Tag Archives: paul schulte

BRIC building: the future of Brazil, Russia, India and China

Summary: Today we have a follow-up by Paul Schulte to Does corruption limit China’s growth, or pose a threat to its existence? He looks at the leading emerging nations, comparing them to the US and UK at similar point in their evolution to greatness.



Guest Post by Paul Schulte
Institutional Investor magazine, in press
Republished here with his generous permission.


The challenge of the BRICs

The November/December 2012 edition of Foreign Affairs Magazine had an article called “How the BRICS Are Crumbling” by Ruchir Sharma (head of Emerging Markets at Morgan Stanley). The tone of the article seems off the mark. The BRICs {Brazil, Russia, India, China} are slowing because they are trying to slow credit growth due to the links of their currencies to the US dollar. They are trying to slow down credit growth while the West desperately uses zero interest rates to accelerate credit growth. So, the West and the BRICs are operating at cross purposes.

The BRICs countries have dollar-linked currencies, so when interest rates are zero in the West and high in BRICs countries they will be bombarded with capital seeking a higher return. This causes their currencies to appreciate, jeopardizing growth. Or, the BRICs countries must intervene domestically to force banks to slow credit growth as these banks fill with cash. Either way they encounter forces which cause their currencies to rise and credit growth to accelerate. This is a classic cocktail for a real estate bubble and accelerating inflation.

Brazil and China are experiencing the same phenomenon now. Both are essentially trying to slow down their respective economies, although China has been more successful.

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All about deflation, the quiet killer of modern economies

Summary:  An oddity of the great recession is our obsession with the threat of inflation while debt deflation ravages the economy.   Asset prices fall, causing loan defaults and bankruptcies — while many guru’s warn of hyperinflation.  This is one aspect of the great forgetting, how we’ve forgotten so much knowledge of economics painfully gained during the Great Depression and afterwords.  Perhaps the tombstones of the western economies should read Killed By Ignorance.

A vivid description of debt deflation, and why it’s a very bad thing:  “Like a glacier descending a mountain, debt deflation flattens everything”, Paul Schulte, Nomura, 7 June 2010 — Excerpt:

Debt deflation harms everything in its path during a period when a country is trying to work off high debt levels AND trying to maintain stable growth rates. As the value of assets (homes, buildings and stores) goes down, liabilities (fixed-price callable debt) stay the same. The need to liquidate quickly to pay down debt — 

  • generates losses,
  • brings down collateral values,
  • causes deterioration in credit conditions and
  • causes strains on bank capital.

The strain on bank capital causes banks to restrict bank lending and a liquidity crisis morphs into a solvency crisis.

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