Sunday, August 29, 2010

Debt and Demography as Destiny: Emerging Markets Not Immune

Many analysts are predicting that the emerging markets (BRICs etc) will own the 21st century, due to a superior budget balance, with far less debt than the more developed nations. But these analysts may be omitting some of the most important elements in their analyses.
Already in the decade before the 2008–2009 economic crisis, a number of factors favored considerably faster economic growth in the emerging market economies than in the industrialized countries. In contrast to the slow-growing and aging populations in the industrialized countries, emerging market economies are characterized by younger and faster growing populations. At the same time, savings rates in non-Japan Asia have considerably exceeded those in the G-7, while the emerging market economies are taking full advantage of the potential to grow rapidly through simply catching up technologically to the industrialized countries.

In the years immediately ahead, one must expect that the emerging market economies will retain many of the advantages that have favored their rapid growth in the recent past. There is now every reason to expect that these advantages will be amplified by the sounder public finances that characterize the emerging market economies. And there is also every reason to expect that, as they become even more important in the global economy, the emerging markets will become increasingly more vocal in pressing their case for their representation in international economic organizations like the International Monetary Fund to more fairly reflect their relative importance. _American

The author above rightly contrasts the prospects of "slow-growing and aging populations" with those of "younger and faster growing populations." And yet he forgets to look at another aspect of demography: intelligence. If the population average IQ is below 90, the long-term prospects for that country are not good -- unless it possesses a high-IQ market dominant minority.

So, looking at the author's "circle of favour" above, one would have to cross off South Africa. One would also have to cast a jaundiced eye at Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, and Turkey -- all with average population IQs below 90. The future of those nations depends in large part upon how they choose to treat their market-dominant minorities, and how they deal with internal violence and corruption.

Although it is immensely wealthy in terms of minerals and energy, Russia, also, must be ejected from the "circle of favour," due to its collapsing demographics combined with its ominous trends back toward a Soviet-style centralisation of power, and reversion to tyranny.

China's economic miracle has been based almost entirely upon exports to Europe and North America. As those export markets have cooled, China has attempted to create internal markets out of nothing, building huge empty cities, apartment complexes, and shopping malls. As all of that wasted wealth (on top of the wasteful and corrupt state-owned enterprises) takes its toll on the nation's economy, economic stresses will likely lead to additional catastrophic decision-making by central planners.

South Korea and Taiwan score well economically, and on average population IQ. Both nations are, however, sitting under significant military threats from close neighbors. In addition, both nations are prone to the same demographic shrinkage that most affluent nations are prone to.

The US is being stripped for salvage by its ruling class. Only a significant re-revolution and return to constitutional ideals -- and a savage disciplining and down-sizing of governments at all levels -- can save the US from its designed dismantling. The US is likely to be dismantled, in other words.

After it becomes clear to the rest of the world that the US under Obama Pelosi is truly becoming a "paper tiger", significant shifting of alliances may well occur. But stability is not likely, until the human technological infrastructure evolves.

1 comment:

bruce said...

The United States position as leader will carry over for awhile. Being the big boy and having made the rest of the world reliant on our position gives us a few extra years.
Since everyone is invested in the U.S. no one wants to see their investment disappear. So none of our investors will call in their debt. Sort of a wishful thinking position.
If we were to fail it would drag down the worlds economy so its become important for other countries to carry the U.S..
Eventually that position we have will dissolve.