The Western world has run out of ideas and is “finished financially” while emerging economies across the world will continue to grow, David Murrin, CIO at Emergent Asset Management told CNBC on the tenth anniversary of coining of the so-called BRIC nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China, by Goldman Sachs’ Jim O’Neill.
“I still subscribe and I’ve spoken about it regularly on this show that this is the moment when the Western world realizes it is finished financially and the implications are huge, whereas the emerging BRIC countries are at the beginning of their continuation cycle,” Murrin told CNBC.
Murrin added he believes the power shift from the West to emerging economies beyond Europe and the United States was “unstoppable” and he blamed a lack of ideas from Western leaders on how to stimulate growth together with contracted demographics and rising inflation as catalysts for Western decline.
“We suffer from no growth and we suffer from imported inflation… that means we have negative real growth and societies fracture when you have negative real growth and quite simply our society faces fractures for trying to stick Europe back together again is not going to work with that underlying paradigm, unless you can create five percent growth to overcome that imported inflation,” Murrin explained.
Murrin said that the East was depending less on the West and the rise of a consumer society was the first step in the expansion of an economic empire.
“If you look at the cycle of an empire system from regionalization to expansion to empire, the first phases of that catalyst are when you have a self fuelled consumer society and so actually that process of building your consumer base which is really what’s going on in China, day by day their consumer base increases and the dependence on the West decreases,” he said.
Murrin added that while China is by far the biggest emerging economy and would be at the center of a new economic order, other emerging nations were set to join the BRIC countries and new political orders and alliances would come about as a result.
“This isn’t just a BRIC story, this is the end of the Christian Western Empire versus the rise of the whole emerging world led by China as the foremost and most powerful,” Murrin told CNBC.
“I think it’s going to be the whole world trying to contain China’s growth and there’s going to be completely new alliances that take place… between Australia, Japan and India and America and possibly Russia if the foreign policy is expansive enough, there’s going to be a ring of containment trying to hold this bulging entity which is like no other nation we’ve ever seen coherently challenge for control of world commodities and resources,” he added.
Intervention Not the Answer
Finally, Murrin stressed that Europe in particular was set to experience a rapid and deep decline and intervention by the European Union and its financial institutions was not a solution to stimulate growth.
“I think there’s a real reality amongst investors and just taxi drivers, that without growth, the system’s not sustainable, so intervention is just a drug and we all know that the more drugs you put into someone, the more the system becomes immune to their response and so I don’t see this as a solution,” he said.
Pointing to previous economic downturns, Murrin said the West was much less equipped than the emerging world to deal with its current decline.
“In all our examples of disastrous events, Argentina, Russia, the Asian crisis, they’re not good references for us in the West because they take place in countries with good demographics, good commodity stories and essentially underlying tides which lift them away from their problems,” he said.
“We in the West have none of those, we live in a world where resources are increasing in prices, where we’re a consumer society, we’re an old society, we’re not innovative, we’re not expansive, so we don’t have any of those natural lifting qualities to actually pick us out of the mire which is what decline is really about,” he added.