tv [untitled] March 29, 2013 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
hello and welcome across town where all things considered i'm going to relive though can the brics countries brazil russia india china and south africa reinvent the international system can they collectively challenge the hegemony of western dominated trade and finance or do they merely want to greater say in how the world is run and for whom. to cross out the bricks i'm joined by yet a slightly so bola here in moscow he's the chief economist at deutsche bank russia in washington we have brian becker he is the national coordinator for the answer coalition and in new york we cross to and we she is an adjunct professor at new york university and the author of the book what the u.s. can learn from china crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it yourself when i go to you first do the brics want to take on the west is that kind of relationship they have. well i think not necessarily but in some respects it seems as this is the trend in terms of the
recent policy measures that we're seeing from the brics one of the measures is to combine the foreign exchange reserves of the countries and form a reserve that it potentially could be used to deal with the crises in the world economy and to some degree you could look at this effort as a way to create a competitor to the international monetary fund and then the other. potential effort that is now undertaken by the brics countries is to create a development bank. much like the world bank would provide resources for developing countries to foster growth to deal with social issues etc so in some respects we're seeing that the brics are starting to create their own institutions that potentially can rival can compete with the bretton
woods institutions brian would you would you agree or disagree with what we just heard go ahead. well i agree with i agree with that in part i think that this is the beginning stage really of a process since the dissolution of the the soviet union and the socialist bloc nations that actually. contributed to a rival power a global power that allowed other countries especially smaller an independent countries to have an alternative to the west those countries of course would like brics to become a major part of the world scene because they want an alternative they don't want to be just have the economic and military policies of the west shoved down their throat but again these countries don't have an anchor right now as the socialist bloc did when it had the soviet union which will allow it to have a completely independent and separate and many times conflict u.s.
policy with the west i think that the development of a development bank and the possibility of integration in terms of currency does allow for the potential to rival with the dollar but not anytime soon ok and how do you weigh in on this is this is an alternative to the west and western institutions . i think that they are trying to create more leverage for themselves because what really brings them together is the fact that they all are. upset that they haven't been treated as fairly amongst the western groups so at the i.m.f. and some other places where they want more representation because they have more economic have to bring to the table they're not given the seats that they're requesting and and so there's a tension there where they feel like they're not being respected and so that is in part one of the reasons why they want to come together so they can actually have
more bargaining power with the west i don't necessarily think they're ready to challenge the west because they are not strong enough to take on the united states for instance who is you know far and away the largest superpower and. and so i think that they realize that these efforts to put together alternative institutions is just a way to see how they can cooperate with each other how to work with each other and you know they have it historically so this is a very new thing you know some of it we should mention earlier i mean this is not an ideological group like the socialist walked before and what is its anchor then i think that's a very interesting question and i think it is really the idea at least initially i think it was the idea of alternative of a divergence and. the economic developed development of the world economy essentially the view from
a lot of the participants in brics was say in the minds hundred ninety s. the trajectory of the world economy was that of convergence and the lack of alternatives so for a lot of the participants in this group this was a way to generate these alternatives and to. generate dynamism and to world. the economic development through developing these these alternatives i think another side to what we're seeing now is that the brics is a trance continental alliance and that's a very new development in terms of say things like economic integration i think the brics itself is starting to create a challenge in such a way that is starting to generate a response from the developed countries for example we're starting to hear from the u.s. from the european union that they want to intensify their transatlantic alliance
and to create a free trade area to some degree it's may be a response to what they're seeing with the brics the same thing with the recent declarations by the e.u. and japan that they would like to intensify economic interaction and create a free trade area again this may be a response to the rise of the power of the ricks the brics and batterer garde i think is starting to impress a lot of the observers across the globe and to some degree this is also a new kind of architecture to the world's economy. it's an architecture whereby each of the countries that are members of the brics represent a certain continent and to some degree this is. a globalization this is a world economy that is based on many columns on many supporting pillars and that i think is something that renders the global economy and global economic
development more sustainable ok brian and maybe said differently the west has screwed up the global economy and in the bric countries want to stay away from it well right but they really can't i mean when you look at china's economic policy and its foreign policy there is still there are a whole orient. nation is towards integration into the world economy and the world economy is dominated by the western powers by the united states in particular the same goes with india of course they want to have some sort of buffer so that they too are not simply dictated to by the united states and the western powers they for the most part represent the plundered as opposed to the plundering part of the planet those who are basically colonized that was true with china and india and brazil south africa in the case of russia it had its sort of left the imperial world and joined the other world after nine hundred seventeen they want to have an
