refreshingly comes across as that rare thing Harry Truman once sought: a 'one-handed economist' willing to stake his reputation without resort to on the other hand equivocation. For investors looking to place their bets and for general readers looking to understand the global economic landscape in the wake of the Great Recession.
Mr. Sharma 's intent is to help you find the best places around the world to invest, emphasizing that it will take some work on your part.
This week 's Book of the Week is, Breakout Nations by Ruchir Sharma, one of the world 's leading emerging market investors. This is the best book on global economic trends I ve read in a while. --Fareed Zakaria, CNN GPS
... it 's refreshing to read Breakout Nations, Ruchir Sharma 's book on the Bric countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and the rest of the developing world... [H]is book offers a careful view that has little truck with forecasts of the relentless Bric-led rise of the emerging world.
The head of Morgan Stanley s emerging markets division conducts a brisk worldwide tour in search of new markets ready for takeoff. No first-book jitters for Sharma, longtime columnist for the likes of Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal. His smooth, almost chummy style suits him ideally for guiding civilians through the sometimes-arcane thicket of the dismal science, looking for those emerging markets likely to disappoint or exceed expectations in the coming years... Confining his predictions to the near future, Sharma refreshingly comes across as that rare thing Harry Truman once sought: a 'one-handed economist' willing to stake his reputation without resort to on the other hand equivocation. For investors looking to place their bets and for general readers looking to understand the global economic landscape in the wake of the Great Recession. "
Breakout Nations works best as a compilation of highly illuminating country vignettes similar, say, to Michael Lewis' Boomerang... As with Mr. Lewis' work on the European crisis, for sheer readability and insight on the various parts of the ongoing developing world drama, I dare say you won't find a better choice. --Jonathan Anderson"
Accessible to newbies and revelatory for veterans, Sharma's observations upend conventional wisdom regarding what it takes to succeed in the relentlessly competitive global marketplace. "
[A] country-by-country tour de force of what makes emerging markets tick. He is an excellent writer with a keen eye for detail and a lyrical prose sense... As with Michael Lewis Boomerang on the European crisis, for sheer readability and insight on the various parts of the ongoing emerging drama I daresay you won t find a better choice. --Jon Anderson"
This week s Book of the Week is, Breakout Nations by Ruchir Sharma, one of the world s leading emerging market investors. This is the best book on global economic trends I ve read in a while. --Fareed Zakaria, CNN GPS"
In Breakout Nations, he takes us on a fascinating gallop through the countries at the edges of the developed world. Not only does he challenge the accepted wisdom that China and India will motor on, ad infinitum but he comes up with some surprising candidates for the next decade's economic stars. "
This is among the best books to understand the emerging world and its positive and negative aspects. Sharma matches the brilliance of Thomas L Friedman, author of the widely cited The World is Flat. "
Breakout Nations is basically an investors lonely planet guide to the world for the new century.
Mr. Sharma s intent is to help you find the best places around the world to invest, emphasizing that it will take some work on your part."
At the core of this impressive book is the counter-intuitive argument that the boom of the mid-2000s was a blip in the long historical trend for emerging economies and that the next decade may be one of decelerating. In Sharma s view, the much-hyped decline of the West and emergence of the rest may take a lot longer than optimists would like to believe."
... it s refreshing to read Breakout Nations, Ruchir Sharma s book on the Bric countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and the rest of the developing world... [H]is book offers a careful view that has little truck with forecasts of the relentless Bric-led rise of the emerging world."
A primer to guide us... this is a great road-map to the new and better-balanced world in which we will all live, and an encouraging one.
It is really the focus of economic attention around the world. It is a whole new look at which economies are going to be winners and which are going to be losers.--Prannoy Roy, NDTV
There is no better book for country-by-country accounts of emerging markets (and riskier ones called frontier markets). Its strong point is the author s reliance on grassroots experience in each country, avoiding statistical charts."
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Head of emerging markets and global macro at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Ruchir Sharma is the author of the international bestseller Breakout Nations. He writes frequently for the Wall Street Journal and Foreign Affairs and lives in New York City.
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In diesem Buch untersucht er diverse Länder, welche aktuell den Kreis der Emerging Markets zugeordnet sind. Neben den BRICS-Staaten, Mexico, Polen, die Tschechische Republik und Ungarn im Vergleich, die Türkei, die Philippinen, Indonesien und Malaysia im Vergleich und Süd-Korea.
