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Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles Hardcover – 3 May 2012
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In lucid prose Sharma overturns conventional wisdom, highlights new trends, and discovers new sources of growth. This is the most interesting book on the new economic landscape that I have read in years. (Fareed Zakaria )
A fascinating gallop through the countries at the edges of the developed world. Not only does he challenge the accepted wisdom - that China and India will motor on, ad infinitum - but he comes up with some surprising candidates for the next decade's economic stars. (Sunday Times )
This is a great road-map to the new and better-balanced world in which we will all live, and an encouraging one. (Independent )
This is a book of fascinating analyses which argues that the growth nations of the future will emerge from the margins of the world economy. It will tell you the price of a cocktail in Rio and bases one fruitful line of argument on the cost of a bedroom in the Four Seasons hotel chain around the world. (The Scotsman )
Breakout Nations works best as a compilation of highly illuminating country vignettes - similar, say, to Michael Lewis' Boomerang (2011) - rather than an overarching analysis. But this is hardly an affront. As with Mr. Lewis' work on the European crisis, for sheer readability and insight on the various parts of the ongoing developing world drama, [....] you won't find a better choice... (Jon Anderson, Wall Street Journal )
About the Author
Ruchir Sharma is head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley, a position which lends him a truly global perspective and first-hand experience of the world he is describing, as well as affording him unique access to top CEOs, key finance ministers and heads of state. He is an occasional television commentator, on CNBC and in India, and a regular columnist for Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal and the Economic Times of India.
Top customer reviews
The aim of the book.
This book is about the changing World economics and what may happen in the future balance of World trade.
The present situation.
There is so much going on in the World of business and economics at the moment that it is hard to keep up. New economies are emerging and growing while some Western ones are contracting at a rapid rate. At the time of reading this book the USA has huge debt problems and the Obama administration seems hard pressed to control the economy. Here in the UK it's cuts and more cuts. To some this is doom and gloom but read this book will show you how economies ebb and flow like the tide. The book looks at now and develops how the economic World maybe in the future.
Ruchir Sharama takes us on a journey around the World and shows where the smart money may need to go to buck the trend and grow. In the book there are some great insights into what may happen in the future and how the economic world may look in a decade or two.
In our global economy one mans loss is anothers gain and that is what I read from this book. Keep moving rather than fixing to find the new markets and be the first there to capitalise on the new fresh growing economy is the message. Another message woven into the book is wake up and change the way you do business as the World is changing very quickly and will wait for no one. That seems to be pointed at western economies and rightly so.
My overall view of the book.
In my opinion this is a sensible and controlled rather than sensationalist look at what we have now and where we are probably going from an author who has certainly experienced it all first hand. Read and take note is my advice.
The most interesting material in this book is about the least developed economies, though that also highlights the one weakness - these markets are generally not easily accessable to foreign investment, so the book is more interesting background material than actionable advice.
However the analysis of the Chinese situation is not accurate and this is the only one I know a little about and wish to comment on. China's government is in the process of continuing reforms. New road and railway construction can continue as there are 160 cities with a population of one million and over. A comparison with Japan 20 years ago is flawed. Contrary to Japan which is shrinking (population -0.2%), China has still many steps to catch up and its population is still growing (+0.5%) without even taking account of the recent two child policy. There is still a huge under consuming class and in the next ten years another 200-250 million will move from the country to the cities. So, yes, China's growth will naturally slow down as it reaches a larger more mature economy but still growing at a considerable pace. Even 6% would be quite remarkable for an economy that has reached that size.
AS for the rest there are too many obsolete analysis that makes it worthy of a journalistic publication but not of a book. China has abandoned the one child policy; Thailand reverted to a well expected military regime; Turkey is becoming an Islamist dictatorship under Erdogan not worthy of the author's indiscriminate praise (no full disclosure here on the author connection with that country) and India so called democracy is limited to elections with rape becoming an ugly habit condoned by too many politicians. All that was certainly not forecast-ed in this book but not even imagined as a possibility that would disrupt its optimistic or pessimistic options.
The use of this book to me is several fold. It paints the dynamics of emerging nations in three dimensions and makes the picture of what is going on more comprehensible than mere statistics. By sketching a broad backdrop rather than providing a detailed treatise Sharma accentuates that we are dealing with known unknowns - predictions are like trying to think a dozen chess moves ahead.
Most importantly he portrays the way in which different forces are likely to interact to define how the game will play out. The content is more about trends rather than predictions and more about the journey than which countries will actually 'break out' to be tomorrow's stars. That said, there are enough hints as to his view for a speculator to reflect on whether their current holdings could be better positioned.
To me this was another of those books that hits the right balance between being readable to the lay individual without being simplified to the point of being froth.