The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

The N-11


Did anybody see the new IMF report raising the estimated GDP growth rate for the 47 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa for the second time this year . . . from 4.5% to 5%?

Those traditionally poor nations are growing more than twice as fast as the U.S. Does that bother anybody else? As an economist, it is not surprising, as it takes longer to get out of a recession when you must also pay down debt, like the U.S. As an American, however, it makes me sad.

One major reason the U.S. stock market is up this year is because it is a very multi-national market. Most of the huge multi-national companies are listed on the U.S. exchanges. As the rest of the world booms, we get some derived bounce. So, be glad the rest of the world is beginning to boom. They’re enjoying the fruits of capitalism, and we get a little as well!

We are all familiar with the BRIC acronym, originated at Goldman Sachs to describe the rapidly growing giants of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Their new one is the N-11 or next eleven countries to boom, i.e., Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Turkey, and Vietnam. They believe countries will rival the G-7 developed nations in this century. Wow, that is quite a statement!

Historically, we have referred to those markets as “frontier markets.” Maybe, we have arrived at the frontier, which can be a frightening, dangerous, and lawless place, especially to invest hard-earned savings! Be very careful!!!

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