Das Buch wurde 2012 veröffentlicht und enthält daher größtenteils die Schlussfolgerungen von Mitte/Ende 2011. Mittlerweile sind nun gut 2 bis 2,5 Jahre vergangen und es ist interessant zu sehen, wie sich die Schlussfolgerungen und Vorhersagen von Ruchir Sharma entwickelt haben. Ich muss sagen, dass die Entwicklungen die Sharma beschreibt bis auf die betreffend der Türkei von ihm recht gut beschrieben wurden (aktuell läuft nur Sharmas Einschätzung, dass Erdogan der große Einer der „modernen“ und muslimischen Teile der Bevölkerung etwas der Realität entgegen).
Nach dieser umfassenden Besprechung der Emerging Markets nimmt Sharma nun die Frontier Markets kurz unter die Lupe. Ein sehr interessantes Kapitel, dessen einzig negativer Aspekt ist, dass es viel zu kurz ist.
Abgeschlossenen wird das das Ganze mit meinem kurzen historischen, aktuellen und zukünftigen Vergleich der Emerging Markets mit den entwickelten Industrieländern, sowie einen kurzen zukünftigen Ausblick, wie sich die Emerging Markets an sich weiterentwickeln werden.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
Books designed to highlight relative investment opportunities are very difficult to write. First, they quickly become dated. A newsletter would seem like a more appropriate place to share the information on a regular basis. Second, you have to know a lot about many subjects or your observations don't have much value. Third, if you don't include information that investors want to know, they don't see much value in what you provide. Fourth, there's a tremendous amount of fact-checking required unless you just wing it. Fifth, it can be dry, dry, dry.
I found that Mr. Ruchir Sharms, head of Emerging Market Equities and Global Macro at Morgan Stanley Investment Management did an above average job in Breakout Nations.
Here's the good news. He's been to these countries and provides "on the ground" perspectives that go beyond the usual statistics. He tries to pick on bigger themes so that his observations won't go out of date so fast. He also warns readers on what to watch out for should things change (as they inevitably do). He addresses industry sectors where there should be divergences within a nation. He also has a mental framework that he uses to size up markets and pretty consistently applies that method to his reports. He also has a pleasant writing style that relies a lot on anecdotes and factoids that serve as straws in the wind to make his points.
Here's the bad news. It is dated. You'll learn an awful lot more about GDP potential than individual stocks to buy. It's awfully thin in covering some nations. I didn't always feel confident that I could draw the indicated conclusion from the facts presented.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
Dickes MINUS: Absolut sichtbare Schleifspuren und Staubspuren auf dem Buch. Wo habt ihr das Ding hergezogen???
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His first major conclusion is that China's growth will slow sharply. Total debt as a share of GDP is rising, its cheap labor advantage is rapidly disappearing, its consumers are already strongly participating in its new economy - spending has increased nearly 9%/year for 30 years, and some estimate China already has a 25% share of the world's luxury market, its 'one-child' policy is now bringing an aging population (average age 37 in 2020, vs. 29 in India and 49 in Europe), its highway network is already second only to the U.S., slightly more than half its population is now city-dwelling (691 million), developers have built 'ghost cities' and malls, and its economy is already quite large - the world's second largest.
Sharma is even more negative on India. Major problems include its bloated government, crony capitalism, a general reluctance of farmers to leave their land, a state much less able than China to provide world-class infrastructure (it's struggling to arrange sufficient grain storage capacity while people are starving, cannot provide reliable power to existing businesses), investment by Indian businesses have decline from 17% GDP in 2008 to 13% and their overseas operations now account for over 10% of overall corporate profitability, public debt/GDP has reached the 70% level, and there are high demands for social welfare.
Brazil, like India, also has high expectations for state-provided social welfare, its currency has risen sharply, growth has fallen to 4% GDP/year during the 2003-07 period, and to combat inflation, Brazil has one of the highest interest rates in the world - leading to an influx of even more currency. Government spending has risen from 20% of GDP in the 1980s to 40% in 2010, while productivity grew at only 0.2% between 1980='08, vs. 4%/year in China. Trucks carrying sugar to Sao Paulo's port wait 2-3 days for lack of space and unloading equipment. Investment levels are only 19%, vs. China's 50%, the average student leaves school after 7 years, vs. 8 in China. New infrastructure spending averages 2% GDP in Brazil vs. 10% in China. The 'good news' is that it now produces 2 mbd of oil and this is expected to reach 6 mbd by 2020.