alternative then they want to have a buffer but again i think the big problem will be as they integrate into the world economy the u.s. has certain rules that it demands and and certain political concessions and you can see by the way they handled the syria appeal that they were they were very modest unmodulated in their response in the soviet era the the soviet bloc would have sent a strong message hands off syria they would have been sort of sick signifying to the west that this would possibly lead to a global confrontation as they did during the one nine hundred seventy three war the middle east war so you can see that each of the countries still wants to maintain a friendly relationship with the west but they want to buffer or a shield from the west kind of hedging monic desires and designs against all the world including against them and on that i think it's very interesting they want more respect essentially and what a greater say. yes i agree with what i was
saying before that they really just want more bargaining power and more leverage so that they are respected that they are given a chance to continue to grow their markets and not be hampered by. the west and and i think that. this is going to be you know an interesting. involvement of how the products can actually. become more of a political bloc that way because they themselves have been historically enemies in many respects and have differences today still and so for them to try to overcome their differences in order to try to unite will be interesting. if they are able to do that the way that the united states was able to unite with western europe and create
a nato bloc after world war two that would be interesting i don't know if they're capable of that anytime soon well let me ask you a question and let me answer the question now. let's look at the look at the crisis the crisis in cyprus i mean could you see one day we're a country like cyprus we go to the brics for a loan and not the i.m.f. oh it's definitely possible and i think what we can today china's sort of functions like the i.m.f. in respects anyway or like a world bank where they have been providing hundreds of millions billions of loans to african countries and then for gave them when they were unable to pay them back and so creating one that's a brick bank enables china to basically say ok we're we don't want to stick out we've got friends who also are on our side and and so that this way they feel like they're more. international more integrated brian you want to jump in there go ahead. yeah i think i think it's considered again we're at the beginning stage of
the brics process the world needs the world desires an alternative to the sort of complete domination by the by nato powers led by an anchor by the united states the world hasn't had that sense the dissolution of the socialist bloc of course it will emerge now if it can on a different basis the economic power of the united states is dissipating but its military power is being used as a substitute in other words to maintain domination to enforce u.s. interests but you can see the dynamic development of brazil's economy india's economy and china's economy and russia's economy to all of those countries and i have got i have to jump in here i have to jump in here we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the brics stay with our to. leave the euro. zone.
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choose the consensus. choose to opinions that you think. choose the stories get him to. choose. to. welcome to cross talk we're all things are considered i'm peter lavelle to mind you were discussing the brics. one thing we all these countries in the brits are interested in is getting away from the u.s. dollars up possible. yes i think it's possible we're seeing the terms have already
been undertaken with varying degree of success but certainly a significant part of the bilateral or mutual trade between these countries is targeted to be conducted in the currencies of these countries. and the same to some degree potentially with mutual investment flows so this is something that i think is very much in line with the needs and the cravings of the world economy because there is a high demand today for alternative reserve currencies because the us has economic problems the e.u. has significant economic problems right now so the role of these reserve currencies the dollar and the euro is undermined by these developments and a lot of the central banks in the world are looking for alternatives and the brics
certainly can offer this alternative what is needed is to intensify the world trade the global trade with the flows denominated and these currencies the same with regard to investment and then i think potentially we will see in the coming years that there will be more reserve currencies emerging including from but from the brics ok brian weigh in there any ending dollar supremacy. you know i think that of course that the dollar supremacy is a form of tyranny of the united states because the print world currency i mean that's a great advantage and gives them tremendous leverage and and. an equalizer is everything to the advantage of the united states i think what was most noteworthy or one of the most noteworthy things about this bric summit was the trade agreement between brazil and china which was based on buying national usage of their own currencies and by passing the dollar in terms of in terms of trade arrangements others will
start to do that too this again will be a longer process but you can certainly see that these countries want to do it they're seeking to do it and the rest of the world would hope that they succeed as they do it and go ahead the end of the dollar world i don't see that happening in our lifetimes unless something happens to the u.s. military because the dollar supremacy is really based on the fact that oil has to be traded in dollars and it as long as out the case and the world still is most dependent on oil for energy and and the u.s. knows this and this is how they can keep their dominance how they can maintain control and that's why the middle east is. important part of the world for u.s. national interests. and so as long as people need oil for energy needs they
will always need to have the u.s. dollar as a reserve currency and since there is no other military able to challenge the u.s. at any point in the near future i just don't see that going away you know so we've all we were talking about go ahead john. yeah i think i think ann is i think ann is fundamentally right about the u.s. military primacy being the central factor in this equation but let's not forget we saw regional integration with led by chavez in venezuela starting to reorganize the way latin america relates to itself of course venezuela there was an anchor but in venezuela is a large large oil producer so true is russia we i think we can say this has to be seen not as basically a deterministic. effect of oil but what the political will is in the capability of the different players the resources are there it's
