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The Daily Reckoning

BRICS growing in stature

The BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India, and China, added a new member, South Africa. The combined economies of the five countries are set to surpass the US economy by 2014.

By Chuck ButlerGuest blogger / April 15, 2011

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, second left, and Chinese President Hu Jintao, third left, gesture as they chat while Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, left, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, second right, and South African President Jacob Zuma look on at a joint press conference during the BRICS Summit in Sanya, Hainan province, China, on Thursday April 14, 2011. What does the future hold for the BRICS countries?

How Hwee Young / AP

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A couple of years ago, when we offered a BRIC MarketSafe CD… I would talk to groups of people, and warn them that the BRICs not only hold the reserves of the world, but have a large percentage of the world’s population, and they would love nothing more than to be looked at as the “leaders of the world”… OK… There’s a BRIC Conference going on, so let’s see what’s on their minds…

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But first, let’s look at the markets – specifically those of currencies and metals… Well, that bias to sell dollars that I talked about yesterday didn’t last too long into the morning, and by noon, the currencies were weaker. Gold and silver remained bid, but not well bid, as they had been in the early morning. In the overnight markets, the currencies have been all over the place… The trading ranges have been blown out, and one minute you see the currencies rally, and the next you see them sell off… It’s been pretty amazing watching this since I arrived here and climbed into the saddle this morning.

And… We got to see the color of the president’s plan to cut the deficit… The president unveiled a framework Wednesday to reduce borrowing over the next 12 years by $4 trillion – a goal that falls short of targets set by his deficit commission and House Republicans – and called for a new congressional commission to help develop a plan to get there.

In his most ambitious effort to claim the mantle of deficit cutter, Obama proposed sharp new cuts to domestic and military spending, and an overhaul of the tax code that would raise fresh revenue. But he steered clear of fundamental changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – the primary drivers of future spending.

So… We get another “commission” to develop the plan.. What happened to the previous commission? Hey, as I shrug my shoulders, at least someone in Washington DC is looking at this ever exploding deficit, and thinking that something should be done about it… And the overhaul of the tax code? Oh brother! Did he really say that “we all have a secret desire to pay more taxes”? Can I answer that one? NOT!

In the case of the deficit, personally, I believe it needs to start at the annual budget… When you can tame that monster, then it will flow to the national deficit… But that’s just me thinking logically…because… If you don’t tame the monster at the budget level, you won’t make the necessary cuts on the national debt level… It’s that simple… Or at least that’s how I see it…

OK… Let’s get to the BRICs, and see what’s up with these wild and crazy guys!

Well… First of all, the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) have added a new member, and now they are the BRICS with a capital “S” representing South Africa… And they are pounding their chests with new data that shows that the BRICS’ combined economies will eclipse the US economy in 2014, and by 2016, they will be putting 100 miles of desert between their economies and that of the US ($21 trillion versus $18.8 trillion)… Of course those are projected numbers, so there could be some changes…