The term “BRIC”—coined by Goldman’s Jim O’Neill 10 years ago to denote Brazil, Russia, India, and China—should really denote “Bloody ridiculous investment concept,” writes Societe Generale strategist Albert Edwards in a note out this morning.
That’s because the BRICs—as well as emerging markets in general—are actually doing terrible right now; even worse than the struggling eurozone.
He writes that the only reason investors are continually pumping money into BRIC countries is a deluded fantasy that investment returns are tantamount to growth. But this dream won’t come true when they’re paying out the nose to invest:
It is no different from many of the other investment fantasies I have witnessed over the last 25 years only to see them end in severe disappointment. If growth does matter to investors, they should be worried that things seem to be slowing sharply in the BRIC universe, most especially in Brazil and India…The crucial driver investors are missing is the change in global liquidity as measured by growth in EM foreign exchange reserves. Confidence often ebbs as growth slows and EM economies are seeing a sharp drop in reserves and liquidity tightening.
He says that this graph comparing BRIC equity markets to markets in the eurozone and around the world just proves his point: