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The Emerging Market Game Changer Is Here

The group of five nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, otherwise known as the BRICS – is making some intriguing financial, economic, and political moves.

They're committing tens of billions of dollars each to organize their own versions of an IMF and World Bank.

Many observers thought the BRICS nations would encounter too many obstacles to collaborate effectively.

But after announcing such plans just over a year ago, the next BRICS summit in July is likely to see the official launch of these institutions.

The implications are huge for investors…

Here's What Created the Original IMF and World Bank

In the aftermath of World War II, the IMF and World Bank were offspring of Bretton Woods in 1944.

According to the IMF's own website, they are "twin intergovernmental pillars supporting the structure of the world's economic and financial order."

But what purpose do they serve, exactly?

The IMF was established as a "voluntary and cooperative institution" to help counteract what were seen as lingering financial problems that led to the 1930s Great Depression, including abrupt and unpredictable currency exchange valuations and general protectionism.

More recently since the financial crisis, the IMF has made subsidized loans to troubled members, both developed and developing.

The World Bank, formally known as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, was initially set up to lend to Western European economies ravaged by WWII. Later, the Bank focused increasingly on developing nations. Its main aim is "to promote economic and social progress in developing countries by helping to raise productivity so that their people may live a better and fuller life."

So why would the BRICS be interested in setting up its own institutions?

If you consider that these five nations represent 41% of the world population and 20% of global trade, their reasons become a whole lot clearer.

The Drivers Behind the "BRICS Bank"

Proponents of the new currency reserve pool (as an alternative to the IMF) make no bones about why they are forging ahead with their plans.

Russian Ambassador-at-Large Vadim Lukov has commented that "given that governance of the IMF is in the hands of western powers, there is little hope for assistance from the IMF in case of an emergency. That is why the currency reserve pool would come in very handy."

Lukov speaks from recent, sobering experience.

The financial crisis led to multiple bailouts in Western European nations in particular, including Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Cyprus.

But more recently, when the U.S. Fed finally said it would cut its $85 billion monthly stimulus, the taper tantrum hit emerging markets especially hard.

Hot money fled the BRICS, slamming their capital markets and weighing heavily on their currencies.

The proposed currency reserve pool would act as an insurance policy against such routs. Members could call on the fund if they face a budget deficit or other financial difficulty. An injection of foreign currency would help a member deal with a shortfall.

Although plans were already in the works, the emerging markets sell-off provided extra impetus to reach these goals sooner. Lukov has recently indicated that both institutions would be operational by 2015.

In fact, the members have even determined how much each will contribute: China will commit $41 billion; Brazil, Russia, and India each $18 billion; and South Africa $5 billion. Respectively they are proportionate to the size of each nation's economy.

But the BRICS are not only interested in helping themselves exclusively.

Join the conversation. Click here to jump to comments…

About the Author

Peter Krauth is the Resource Specialist for Money Map Press and has contributed some of the most popular and highly regarded investing articles on Money Morning. Peter is headquartered in resource-rich Canada, but he travels around the world to dig up the very best profit opportunity, whether it's in gold, silver, oil, coal, or even potash.

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  1. Frank | May 5, 2014

    Quoting from your article, "As Ilya Prilepsky, member of the Economic Expert Group explained, "For example, it would be in BRICS' interest to give a loan to an African country for a hydropower development program, where BRICS countries could supply their equipment or act as the main contractor."

    How many have read the autobiographical books of John Perkins "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" (2005) and the sequel "The Secret History of the American Empire" (2007) where Perkins delineates his actions under contract to a subcontract firm of the IMF; that of making loans to 3rd world nations so the funds become funneled back to US based contract firms AND makes a debt slave of the 3rd world nation to the IMF.

    What you have described then is that this BRICS bank intends to get into the same business of enslaving these other 3rd world nations to itself.

  2. Prof. Chris Boyejo | May 5, 2014

    Now that Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and has replaced South Africa, I think the BRICS should now be christened: BRINCS to accommodate Nigeria. I think it is pertinent that the planners take step to contact Nigeria.

    Please let me know how I can contribute.

    Chris Boyejo, PhD, FCMA
    Tel: +234 802 599 2786
    Skype: christopher.boyejo1

    Executive Presidential Special Adviser for Private
    Registration No: OIG4.

  3. Margaret | May 5, 2014

    With as many problems that the EURO has created it is frightening to think more countries are developing another EURO type currency. There is a domino effect and collapse will be devastating.

  4. fallingman | May 5, 2014

    This is indeed huge, and it happened very fast.

    99.9% don't know it yet, but the clownbuck is toast. BRIC by brick, the empire starts to be dismantled.

    Frank's undoubtedly right that the new boyz want in on the 3rd world debt slave trade, but that's a sidenote. The blockbuster here is that the parts of the world not in the club have formed their own #%$@&! club to get out from under the thumb of the combine. They'll soon be able to tell the IMF and World Bank to shove it.

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