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The BRICS: Challenging the Global Financial Status Quo

BRICS 2014 Summit in Brazil

(Image: Brazil’s Foreign Ministry)

July 18, 2014

The eyes of the world have focused recently on Brazil, which hosted an event that may prove in time to be the beginning of a grand project in global affairs. It wasn’t the World Cup, though. On July 15, Brazil organized the sixth meeting of leaders of the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – and, following that, a meeting among the BRICS and the leaders of South America.

Since 2009, BRICS leaders have been gathering in what has primarily been a symbolic exercise, highlighting and promoting the idea that a strategic shift is underway in the global economy from the developed to the largest and fastest growing developing economies, which will require recalibrating global governance and political leadership. However, as developed economies have slowly recovered from the financial crisis and the BRICS nations have slowed, the utility of largely symbolic meetings has been questioned to the point where the importance of the BRICS itself is unclear to many but the most dedicated advocates.

This changed recently in Fortaleza, Brazil, as the BRICS leaders advanced an agenda of concrete actions, including the establishment of a $50 billion BRICS “New Development Bank” and a $100 billion contingent reserve arrangement designed initially to address global balance of payments pressures within the bloc....

Read the full article in U.S. News & World Report's online opinion section.