a question of whether they can unite together and and set up a real identifiable political and military and economic pole in contrast to the way you know something can go ahead jump in just just on this point i think it's also important for the brics countries to change some of their economic policies to render the emergence of that of reserve currencies more possible and particularly i would cite the case of china and certainly it would be easier for a lot of the countries to have chinese currency as one of the reserve currencies but there are capital controls and there are currency restrictions in china so to some degree it's also a function of the policies of these countries and if they do follow the route of more open economies of. more barriers on capital controls
currency operations then this will be again a contribution to run during these currencies reserve currencies of the world you know so we're focused on what unites these countries but a lot of things there's a lot of differences among them is well let's be honest here go ahead yeah i think absolutely in terms of the challenges facing these country. yes. there are similarities and particularly modern modernization needs the need to develop infrastructure but at the same time there are significant differences as well one of the differences between russia and the a lot of the other economies like china is the dependency on oil and the susceptibility to swings and oil prices another dimension is demographics russia is in a bit of a different cycle in that regard then you look at per capita g.d.p. russia is actually the highest of the members there and other countries like china
like india have significant scope for catch up and there's a significant variation there and terms of that indicator so there are these differences as was mentioned before. there are political differences as well on some of the issues and we've seen these differences in the past that were quite significant as well but i think this drive to modernization this drive to catch up with the west is something that is going to unite a lot of the interests of these countries to overcome some of the lingering political differences that may be out there brian when you think about a different path to modernization. well you know the let's go back and put this into the history of the past half century too i mean when china and the soviet union formed an alliance in one thousand fifty following the successful triumph of the of the chinese revolution that meant two fifths of the world's
people were in an alliance that had a different path towards economic development what allowed them to integrate was that they had planned economies they were have the communist parties as ruling parties i think that all of the countries everywhere want modernization and they want to develop the question is can they really fully develop economically without taking into the political and military risks that exist with the domination of the western world and that still is a big problem especially for china i think and a lot of people see this is china's group it heads the group what do you say to that i would say that there is no this is going to be a huge i mean the dominant they are the dominant economic power in the brics they haven't most of the growth amongst the group there and and i think china basically doesn't want to stick out and be the only one trying all the attention from the
united states and therefore is using brics as its anchor and i also think that you know what this new asia pivot that was announced recently to in china is believed to contain the. the brics with then because it's a global situation because it touches all ends of the earth that this would then act as an alternative as an encircled the united states in a way because it is global and so i think that that is an interesting dynamic that you know we should watch closely brian you want to jump in there go ahead. yes i think that's i think that's right china will not be the official anchor of bricks the way the soviet union really was the official inker of the of the warsaw pact and comic-con it is the dominant economic force
china has a problem because and i agree with in the asia pivot means that a greater and greater part of the u.s. navy is along china sure's the korean peninsula is a tinderbox because of course in the west they say it's because of north korean provocations but the u.s. and south korea is really provoking the situation with endless war games china is in a very precarious position as the united states also cements its relationship military relationship with japan so brics will be seen by china as another avenue as an alternative possibly as a shield against sort of a unilateral focus by the united states against its own development you know so do you think more countries will join this group i think potentially we will see more countries joining this group i think for the time being the brics will probably take a pause while try to structure and crystallize the process of integration and the next several years but then potentially yes we will probably see such candidates as
indonesia or turkey. a country essentially from a muslim world entering this organization and again. rendering it even more diverse even more representative of the essentially of the face of the earth of the of the bell a ping world and i think this is something that is already discussed in various centers on forums around brics yeah i think within the next three to five years we will see another member of the organization well brian don't you think they will kind of dilute their power more and more members well. it also depends on whether the members have any what their relationship is and with the west take turkey for example turkey is the easier to blank of nato and function and functioning really as an extension in some ways of the nato powers military plans for the destruction
of the syrian government of course you could never have nato powers in with bricks and then somehow pretend bricks is going to be an alternative to western powers i mean you can't separate the economic policies from the military policies because the military policies are i think as and said really the dominating force of world politics right now ok we've run out of time fascinating discussion many thanks indeed to my guests in moscow washington and in new york and thanks to our viewers for watching us here darkie see you next time and remember prostitutes. leave.