MOSCOW -- Countries like India and Brazil -- unlike, say, Germany and Japan a century ago -- are not seeking to overturn the world order. All they want is a place at the high table. Barring that, they have little choice but to build their own -- though India, Brazil and South Africa have reason to wonder if a Chinese-led world order would be an improvement on the current one.
In 2013, McKinsey & Company predicted that by 2025 almost 230 Fortune Global 500 companies would be based in cities in the emerging markets. Whilst I can't yet comment on whether this prediction is likely to come true, it is interesting to look at how companies are shifting their focus to these developing countries.
Like Glenn Greenwald, we should be concerned about the Azov Battalion and high-ranking extremists in the Ukrainian government. But the real darling of the far right is Putin. It's no surprise that European extremists are intoxicated by his authoritarian style. The mystery is why some on the left have also drunk the Kremlin's Kool-Aid.
If the Republican Party takes full control of the U.S. Congress in the midterm election, policy gridlock is likely to worsen, risking a rerun of the damaging fiscal battles that led last year to a government shutdown and almost to a technical debt default. More broadly, the gridlock will prevent the passage of important structural reforms that the U.S. needs to boost growth.
South American political elites seem to have jettisoned much of the high minded left idealism of past years in favor of crass economic interests. In a somewhat outlandish turn of events, Brazil has embraced Vladimir Putin, a figure who has desperately sought to end his country's political and diplomatic isolation.
Isolationist America's foreign policy and standing in the world has been further emasculated in the process. Conservative political pundits in the U.S. criticize President Obama for failing to act in a more decisive manner to stem the tide. They remain delusional in their belief that anything the U.S. can do will make a difference.
The "New Development Bank" announced in Fortaleza this week marks the launch of a collective lending platform steered exclusively by the BRICS countries. With an authorized capital of $100 billion, it could lend up to $34 billion per year. It is not an understatement to say that this is a new kind of bank for a new world order. For the first time in history, infrastructure spending consistently exceeds military expenditure.