Mexico's top ten business families control almost every industry in Mexico, with market shares ranging between 60 - 80%. U.S. corporate profits average about 12% GDP, in Mexico they're 25%. Economic expansion there in the last decade averaged 3%/year, students there rank near the bottom in international comparisons, and drug violence has been endemic since 2007. China's average wage was about one-third Mexico's in 2002, now is about 13% less. A new antitrust law was passed in 2011, and resulted in a $1 billion fine levied on Carlos Slim's America Movil over termination fees - it remains to be seen whether he'll pay.
Russia's government closely controls what is said on TV, but not in the papers. Despite a relatively high per capita income, citizens incur frequent power outages. Moscow and St. Petersburg are connected by a modern rail system from Germany, but the average age of the rest of its rail system is 20 years old, and runs quite slowly. Roads and airports are old. Oil comprises about half of the government's income. Personal income tax rates have been lowered to 13%, and average income is up from $1,500 in the late 1990s to $13,000 currently - double that in China. Between 2003 and 2007 growth averaged 8%/year, with Russian companies doing the best. Pensions were raised from 25% of income to 40% after oil hit $140/barrel; state-owned companies account for 56% of the stock market. (Russia owns 51 - 60%.)
Sharma believes it is common for authoritarians in developing countries to extend their power, citing as examples Cameroon, Nigeria, Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina, and now Russia. (But not China.) Despite Russia having been first into space and has produced 27 Nobel winners in science, mathematics, and economics, it has no global manufacturing companies on its stock exchange. One of its disadvantages is that it is one of the 20 least populated nations in the world, creating logistics challenges, especially for retailing. Nearly 80% of its 100 billionaires (115 in China) reached that status in commodities. Most Russians pay cash to buy a house, small business interest rates run 15 - 20%, its currency was devalued in 1991 and 1998. Bribery is rampant, and direct foreign investment in 2010 was negative. It has one of the world's worst aging problems, and about 40,000 inflow of immigrants/year (mostly Russian-speaking from former satellites).
Where are the best places to invest? Sharma's analysis and reporting continues, and he eventually concludes that the Czech Republic, South Korea, Turkey, then possibly Poland, Indonesia, and Turkey are the best candidates. As for the U.S. - he sees a good possibility of a manufacturing revival in lower wage states after 2015, and believes Germany is also well positioned because it has invested in facilities in low-wage European nations.
Bottom-Line: 'Breakout Nations' provides interesting introductory material. However, readers should recognize that even if China slows down 3 - 4 percentage points as Sharma predicts, it has become so large that even that will represent sizable aggregate progress. Further, China has been making major strides to move up the value chain - buying Western firms (eg. Volvo), locating facilities in the U.S. (Haier America) and Europe, encouraging/forcing American technology firms to locate R&D and manufacturing in China as a condition for selling in China (G.E., Caterpillar, Intel, etc.), is moving into more complex manufacturing (now the world-leading ship builder, producing heavy construction equipment, wind-power generation, developing CPUs; is a leader in biotechnology research), and dominates the solar power industry. It's not going to fade away, even if its growth rate declines.
These small mistakes apart there are a couple of underlying themes that I felt are important for anyone considering buying the text. Though the book claims to be looking at the long term returns from different economies and the author's predictions about the same he presents a very narrow view of looking at policies and tools.
Let us look at something of relevance to the American audience. The book claims that in the aftermath of the Great Depression the US followed Hayek's paradigm to let the markets clear out ill resources and return to health and the result was that the US economy doubled in size in the next 20 odd years. While it is true that the government or the Fed intervened very little in the early part of the recession in 1929 the recession did not end till 1933 and by then a few things had happened:
1. The Fed intervened and brought more liquidity into the system.
2. The dollar was devalued (by almost 75%) essentially creating inflationary expectations in a deflationary economy.
3. The New Deal was brought in.
The first two steps clearly are monetary stimulus, and the last one is nothing but a fiscal stimulus. The real growth that brought US to the forefront of the world was the war fueled spending during WW II. None of this is a free market and invisible hand policy approach. So the claim that the US economy doubled in size because the policy makers of the day left the market fend for itself are on vary shaky grounds. Putting that as a matter of fact is in my opinion outright peddling of ideology.
The book further claims that the reason for Japan's lost decades even in the midst of one of the largest fiscal and monetary stimuli was that Japan did not let markets correct the problems in the economy. Japan managed to grow out of the ravages of WW II and managed to produce numbing growth with the same model and no natural resources to speak of for more than 4 decades! How come the model is good when it works, and not good when it does not? I think a much better analysis of the Japanese story is in Richard Koo's The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics: Lessons from Japan's Great Recession [HOLY GRAIL OF MACROECONO].
One other point that he does not take into account is that though Japan's economy has not grown at a rapid rate in the last 20 years its per-capita income is very much at par with other developed nations. With the population virtually stagnant and a high standard of living an argument can be made that the people do not care what international investors think of! The difference between Japan and China (or for that matter India) is that China has 4 times as many people as the US: it is not a small state. So the sheer size of the Chinese economy is bound to grow and become larger than the US in our lifetime.
The book insists on using market exchange rates to make comparisons. It makes sense as a selling point if one can use it to paint a more contrasting picture but for a book on international economies not bothering to mention PPP rates does not seem to be an oversight. On the basis of market exchange rates the developing economies may look smaller, but market exchange rates include a lot more information than just the cost of goods and services. So his insistence on using market exchange rates was a bit off-putting.
What I loved about the book was the frequent reminders that leadership matters, and good leaders produce good results. I will talk about the country I know the most of: India. The growth rate of the nation as a whole has come down to about 6-7%, but there are states within the country that are growing at or above double digits: most notably Bihar and Gujarat. The reason I chose these states are that the state leaders are by all counts the most enterprising of all state leaders in the country, but the contrast is that Bihar is the poorest state in the nation, and Gujarat is the richest. But they are both growing at more than 10%. So the small base story does not seem to be very valid on the face of it. Good leaders on the other hand are important. One of the biggest arguments for the slowdown of the national economy has been that the central leadership has been mired with socialist ideals and leaders. One of the most commonly used term in the country today is Policy Paralysis. Time magazine's Asia edition even carried a cover story with the Indian prime-minister on the cover with the title "The Underachiever."
The other thing I loved was a very concise description of modern economic histories of all major developing economies in the world. I am inclined to include the text in my reading list for my International Finance students.
Read the book. It is fun, but take some of the claims with a pinch of salt. When I read something I keep the person's position in mind and make appropriate deviations from the claims. Do the same with this book: the author is a major investment banker! When reading anything from Stiglitz or Reich or Krugman I make it a point to look to the right for better analysis, and when reading Friedman or Hayek or anything from Wall Street I look to the left. I do not claim to be anywhere close to any of these guys but it just makes better sense to keep people's ideological positions in mind when reading their work. As is said there are lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics. We can crank up numbers to prove anything but if we have an idea of where the person is coming from it makes it easier to take a more balanced view of things on hand.
I am, sadly, not personally seeking an investment home for a few billions of spare cash, but I read the book out of a growing curiosity about what the global economy may come to look like in the relatively near future: about the real likelihood of a decline of the West and the apparently inexorable rise of China and other emerging economies. This book gave me everything I wanted, and more.
Sharma's key point is that it is no longer useful or sensible to talk about 'emerging markets' as one investment opportunity: these markets make up nearly 40% of the global economy and about 15% of the value of the world's stock markets and there are highly significant differences between individual economies. Here's the basic plot: a 'breakout nation' (the ones investors might be especially interested in) is one that can exceed, or at least match, the growth rate for its income class. To get a rounded view of individual markets, Sharma monitors per capita income (so much more revealing than GDP), but also some more idiosyncratic measures, such as the cost of a cocktail or a hotel room (the high relative cost of cocktails and hotel rooms in Brazil, Russia and South Africa suggests that their currency is over-valued, affecting their future competitiveness)and whether local businesses are investing their money at home or overseas (perhaps not a measure of impressive global ambitions, but rather a reflection of mistrust of the economic situation at home).
Sharma's focus on per capita income is especially revealing. For the relatively small economy of the Czech Republic, for example, which has a relatively high $20,000 per capita income, 'breaking out' would require a potentially achievable growth of around 3 to 4 percent. For China, currently still in the region of $5,000 per capita average income, 'anything less than 6 to 7 percent [growth] will feel like a recession.' Sharma drives home the point in his chapter dedicated to the current Chinese economy and its immediate prospects: 'In 1998, for China to grow its $1 trillion economy by 10 percent, it had to expand its economic activities by $100 billion and consume only 10 percent of the world's industrial commodities - the raw materials that include everything from oil to copper to steel. In 2011, to grow its $6 trillion economy that fast, it needed to expand by $600 billion a year and suck in more than 30 percent of global commodity production.' It's a simple point: it much easier to grow fast from a smaller base. Now China`s workforce is becoming more expensive: more middle class and more middle aged, as the country's population growth begins to decline. This leads to one of Sharma's key conclusions (key, that is, if you are a bit over-obsessed with China, as most of us are): growth in the Chinese economy will inevitably slow down,believes Sharma, to maybe 6 or 7 percent. This will not, clearly, be disastrous for China (despite the fact that this may feel like going backwards to the Chinese themselves) and it may calm fears about China's role in the world: Sharma records that a 2011 Gallup poll recorded that 52% of Americans thought that China was the world's leading economy, while only 32% of thought that America's was. America is, in fact, the world's leading economy: China's economy is one third of the size, and average income is one tenth of America's. Concerns about America's economic future, says Sharma, may well be 'over-wrought'.
