Brazil has something of an identity crisis right now.
As protests continue, the world has been exposed to the massive social unrest in the country over inequality, corruption, and the adverse economics of preparing to host global sporting events like the upcoming World Cup.
Still, as one of the so-called BRIC countries — a term that has become less vogue as investors take a wider look at emerging market countries — Brazil is uniquely positioned to keep growing.
In his book — “Brazil Is The New America” — investment writer James Dale Davidson argues that Brazil is indeed the new America.
That is, Brazil will flourish and the U.S. will collapse. And it’ll happen this century.
Now, it’s important to note that many of his views would be considered extreme. And for what it’s worth, Donald Trump was quoted saying “This is a book about you future.”
Davidson spends a chunk of the book arguing the world is getting colder, but his parts about Brazil are worth remembering.
Here are his main points:
- The U.S. is leveraged and Brazil is underleveraged. Brazil’s growth has to do with income growth, not credit expansion.
- Demographically speaking, Brazil is poised for consumption. “Brazilian GDP has the potential to grow by an additional 2.5% a year solely as a result of demographic bonus that has increased the country’s most economically productive age group (15 to 64) to 130 million,” according to a University of Minas Gerais study.
- Brazil’s median age is 28.9, “low and at the beginning of the consumption cycle” (the U.S. is older at 36).
- Brazil has seen 15 million jobs created in the past eight years, and its per capita GDP has more than doubled in the last 10.
- Brazil has plenty of fertile land available for use, 865 million unused arable acres. That’s more than 2.5 times as large as U.S. farm land.
- On Rome’s America’s future: “The U.S. government is doomed to bankruptcy. Indeed it is already bankrupt. Never in the history of the world has any government owed as much money as the U.S. Treasury owes today.”
- In terms of energy, Brazil is growing at a time when oil and other energy-dense fuels are becoming scarce and more expensive.
- Other BRICS countries have water scarcity issues, but Brazil is the “Saudi Arabia of water” – Brazil has just 5.7% of the world’s landmass but 20% of the world’s freshwater flows through the Amazon basin.
- When it comes to new energy like biofuels, Brazil does it big (721.4 million litres of biodiesel a year)
There you have it. We’ll be sure to check back with Davidson in 50 years to see if he’s right.
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