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In late November 2001, while fires still burned in the rubble of the Twin Towers, Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill put out a report reframing the global balance of power. Four countries, he said, would dominate economic growth—China, Russia, India and Brazil. Reaching for a name to call this new club (he dismissed the acronym “Crib” because of its association with infants), O’Neill settled on the BRICs.
At first, his BRICs report attracted only modest attention. Then, as the four economies, in particular, China, began to soar—and as the popular narrative of America’s decline took hold—the BRIC mantra became …read more