China is, of course, only one chapter in the book's analysis of world markets. Sharma focuses his microscope on every significant 'emerging' nation. India? Perhaps over-reliant on the 'demographic dividend'; large numbers of working-age people are only an advantage if they can be put to productive work, and India's population has yet to emulate the Chinese model, where higher proportions of the population have moved from the countryside to more productive and higher-paying jobs in urban areas. Brazil? Not enough investment in infrastructure (roads and factories), too dependent on exporting commodities; too quick to develop a welfare state. Mexico? An oligopoly, where state monopolies were sold off and immediately turned into private monopolies. Russia? 'An oil state that has lost its way' - a bit of a mixture of Brazil and Mexico. South Africa? Sill living on the 'peace dividend': the nation's gratefulness for the end to apartheid and the avoidance of what could easily have become civil war. Sri Lanka? Well-placed to benefit seriously from the real 'peace dividend' resulting from the end of their own civil conflict. South Korea? 'The gold medallist': adaptive; innovative; focussed on high-value manufacturing; prepared to undergo brief periods of 'creative destruction' when changing economic circumstances reveal structural weaknesses. An object lesson to us all, in fact.
Two fundamental points that Sharma makes resonated particularly with me. The first is that the West as become too concerned with 'soft landings' and that bringing these about by means of government-sponsored economic measures tends merely to prolong economic agony, whereas short sharp shocks (the South Korean way) can be invigorating. The second is that free-market democracies are not the only route to economic success and that several command economies have been remarkably successful. The secret, however, he suggests, lies in the dynamism and vision of key leaders (for example, China's arguably pivotal reformer, the late Deng Xiaoping).
There is even an uplifting conclusion to the book. China's current insatiable appetite for resources (oil, metals etc) will soon tail off - and anyway, as Sharma reminds us, China is mainly using resources that would have been used elsewhere, before so much manufacturing moved to China. Sharma believes that current pessimistic fears about the exhaustion of the world's resources is over-blown and that a 'commodity.com' bubble can be clearly seen in the fact that the daily volume of trades in energy futures (speculative bets on the future price of energy) is twenty-two times higher than the daily global demand for energy: our fears about future resources are driving a fever of speculative activity that will surely end in a commodities price crash. This will be good news for many of us - but not, for example, for commodity-based economies such as Russia and Brazil. In the meantime, as more and more economies become slowly wealthier, we will all have more neighbours to sell things to.
Please do not imagine that I have been able even to mention every interesting fact and idea covered in this book. It's a bit of dense read; one can sense its origins as a collection of 'special reports' for the Wall Street Journal etc, but it has been well transformed into a good read, with interesting bits of colour from Sharma's obviously jet-setting lifestyle. I had a mild (well, severe) attack of status anxiety when Sharma recounts that, when he was reluctant to fly to the previously Tamil rebel region of Sri Lanka in the only-available single-engine helicopter (a model with a bit of a reputation for crashing) his 'accommodating hosts arranged for the air force to take me up in a twin-engine helicopter.' Remind me to try that trick if I ever holiday, tourist class, in Sri Lanka, as I hope to. I guess if Mr Sharma likes what he sees in a country, that could be rather more significant in terms of future inward investment than if the Gifford family takes a fancy to a place.
I have one very minor gripe: the book's few photographs are slightly randomly positioned in the text, leading to sudden geographic confusion. Thus a photograph of Manila crops up in a section on Indonesia; the section of the Philippines comes several pages later. The index confirms that a photograph of Nigeria's burgeoning film industry, `Nollywood' is on page 186, whereas the reference in the text comes full 25 pages later. Maybe it's my newspaper and magazine background: I like my pictures to illustrate the text I am reading. But I am being pedantic.
In the meantime, having small-mindedly moaned about some interesting photographs and failed utterly to list every interesting area covered in this book, I'm off to read it all over again.
Page 41: "In 2002 Google purchased a California-based social networking site called Orkut, to compete with Myspace and Facebook in forty-eight languages..."
FACT: In 2002, Facebook and Myspace did not exist. Facebook, founded in Feb. 2004, and Myspace, founded in Aug. 2003, came between Google's in-house launch of Orkut in June 2004. Yup, Google didn't even buy a "California-based social networking" company called Orkut. Orkut Büyükkökte, an employee at Google, built the site while working for the company during his free time in 2004 (not 2002).
Page 109: "In the early years of the Depression the United States followed the advice not of Keynes but of the then-more fashionable Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek, who counseled that the job of government in the face of a downturn was to stay out of the way and let market forces liquidate the deadbeats and deadwood in the economy. The result was a severe U.S. contraction and 25 percent unemployment rate, but by 1950 the economy had nearly doubled in size compared with the 1929 peak. The pain had unleashed a boom, just as Hayek said it would. Contrast that to Japan, which responded to its severe recession in 1990 with every possible stimulus and bailout known to Keynesians (and then some), and today has an economy only 20 percent larger than it was in 1990."
FACT: He's a Hayek apologist! Where he gets it so wrong: "...but by 1950 the economy had nearly doubled." Sharma credits this "doubling" to Hayek counseling the government to stay out of the way, but in reality, the economy recovered after the government increased spending (a Keynesian idea) to support World War II between 1939 to 1945. It was government spending from World War II, not Hayek who spurred the economy after the Great Depression.
FACT: Japan followed the economic advice of Milton Friedman, not John Maynard Keynes, to solve the nation's imbalances in the 90s. It's important to understand the difference between monetary stimulus and fiscal stimulus in order to catch the lie in this case. In the 90s, as Japan's economy started to tank, the government, instead of boosting government spending, resorted to lowering the interest rates and using other monetary stimulus (not more spending) to control the supply of money. This failed. As a result, Japan's government proposed irrelevant Thatcherite supply-side changes, including privatizing the post office. This also failed. In fact, Japan is only now starting to grow, at a rate of 4.1 percent as of May, after the nation ignored Friedman and listed to Keynes by boosting fiscal spending.
These discrepancies, in some cases small (like Orkut) and others large, make me not trust the author one bit. The entire book is poorly sourced, and misinformed. It makes me question his credentials to work for Morgan Stanley because he's clearly and poetically dumb.
Being responsible for important asset allocation at a major wealth management firm naturally means the author will have to take views and make decisions based on their beliefs and given their knowledge. The author believes that much is at risk in Brazil, India, China, Mexico and Russia. For him, he favours Korea which has managed to move very much into the category of innovative countries focusing on consumer demand, which the author makes the point of showing that consumer goods is where the long term growth is. He focuses on distribution of wealth, where retained profits are being invested, what the governments are doing and the nature of their trade and reform agendas. These commentaries are very straightforward to read and much information is included in a concise fashion. The author discusses what has been working for economies and spends time considering what might go wrong for them in the future.
Despite enjoying much of what was written, there is a fair amount of opinion that is marketed as fact and there are many points he makes that the author's own commentary discredit. In particular the author has been making the argument that easy monerary policy is just fuelling speculative commodity demand and has been very detrimental in the recovery. That is speculation, not fact and there is no counterfactual we can point to. Commodity speculation might have been increasing but there has been fundamental demand growth in commodities due to Chinas focus on FAI growth. Monetary policy no doubt can impact the price but the degree is not in the least bit obvious. Another example of reasoning the can be discredited is the observation that growth in post war periods is higher than average (this is obvious isnt it?) and then makes the comment that markets dont price that growth aspect properly, several pages later there is another statement concerning the probability a nation goes back to war having recently emerged as being 40%. That would explain why people find if hard to buy equity in countries recently emerging from war wouldnt it? The author's narratives are fun to read and he debunks much that people talk about when it comes to emerging markets. The economic commentary is suspect and much of what the author states with confidence is just his opinion for which many with much evidence strongly disagree. Consider the example of Turkey, a country the author very much is a fan of which has recently been the target of the economist (after this publication) as well as the subject of a comprehensive GS piece in which on robust statistical measures it has significant risks or consider Korea which has large demographic issues which it faces and high personal debt levels which the author casually mentions. Which is right, who knows, but the authors views are definitely not unbiased and one should not invest in his favorites without doing more research.